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UAE FoodTech Challenge to close with $1 million prize pool awards ceremony

The FoodTech Challenge, a global search for innovative and commercially viable solutions that address the need for more sustainable food production practices in the UAE, will come to a close with an awards ceremony held virtually on November 17-18, 2020.

Launched in September 2019 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the FoodTech Challenge is a joint initiative by the UAE Food and Water Security Office and Tamkeen, an Abu Dhabi-based company mandated to deliver projects to meet the UAE’s vision of knowledge-based development.

Created to enhance the UAE’s self-sufficiency at the national, community, and household levels, the FoodTech Challenge saw participation by over 400 applicants from more than 60 countries across the globe.

Following a series of mentorship sessions that paired each of the twelve finalists with one of the FoodTech Challenge’s expert judges, four winning teams will take away prizes from a $1 million prize pool, which includes $100,000 in cash and the eligibility to participate in the Abu Dhabi-based Catalyst Accelerator Programme, which provides up to $150,000 in seed funding.

The virtual pitch competition will take place in front of a panel of global experts from the food tech industry, who will evaluate the proposals against a set of key criteria including use of technology, sustainability, and commercial viability.

“The FoodTech Challenge was conceived to show how agritech can play a vital role in helping the UAE meet its food security targets by promoting a certain degree of self-sufficiency. When we launched the challenge over a year ago, we could never have anticipated the situation we find ourselves in today. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on global food chains has reiterated the need for us to reduce our reliance on net food imports and to find new ways of producing food, with technology-enabled home farming being one particular area of promise. The challenge’s awards ceremony next month could not come at a more significant time,” says Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security.

Joined by university students, academics, and experts from across the global agtech ecosystem, the FoodTech Challenge awards ceremony will feature a series of panel discussions, interactive workshops, live Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities.

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