The fourth edition of Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit, the most important international event dedicated to Food Innovation, was presented today in Rome at the Farnesina. In attendance at the participation were Vincenzo De Luca, Director General for International Promotion, Culture and Innovation; Kostas Stamoulis, Assistant Director-General, FAO; Alan Rizzi, Undersecretary for the presidency of the regional council, Lombardy Region; Diana Battaggia, Director of UNIDO ITPO Italy; Giorgio Marrapodi Director General for Development Cooperation; Marco Gualtieri, President and Founder of Seeds&Chips; Livia Pomodoro, President of the Milan Center for Food Law and Policy; HRH Princess Viktoria de Bourbon de Parme, advocate for the participation of young farmers at Seeds&Chips; Francesco Loreto, Director of DISBA – CNR; Massimiliano Costa, Director of ShareTheMeal, the first app developed by World Food Programme to fight global hunger; and Harald Cosenza, CEO of Robonica.
Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit, will take place from May 7-10 at MiCo- Milano Congressi. Over four days, conference sessions and meetings will be held on a diverse range of themes related to food and innovation, from climate change to robotics, from e-commerce to precision agriculture, and from food waste to circular economy, with many more topics to be featured. There will be an exhibition hall featuring startups, companies and incubators who will present their projects to visitors, and more than 200 speakers from around the world including investors and policy makers who will discuss the major challenges facing the planet.
This year’s Summit has placed particular focus on the subject of water, which stands as one of the greatest global challenges in the coming years. Seeds&Chips began this focus with the WaterFirst! Initiative, which launched a Call for Ideas in November 2017 for innovative projects in water conservation and management. The initiative, in collaboration with UNIDO ITPO Italy (the Office for the Promotion of Technology and Investments of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization), the National Research Council (CNR) and the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), was aimed at innovators from around the world working on the sustainable use of water.
The competition received 65 submissions from 23 countries and 4 continents, and of the final 30 projects, 5 will be awarded a “hospitality” contribution for the trip and accommodation in Milan during the Summit. The top project will win a 10,000 euro prize dedicated to Ambassador Giorgio Giacomelli, a Milanese diplomat and honorary member of the UN Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, who passed away last year.
The nation of The Netherlands is a partner for the forthcoming edition of The Global Food Innovation Summit, with the participation of HRH Princess Viktoria de Bourbon de Parme who will collaborate on a series of farming related initiatives with Seeds&Chips. The project focuses on assisting farmers in developing countries in the use of innovative technologies to bolster their living and working conditions, as 80% of the world’s food is produced by family farmers, most of which live in severe poverty.
To ensure food security and to continue to feed the global population, we need a new generation of farmers who can take advantage of the most innovative technologies to achieve sustainable economic, social and environmental development. At the May 8th session, young farmers from Honduras, Senegal, Algeria and India will participate in the Summit along with Carola Schouten, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture of the Netherlands and Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD.
HRH Princess Viktoria de Bourbon de Parme stated, “I am excited about this collaboration with Seeds&Chips as it is a unique opportunity to connect the network of small farmers in developing countries with young innovators who will participate in the fourth edition of the Summit. Working together, we can help limit hunger in the world and transform the global food system in a sustainable way. “
This year a number of startups, companies and incubators from all over the world will bring their products to display, and will discuss how technological innovation is the keystone for defining a sustainable and accessible food universe.
Some of the most interesting startups in the world of food innovation will be present such as Ambrosus Technologies GmbH, an open source blockchain ecosystem from Switzerland that guarantees quality and safety for food and pharmaceutical products; Algama, a French company that produces micro algae, one of the superfoods of the future; Desolenator, water purifier through an innovative distillation process, from the Netherlands; LeanPath, the leading global provider of integrated hardware and software solutions for culinary institutions, from the US; Beyond Meat, maker of a revolutionary burger made of vegetable proteins that perfectly mimics meat; Apeel Sciences, a technological and environmental leader in the agricultural sector; Dishq, an Indian company which uses food science and data to understand and predict taste preference; Italian company Tannico, the largest online wine store; Taste Srl – Vinhood, another Italian startup dedicated to wine; and Robonica, producer of smart greenhouses with a fully automated home-grown hydroponics system. In total, over 100 startups and companies will be exhibiting their latest innovations.
Seeds&Chips has always paid particular attention to the part that young people have to play in the future of food, and each session will have at least one speaker under 30 years old. In addition, each session will be opened with remarks from a Teenovator, a young person between 13 and 19 years old who is particularly engaged in food innovation and plays a leading role in the food revolution through their actions.
This year, there will be a number of innovative formats at The Global Food Innovation Summit, such as GiveMe5! Where young innovators will have the opportunity for 5 minutes of one-to-one time with a global leader where they can present their projects, ask questions, or gain inspiration for their future. Among the leaders giving their 5 minutes this year are: Howard Schultz, John F. Kerry, Nathan Myhrvold, Kerry Kennedy, Sam Kass, and Adrian Percy, Head of Research & Development at Bayer Crop Science.
The Summit also organizes the Big Brother Innovation Program, a format dedicated to “scouting” innovative startup projects by leading companies in the food industry. The Big Brother Innovation Program gives innovators as well as large companies the chance to meet and discuss ideas, as an important opportunity to advance CSR.
Finally, on May 10th, the Seeds&Chips Awards will be presented to the most innovative projects present during the course of the Summit.
A number of expert scientific advisors will also be present at the Summit to support the many startups in attendance, including representatives from the National Agency for New Technology, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), and the National Research Council (CNR)
This year’s edition of the Summit is also under the patronage of the European Commission, the Ministry of Environment and Protection of Territory and Sea, Lombardy Region, the City of Milano, Ismea, and the World Food Program (WFP) Italia. WFP will also be promoting ShareTheMeal, its mobile-first fundraising app that allows users to donate a meal to a child in need with a simple tap on their smartphones. Part of the revenue from ticket sales to the Summit will be donated to support WFP’s emergency food assistance programmes in Northeast Nigeria.