In the second article in our mid-year series, we turn our focus to collaboration in food innovation. Here at FoodNiche, we are firm believers in the power and importance of the collaborative effort of all key stakeholders to drive food innovation. It takes broad-based cooperation across the spectrum to create a healthier, sustainable food future. As Bill Gates pointed out in his book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, “the food system is one of the most important areas where we need to collaborate. We need to find ways to produce more food, while using fewer resources and reducing our impact on the environment. This is a challenge that we can only solve by working together.”

These synergies take many forms and are valuable at every point in the supply chain. Increasingly, food stakeholders are joining forces – public and private sector, industry and academia, established brands and startups – for the greater good. It’s truly a case of the whole being significantly greater than the sum of the parts. 

One area of growing collaboration is in the alternative protein space. Several established CPG and meat brands have established a stake in alternative proteins through direct investment and partnerships as shown in the chart from Good Food Institute.  

Source: Good Food Institute

Precision Fermentation Alliance formed in Q1 2023

The Precision Fermentation Alliance (PFA), a brainchild of nine leading startups in the precision fermentation field, was established in February 2023 to collectively unlock the potential of this technology for alternative protein production. The alliance is made up of scientists, nutritionists, entrepreneurs and educators from the participating companies bound together by a mission to accelerate the understanding of and advocate for the use of precision fermentation to develop a more resilient, equitable and sustainable food future for humans and the planet. Founding members of the PFA are Change Foods, The Every Co., Helaina, Imagindairy, Motif FoodWorks, New Culture, Onego Bio, Perfect Day and Remilk.

$1M Seeding the Future Global Food System Challenge 

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is hosting the third annual Seeding the Future Global Food System Challenge. The Challenge, funded by the Seeding the Future Foundation, fosters innovation at all levels ranging from idea generation to development and scale-up. Participants have a chance to win a share of the $1M total award. 

Participation is open to scientists, engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs  and multidisciplinary teams from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profits, social enterprises, universities, research institutions as well as small and emerging for- profit enterprises working on game-changing innovations that will help transform the food system.

“Transformational change is urgently needed to create food systems that improve the health of people and the planet. All game-changing innovations begin with seeds of ideas which need support to grow and become impactful. This is the foundation the Challenge is built on. We are excited and look forward to the highly impactful entries we receive for this year’s Challenge,” said Bernhard van Lengerich, founder of Seeding The Future Foundation.

The Challenge is focused on high-impact, scalable innovations in one of the following intersecting domains: nutritious food for a healthy diet; sustainably produced; and accessible, appealing, affordable, and trusted by consumers. Visit the IFT website to learn more about the challenge and submit an application before the August 1 deadline.

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