POSTS

31
AUG

Meet Our Finalists: Red Sea Farms

Red Sea Farms is a saltwater greenhouse system to enable year-round, high-intensity food production for water scarce regions. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below.

What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?:

We’re really excited by the fact that our idea will help digitization of the food supply chain and remove inefficiencies between traders, government and service providers hence improve access to high quality, safe, nutritional food supply.

What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?:

Impact has been our biggest source of motivation. We care as much about people as we do the environment, and we desire to leave a positive and lasting impact. Agriculture currently represents the largest global drain on freshwater resources, and this is not sustainable. We have to change. We envision a world where saltwater resources are used sensibly and sustainably to feed global communities.

Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners?:

In addition to the co-founders, both masters of their crafts, the Red Sea Farms team includes experts in three key fields: business, horticulture, and technology. We utilize a truly cross-disciplinary approach to problem solving and innovation. Our team is diverse not only in areas of expertise but also in terms of nationality.  We have members from 9 different countries on our core team currently. This global problem of food security–which is a result of several complex, interrelated systems–requires multiple perspectives and experiences. We agree with what research shows: more diverse teams become higher-performing units over time. Energy, passion, and joy anchor our company culture and relationships with stakeholders.

Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money?

To be selected as one of four winners would be a great honor. If funding is received,  we will refine our technology and scale more rapidly. Our goal is to build a Red Sea Farms saltwater greenhouse pilot adapted specifically to the UAE environment.

OTHER POSTS

Meet Our Finalists: Pure Harvest Smart Farms

31 August 2020


Pure Harvest Farms is a greenhouse system that allows year-round production of affordable, quality fresh fruits and vegetables. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?: We are excited by the opportunity to contribute towards solving one of the major food security challenges in The Middle East region and globally. The UN projects that the global human population is set to reach 10B by 2050, requiring us collectively to produce 70% more food. With climate change making it more difficult to grow food using traditional open-field methods of farming, technology-driven solutions are needed to meet the challenge of feeding 10B human mouths. In addition, consumer preferences are shifting towards more organic, locally grown products which, along with urbanization, are making it more difficult to deliver food supplies to populations. This sheer challenge presents us with an exciting opportunity to drive change, through innovative food-tech enabled solutions. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?: We as a team are motivated by the prospect of making a significant impact on solving major regional food supply challenges. Since our team began working in the agribusiness sector, we have been approached by senior political leadership from around the region. The opportunity to not only deliver a tangible food product to grateful local consumers but also to advise governments on food security strategy is greatly fulfilling. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners?: Our team has managed to successfully design and deploy an IoT- enabled growing system which is the first to demonstrate year-round production of fresh fruits and vegetables in the UAE. Compared to other more traditional startups in the software or internet sectors, we have collectively overcome huge challenges in constructing an asset-intensive, hardware technology for food production in the Middle East. This has included not only design and engineering work, but also construction, operations, sales, and fundraising (we raised the largest agro-tech seed round in the Middle East history). Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? Our team will use the prize proceeds to fund much-needed research & development activities on our farm. Among the priorities we are working on include the design of a new automatic roof washer, desert-friendly artificial LED lighting systems, and also a pilot commercial farm to produce algae for Omega-3 fatty acids production.

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31
AUG

Meet Our Finalists: Everfresh Biocoating Technology

31 August 2020


Everfresh Biocating Technology provides nature-based edible food coating to extend shelf-life and reduce food waste. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?: Everfresh addresses two challenges, post-harvest food loss and seafood waste disposal. These represent an economic and environmental burden to the UAE and to the rest of the world. Everfresh’s technology uses a sprayable chitosan-based formulation, which provides a protective, edible coating for agriculture produce while recycling seafood waste. In Everfresh, we utilize the main building block that nature has developed as protective barrier against a multitude of organisms. What makes us excited about our idea is that the application of Everfresh ensures that sustainable objectives will be met. These includes reduction of food waste, reduction of greenhouse gas emission, and positive economic impact. Reduction of food waste equates directly to increased revenue for distributors and retailers, and end consumers will find fruits and vegetables with improved freshness and extended shelf-life. The fact we can reduce food waste, and protect agriculture produce while recycling seafood waste is a win-win situation from a sustainable and economic point of view, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, when the food security and nutrition of millions of people around the world are affected. In Everfresh, we believe that now more than ever it’s important to join efforts using science alongside nature to secure food supply and minimize food loss and waste. We are excited to start doing our part to make this world a better place, where there is more food for everyone and less waste. A better place for the present and future generations and for the environment. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?: Our biggest motivation is to join the fight against food loss and waste. We aim to promote sustainability practices through the application of our technology to agriculture produce. Our goal is to minimize food loss and waste using natural compounds for both retailers and consumers, and to make the fruits and vegetables last longer, resulting in better-quality and more food available for everyone. The sustainable approach we adopt in Everfresh rely on the use of the seafood industry waste as the main source of the raw material used for our innovative product. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners?: We all come from different academic backgrounds, have expertise in the field of biotechnology, chemical engineering, and sales & marketing. Most importantly, we share the passion and strategic vision of the company to make this business successful and achieve great performance, promoting economic sustainability, and bringing cutting-edge technology to the UAE. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? If we are selected as one of the four winners, we plan to join the Catalyst Accelerator Program, and relocate to Abu Dhabi to establish our business. Patent application is among our first priorities once fund is secured as the technology used in Everfresh is novel. The initial investment will be mainly used to rent the facility, acquire equipment, pay operating expenses, conduct further R&D. Everfresh is seeking seed funding to build a pilot production line for the purpose of proof of concept, entering the market, building the brand awareness and attracting potential customers, and preparing its commercial launch. Everfresh team also seeks to contribute a specific percentage of the award money for charity purposes, particularly helping cancer patients.

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31
AUG

Meet Our Finalists: Jones Food Company

31 August 2020


Jones Food Company is an automated sustainable vertical farm driven by AI. They are 1 of our 12 Finalist Teams who will compete in the upcoming FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony. Read more about them below. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology?: Vertical farming technology brings agriculture and food production to locations and areas which were previously limited by a number of factors including; climate, space, and resources. At Jones Food Company we are on a mission to be the World’s Farm, producing food for everyone, everywhere such that we are never limited in what we want to eat and how we feed our society. JFC’s idea so exciting because we bring this technology – and its huge potential – to the masses by constructing farms at affordable prices both for builders but also for the end customer. We believe we are unique in the vertical farming industry in this regard. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project?: To achieve our vision; building reliable vertical farms – at scale – around the world in order to improve the ways we farm and consume food. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners?: Our team brings a hugely diverse set of experiences and achievements to one common goal. We also bring a huge range of corporate experience from the likes of Jaguar Land Rover and Gazprom to owning and operating our own consumer businesses and across functions such as strategy, finance, operations, recruitment, construction, and consumer retail. This combination of experience alongside our clarity of vision has created a truly dynamic team. We truly believe our technology is solving a problem that we can implement effectively. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? Construction. Expanding into international markets carries plenty of risks so JFC plans to use this prize money to reduce risks associated with entering the U.A.E market, kick-starting the construction of a new vertical farm growing leafy greens within miles of the end consumer and harvesting on the very same day the produce is eaten.

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31
AUG