Previous judges and mentors

H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi
Abu Dhabi Investment Office
Maria Helena Semedo
Deputy Director-General
Food and Agriculture Organization
Danielle Nierenberg
Co-Founder and President
Food Tank
David Rosenberg
CEO and Co-Founder
H.E. Rashed Al Shuraiqi
Senior Advisor for Agriculture
Al Dahra Agricultural Company
Nicole Thorpe
Founding Director
Kieran Dowd
Vice President of Sourcing Solutions; General Manager
Emirates Flight Catering; Emirates Crop One
Dr. Hanan Afifi
Lead Researcher
Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority
Abdulaziz Al Mulla
Co-Founder and CEO
Madar Farms
Dr. Ramesh Jagannathan
Managing Director
Feroz Sanaulla
Roland Berger
Cinar Kurra
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Rami Zurayk
American University of Beirut
Dr. Dionysia Lyra
Halophyte Agronomist
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture
Stuart Oda
Co-Founder and CEO
Alesca Life
Penny McBride
Farmtech Society
Dr. Merle Jensen
Professor Emeritus
University of Arizona
Dr. Dino Francescutti
Sub-Regional Coordinator for the GCC States and Yemen
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Omar Al Jundi
Chief Executive Officer
Badia Farms
Hana Barakat
Assistant Director
Dr. Raman Bhaskaracharya
Assistant Professor in College of Food and Agriculture
United Arab Emirates University
Georg Czerny
General Manager
Al Dahra BayWa Agriculture
Fatima Al Suwaidi
Analyst, Development and Investment

Lettuce from Abu Dhabi vertical farm to go on sale in September

August 24, 2020

Fresh greens produced by Smart Acres, a vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, will go on sale for the first time in September. The vegetables are grown under LED lights in nutrient-rich water instead of soil.


September 2020 Newsletter

1 September 2020

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 developments, the FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony will be rescheduled to late November and we are in the process of finalizing the dates. We will update you as soon as these are confirmed, and we very much appreciate your patience. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of participants, judges, partners, attendees and staff, the awards ceremony will be held as a virtual event. This decision was made after careful consultation with our partners and UAE public health authorities.

August 2020 Newsletter

1 August 2020

What does it take to build a vertical farm? How about a food waste monitoring system? What kind of expertise does your team need to possess? These are some of the questions we asked our finalists to learn more about their teams and their creative business ideas.

July 2020 Newsletter

1 July 2020

Our Finalist Teams are hard at work refining their pitch presentations with their mentors in preparation for the final Awards Ceremony. One of our Finalist Teams, Red Sea Farms, hosted a virtual meeting with Dr. Merle Jensen, one of our mentors, to discuss his feedback about their business case. Many thanks to Dr. Merle and all our mentors who continue to support the FoodTech Challenge and provide valuable insights and advice to our finalists. Our mentors are local and global experts in agriculture and food technology in industry, academia, and policy circles. You can find out more about their profiles here.