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). 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. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi is the Director General of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO). Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri was appointed as Minister of State for Food Security following the Cabinet reshuffle of October 2017. The project will be the world's largest urban rooftop vertical farm, built in the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. There are gaps in food handling throughout the supply chain, leading to food waste in all stages of production, 8. Khalifa University is in the process of developing an artificial soil that is made up of almost 90% desert sand with the aim of using it locally and eventually regionally by farmers. We believe we are unique in the vertical farming industry in this regard. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology? While the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is considered food secure due largely to its economic and political stability, it still must address food security challenges resulting from water scarcity, climate change, hot climate, and regional instability. 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. Currently, he leads the development of the FAO programme of work in several GCC States, in support of the food security strategies of member countries. 3. : Alesca's indoor farms and precision agriculture solutions have been deployed in the UAE, China, and Singapore and large-scale projects are under way in Saudi Arabia and South Africa. 4, No. Close to 200 food suppliers have pledged to cut their food waste in half by 2030. Farmers and investors are hesitant to integrate production technology due to limited training and advisory services, 7. Rising population. The UAE faces significant challenges to producing food domestically. In the UAE, food availability is a major challenge. 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. 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. 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. 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. Overall, while the UAE’s efforts to tackle its food dependence can boost the food security in the region and diversify its economy, the success of its strategies will depend on how it tackles the many challenges in a sustainable way. Our Finalist Teams are hard at work refining their pitch presentations with their mentors in preparation for the final Awards Ceremony. What is the biggest source of motivation for your team to work on this project? As a serial entrepreneur, he has founded several companies including KES Engineering based in Chicago (1997), dBKES Engineering Services (2000) and DEK Technology (2010) based in Istanbul, MGT Electronics based in Chicago (2007), and HAWK Technology based in Abu Dhabi (2011). FoodTech Challenge | All rights reserved. “Winnow Vision”, an AI-powered food technology company, installs smart cameras at hotels and restaurants that detect unpopular dishes being thrown away to inform future food purchases. A serial investor in disruptive technologies (Lyft, Indigo Ag, among others), he is dedicated to addressing the food security challenge. The hi-tech system spearheaded by Smart Dubai monitors the supply index, stock availability, local production, consumption levels, and the cost of vital commodities in the emirate. The majority of UAE’s water supply is from groundwater and desalinated water , resources that are becoming increasingly scarce or costly to produce: 4. Pests continue to spread and reduce post-harvest yields, and chemical pesticides have exacerbated the stress on agricultural land. He also oversees strategic initiatives that support the emirate’s economic growth and reputation on the world stage. 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. 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. In cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has developed a pipeline of investment projects worth AED1 billion for the private sector to enhance the food security and agricultural sustainability system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. With extensive experience both in academia and food industry as a strategic corporate leader overseeing safety, quality and innovation in the wine, dairy, pet food, bakery, liquid grocery manufacturing MNCs and their contract manufacturers. As establishing a framework of integrated and inclusive strategy, the UAE is looking to be a global innovation hub for food security. He was a member of the High-Level Panel of Experts for Food Security from 2015 to 2019, a founding member of the Arab Food Sovereignty Network, and a member of the Conflicts and Protracted Crisis Working Group of the Civil Society Mechanism of the Committee on Food Security and a member of the EAT-Lancet commission for sustainable diets from sustainable food systems. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, on Tuesday confirmed that the UAE food security is maintained and its … Research interests include programs in protected agriculture, the growing of horticultural crops out of season using agricultural plastics for modification of the microclimate. 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. He has written over 100 peer reviewed articles, books chapters and technical reports and has served as advisor to the minister of Agriculture in Lebanon. The Food Tech Challenge is a global competition that seeks to develop innovative solutions for food production and management in the UAE. The deal, in addition to three others, was made during a UAE business delegation visit to Israel. : 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. David serves as a Managing Trustee of the Liberty Science Center – a prominent U.S. interactive science museum and is on the Board of Directors of Aspire, the world leader in cricket protein. 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. 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. 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. He received his B.A. Eng. Danielle conducts extensive on-the-ground research, having traveled to more than 70 countries across the world to document what’s working to help alleviate hunger and poverty while protecting the environment. Fatima Al Suwaidi is an Analyst in the Business Development and Investment team in the Clean Energy division at Masdar, focusing on Asia and East Europe. What makes your team excited about your idea and food technology? She was recently awarded the Woman in Solar of the Year 2019 by Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA). Please subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when we start accepting submissions. Staff Reporter /Abu Dhabi email@example.com Filed on January 25, 2021 Signing of 50 … As founder and CEO of Badia Farms, Omar drives the business vision, with ambitious plans to lead the region’s agriculture industry. 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. Thank you for your interest in the FoodTech Challenge! Pure Harvest Farms is a greenhouse system that allows year-round production of affordable, quality fresh fruits and vegetables. on Agriculture, Trade and Food Security Challenges. Since our team began working in the agribusiness sector, we have been approached by senior political leadership from around the region. 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. A panel of experts will select the finalists entries, who will then be invited to present their business case in-person in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Previously, she was responsible for managing applied research and development projects in collaboration with local and international institutions. Ramesh holds 46 US patents and has invented a dry inkjet printing technology and a new atmospheric process for coating organic device quality thin films. Lastly, if you are selected as one of the four winners, how does your team plan to use the prize money? The UAE Government is working hard to ensure that all citizens and residents have access to safe, nutritious, sufficient, and affordable food at all times. The UAE faces significant challenges to producing food domestically. His Excellency holds a PhD in Economics from the Imperial College London, and graduate degrees from Columbia University and London Business School. 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. We are delighted to announce that the FoodTech Challenge Awards Ceremony will take place on 17-18 November 2020. Previously a banker with HSBC, Abdulaziz holds a BA from University of Pennsylvania and MBA from Wharton. We will update you as soon as these are confirmed, and we very much appreciate your patience. 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