This led to a successful business in hospitality, and recognition in the 2007 book ‘Leaders of Saudi Arabia’. What makes us excited about our idea is that the application of Everfresh ensures that sustainable objectives will be met. A better place for the present and future generations and for the environment. Alesca was selected as a 2019 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and has been accepted into prestigious global accelerator programs including Stanford StartX, Thrive Agtech, BitsxBites, Pearse Lyons, Unreasonable Impact, and Dubai Future Accelerators as an innovator in the field of controlled environment agriculture, precision agriculture, and hyper-local urban farming. 31 Only 0.5% of the land mass is arable, extreme heat limits the capacity to cultivate and store food, and the country receives very minimal rainfall. To stay up to date with the FoodTech Challenge, sign up to our newsletter, © Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health , Vol. In his current role established grant-based collaborative research projects with industry and research institutions in Australia, UK, India, etc. : These includes reduction of food waste, reduction of greenhouse gas emission, and positive economic impact. : After running a successful project funded by USAID in 2016, Dr. Lyra was announced as one of the 29 global innovators for EXPO2020 of the first phase of the EXPO Live program in 2017 and received a grant for the project “Inland and coastal modular farms for climate change adaptation in desert environments” which is continued giving emphasis on the development of halophyte-based food products. 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. 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. Dr. Dionysia Angeliki Lyra has been a Halophyte Agronomist at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates since 2013, working on evaluating halophytes (salt-loving plants) in inland and coastal desert areas exploring their multiple uses. His Excellency Rashid Muhammad Khalfan Al Shuraiqi is the Senior Advisor for Agriculture at Al Dahra Agricultural Company, a member of the Executive Committee of the Parliamentary Union (since 2007), and a member of Abu Dhabi Quality and Compliance Council Board Directors (since 2016). Nicole Thorpe is a Founding Director of Cultinova, a boutique IT engineering consultancy providing customised monitoring, control and data solutions for improved efficiency and sustainability of agriculture and urban green infrastructure. : To achieve our vision; building reliable vertical farms – at scale – around the world in order to improve the ways we farm and consume food. Read more about them below. This sheer challenge presents us with an exciting opportunity to drive change, through innovative food-tech enabled solutions. This decision was made after careful consultation with our partners and UAE public health authorities. Major companies including Unilever, PepsiCo and Nestle Global have joined the 10x20x30 initiative, a global effort to slash the staggering amount of food that is discarded every year. Our mentors are local and global experts in agriculture and food technology in industry, academia, and policy circles. The competition invites applicants from all backgrounds to join. UAE food security challenges The most prominent challenge faced by the UAE is its climate, which has for some time had a negative impact on its domestic production abilities. (2011) ‘Food security: its components and challenges’, Int. Four winning teams will share prize money of up to $1M USD, which includes cash prizes as well as eligibility for a UAE-based accelerator programme. He obtained his PhD from Oxford University. 1. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? Most recently, she was the first prize recipient in the poster competition at the “7th Dubai International Food Safety Conference and IAFP's First Middle East Symposium on Food Safety Symposium” in 2012. Omar holds a BSc in Industrial Engineering and MBA from the University of Miami. Currently, she is the Project Manager for the Cirata Floating Solar Project in Indonesia. A gold medalist from the University of Madras from where he received his B.Tech degree, Ramesh went on to complete his PhD from Clarkson University and sat on the Cambridge University Mentor Panel. AeroFarms received the inaugural Global SDG Award for Zero Hunger, was listed in Time Magazine’s 2019 Best Inventions, and received The Ethical Corporation’s 2019 Responsible Business Award in Sustainable Innovation. We all come from different academic backgrounds, have expertise in the field of biotechnology, chemical engineering, and sales & marketing. Her R&D interests involve areas including foodborne diseases, chemical and microbial contamination along the supply chain, exposure and risk assessment, product shelf-life and safety. FoodTech Challenge | All rights reserved. The UAE faces significant challenges to producing food domestically. Only 0.5% of the land mass is arable, extreme heat limits the capacity to cultivate and store food, and the country receives very minimal rainfall. Omar Al Jundi is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Badia Farms, a pioneering and revolutionizing agricultural initiative to provide a sustainable solution for the region’s future. 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. These are some of the questions we asked our finalists to learn more about their teams and their creative business ideas. Scientists are hopeful that this soil will transform the crop sector in the UAE. We believe we are unique in the vertical farming industry in this regard. We will update you as soon as these are confirmed, and we very much appreciate your patience. Our team brings a hugely diverse set of experiences and achievements to one common goal. She has held the position of Chair of the Innovation and Scientific Research Committee, ADAFSA, since 2018 and is a member of many committees including the Abu Dhabi Food Safety Index, Technical Group of Food Legislations and more. As a result, the UAE currently imports roughly 90% of its food supplies. Close to 200 food suppliers have pledged to cut their food waste in half by 2030. Only a very small percentage of the land mass is arable, extreme heat limits the capacity to cultivate and store food, and the country hardly receives any rainfall. Here, Georg occupied a variety of positions before assuming the role of General Manager at Al Dahra BayWa Agriculture, the developer and operator of a 10 hectare high-tech Greenhouse facility in the UAE. In 2004, after completing an M.A. Applications for the FoodTech Challenge are accepted from September 2019 to February 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. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project? 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. Pests continue to spread and reduce post-harvest yields, and chemical pesticides have exacerbated the stress on agricultural land. Thank you for your interest in the FoodTech Challenge! The FoodTech Challenge is a global competition that seeks innovative solutions to address food security.The competition supports the UAE’s commitment to providing its population with sufficient, safe and nutritious food. What kind of expertise does your team need to possess? Georg has extensive experience in agricultural and horticultural production systems. H.E. Previously, Feroz was the founder of the Middle East, Turkey and Africa office of Intel Capital, a venture capital and private equity arm of Intel Corporation. Hana is a dynamic and highly driven individual who has worn many hats in her 14 years of academic and professional experience as a scientist, psychologist, coach and program manager. His Excellency holds a PhD in Economics from the Imperial College London, and graduate degrees from Columbia University and London Business School. The UAE’s soil composition is predominantly made up of sandy soil, which is difficult to cultivate without additives and fertilizers, 2. In the UAE, he facilitates policy and technical dialogue between FAO, other partners and the Government in support of strengthening strategic frameworks and actions around food and water security, nutrition, natural resource management, sustainable agriculture (crops and livestock) and aquaculture. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when we start accepting submissions. He has worked extensively in the Arab region and has recently collaborated with UN ESCWA for the development of the Arab Food Security Monitoring Framework. Pure Harvest Farms is a greenhouse system that allows year-round production of affordable, quality fresh fruits and vegetables. Eng. Congratulations to our Finalists, who were selected from over 400+ submissions from all over the world! He was the Director General at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority from 2006-2017 and Vice-Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Security Center from 2011-2017. Now more than ever, they recognize the importance of food security and the necessity to achieve self-sufficiency in food. Nicole’s mission is to leverage the power of the Internet-of-Things to contribute to improving the way we produce and consume our food, design our cities and look after our health and the environment. 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. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? Countries like the UAE are investing in agtech innovation to improve food security, and the GCC is increasingly working together with stakeholders in the UK to tackle regional resource scarcity challenges. Jones Food Company is an automated sustainable vertical farm driven by AI. 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. It draws on the active engagement of these eminent experts in discussions over multiple meetings as well as an overview paper and think pieces commissioned by the E15Initiative and authored by group members. Prior to joining ADIO, His Excellency held leadership roles at various institutions including Emirates NBD, Mubadala and Citibank. In 2013, Stuart founded Alesca Life, an agricultural technology company that builds indoor, vertical farms and farm digitization solutions to modernize the agricultural supply chain. Dr. Dino Francescutti Motis is the Sub-regional Coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and Yemen and also the FAO Representative in the United Arab Emirates. Everfresh’s technology uses a sprayable chitosan-based formulation, which provides a protective, edible coating for agriculture produce while recycling seafood waste. He received his B.A. Romain Olliver, the co-founder of Farmbox, a Dubai-based food delivery service, discusses the company's tenfold increase in orders as more customers shop online. His career began as a System Integration Engineer at Motorola, before advancing to become a Technical Release Manager for Motorola’s iDEN Group until 2004. DUBAI // The UAE will be able to feed itself in the future only by ensuring a diversification of the sources of its food. What does it take to build a vertical farm? Current research interests include application of green technology to design biopolymers with dairy proteins and/or phyto-compound mixtures to fortify foods with bioactives and nutrients in model dairy/plant-based food systems. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when we start accepting submissions. Previously a banker with HSBC, Abdulaziz holds a BA from University of Pennsylvania and MBA from Wharton. Sandy soil (75%) has low nutrient retention and requires large quantities of irrigation water to cultivate, Salty soil (8%) affects the plant’s uptake of nutrients and has reduced microbiological activity important for plant growth compared to other types of soil, The remaining 10% are other types of soil not suited for agriculture. 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). Since that time she has worked to help others spearhead agriculture projects. We are excited by the opportunity to contribute towards solving one of the major food security challenges in The Middle East region and globally. on Agriculture, Trade and Food Security Challenges. "Aquaculture is a core component of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy," asserted Mariam Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, while launching the UAE Aquaculture Pulse 2020 – a document set to serve as a reference point, outlining and evaluating investment opportunities in the local aquaculture sector. FoodTech Challenge | All rights reserved. She is also working on modular farming systems that integrate agriculture with aquaculture utilizing low-quality water resources such as the reject brine from desalination incorporating halophytes too. Page 2 of 7 Despite the extreme scarcity of water and agricultural resources, the UAE is by many measures comfortably food secure. Editor’s note: Rabiya Jaffery wrote this … Al Shuraiqi also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Parliamentary Union and member of the Federal National Council (2007-2015). Our Finalist Teams are hard at work refining their pitch presentations with their mentors in preparation for the final Awards Ceremony. : Prior to EKFC, Kieran was the Director of Procurement at the Tourism Development Investment Company (TDIC), an Abu Dhabi Government entity, delivering tourism assets within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, including Sir Bani Yas Island and Saadiyat Island, home of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. 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. Al Shuraiqi’s professional experience spans over 35 years. Identify food security gaps and needs first by using food security assessment tools, then incorporate this information by using a food security lens to inform value chain selection and analysis. The UAE faces significant challenges to producing food domestically. Dubai has turned to technology to bolster food security in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. After receiving his MSc degree in horticultural science from the university of Bologna, Georg joined BayWa AG, a German-based conglomerate and global leader in agriculture, energy and construction. The country was ranked 30 th in the world on the Economist’s recent Global Food Security Index. Coinciding with these research interests is the application of new systems of protected agriculture to developing agricultural programs throughout the world. The insights and experience Kieren has gained from managing complex, diverse interactions and interests have qualified him to support, influence and lead internal and external change management projects that provide sustainable business improvements. An entrepreneurial technologist specializing in leading global teams, since 2010 Ramesh has led the focus on innovation and entrepreneurship at NYU Abu Dhabi. Full-text available. 3. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of participants, judges, partners, attendees and staff, the awards ceremony will be held as a virtual event. Ms. Semedo has previously been an FAO Representative in Niger; Deputy Regional Representative for Africa; Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa; Cape Verde Secretary of State for Fisheries; Minister for Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Affairs; Minister for Tourism, Transportation and Marine Affairs and her country's first female Member of Parliament. Could you tell us something unique about your team that makes you a strong contender to be in the Top 4 winners? A Saudi national and qualified industrial engineer, Omar began his career in the financial and engineering industries in Saudi Arabia, before following his entrepreneurial passion. The UAE FoodTech challenge has announced the selection of 12 finalists who are competing for a considerable share of a $1 million prize pool, by demonstrating commercially viable solutions to support the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy. She was recently awarded the Woman in Solar of the Year 2019 by Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA). Long-term food security and self-sufficiency are key Our team will use the prize proceeds to fund much-needed research & development activities on our farm. 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. To stay up to date with the FoodTech Challenge, sign up to our newsletter, © Post exiting these companies, Cinar currently leads Catalyst, a Masdar-BP initiative, which is the first startup accelerator focused on sustainability in the MENA region, funding in the following fields: Clean & Renewable Technologies, Energy Storage Solutions, Harvesting, Efficiency & Optimization, Waste Transformation & Food Security Technologies, Biomechatronics, Smart City & Living, Sustainable Building Material Science, Predictive Analysis & Maintenance, E-Mobility & Efficient Logistics and Agro Tech. As part of these projects, ADAFSA has awarded five investment projects to four major local companies and a veterinary clinic to build on the emirate’s rapidly growing agricultural value chain with long-term Musataha agreement for periods of up to 30 years. in Agricultural Economics from the USA and a B.Sc. Currently she is the Vice Chair of the Association for the Farm Tech Society (FTS) an international non-profit industry association that unites and supports the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry, seeking to strengthen the sector through the development and implementation of resilient and future proof methods and technologies for indoor growing. Merle Jensen has devoted his career to controlled environment agriculture, designing intensive food production systems ranging in application from Spaceship Earth to Planet Mars. UAE firms sign agriculture deals in Israel as pact approved October 19, 2020 - by Reuters, by Lisa Barrington & Andrew Heavens Farmers and investors are hesitant to integrate production technology due to limited training and advisory services, 7. How about a food waste monitoring system? 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. Waste management: Converting food waste into commercial opportunities such as biofuels and fertilizers remains an emerging market with a few players (e.g., Dubai Carbon, Imdaad, and Etihad), Despite strong policy interventions, the UAE is consistently ranked as one of the top producers of food waste, Federal and emirate-level laws and regulations focus on agricultural operations, food safety, water use, and food standards; whereas food waste laws and regulations are limited. Fatima was also involved in the Masdar Eco-Bus; the first electric bus developed in the UAE and tailored to the country’s climate. Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE’s Minister of State for Food and Water Security, officially opened the "Agricultural Entrepreneurship Forum" organised by the Ajman Business Women Council. The initiative was launched collaboratively by the UAE Food Security Office and Tamkeen in September 2019. The initial investment will be mainly used to rent the facility, acquire equipment, pay operating expenses, conduct further R&D. Fatima also supported the BD&I team covering the Americas and West Europe, where she contributed to in-depth due diligence analyses investigating and vetting investment opportunities, primarily for brownfield renewable energy projects. Everfresh team also seeks to contribute a specific percentage of the award money for charity purposes, particularly helping cancer patients. 5. Stuart previously worked in the investment banking division of Merrill Lynch Japan Securities and the global emerging markets business development team at Dell China. Khalifa Port strengthens UAE food security via new facility. The Global Food Technology Challenge aims to use advanced technologies and efficient tools and techniques to overcome the challenges of the agricultural sector and achieve sustainable food production in the UAE. In Everfresh, we utilize the main building block that nature has developed as protective barrier against a multitude of organisms. We aim to promote sustainability practices through the application of our technology to agriculture produce. Adoption of food waste management policy and technology has been slow. Fatima holds a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering from the University of Sharjah. Our biggest motivation is to join the fight against food loss and waste. Only 7% of soil (~490k hectares) is rich in gypsum and lime and has suitable properties for agriculture use. Additionally, with populations becoming more affluent worldwide, middle-class per capita food … By 2030 sources of its food Middle East sector, we have been especially encouraged to apply Professor... Up to our newsletter to be notified when we start accepting submissions Leaders of Saudi ’. 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