The World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator and Cargill announce a call for applications for the Global Innovation Challenge for Zero Hunger, running from 4 to 28 February 2019. The idea is for start-ups, private companies and NGOs to submit bold solutions that can sustainably lift people out of hunger.
The Global Innovation Challenge for Zero Hunger is looking for proposals that could transform the lives of smallholder farmers and small-scale livestock producers, reach a step change in food systems or increase the effectiveness of emergency response. From mobile applications to artificial intelligence, post-harvest loss prevention to new cultivation techniques, the challenge is seeking low- and high-tech solutions, business model innovations and more.
Selected teams will participate in a joint bootcamp at the WFP Innovation Accelerator from 13 to 17 May 2019 in Munich, Germany, where they will tackle field-level challenges and refine project plans with the hands-on support of industry experts and partners including Cargill leaders. Teams will also get a chance to receive up to US$100,000 in equity-free funding and access to a global network to test the solution’s impact and scalability in the field.
Teams applying to the challenge must:
- be a registered company, with a for-profit or not-for-profit designation,
- have a minimum viable product, and
- show initial evidence of their solution, such as results of user research or initial tests of their prototypes.
Cargill has committed US$550,000 in support of the WFP Innovation Accelerator, which is specifically designed to identify, nurture and scale bold solutions to achieve zero hunger.
“At Cargill, we invest in innovation to solve some of the greatest food and sustainability challenges of our time,” said Cargill chairman and CEO David MacLennan. “This includes collaborating with tech start-ups who bring an agile and entrepreneurial approach needed to quickly inspire change. We’re proud to partner with the WFP on a program dedicated to identifying and creating solutions to feed the world and evolve our global food and agricultural systems.
David Beasley, executive director of WFP, said: “The world is never going to be fully at peace without ending hunger. It is a critical problem for every organization with a global interest, no matter what sector. We will never address this problem and solve it by the United Nations alone, nor by governments alone. The only way we will solve this is by the private sector being integrally engaged and involved. This is why we need to step it up to another level and be even more creative and innovative together.
This new collaboration builds upon several other programs Cargill and WFP have jointly launched since the partnership began in 2001. To date, Cargill has provided more than US$12 million to WFP to improve the health and nutrition of people in need around the globe, with an emphasis on developing countries.
The deadline for applications is 28 February 2019. Teams can apply on the website of the WFP Innovation Accelerator: innovation.wfp.org/apply.