ROME, 6 February 2019 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Italy (UNIDO ITPO Italy) and the Future Food Institute (FFI) today launched the third edition of the international award contest, "Innovative Ideas and Technologies in Agribusiness”.
The contest aims to identify the most innovative and sustainable solutions that could lead to social, environmental and economic benefits in the agriculture and agro-industry sectors in developing countries: from production to processing and to the preservation of food; from logistics to consumption; and from the responsible management of surpluses to the agriculture, energy and environment nexus.
"The countries we target provide interesting market opportunities and this award is part of our inclusive and sustainable industrial development strategy," said Diana Battaggia, Head of UNIDO ITPO Italy, which works to enhance the competitiveness of small to medium-sized enterprises in developing countries by facilitating the transfer of technologies and the mobilization of investments.
This year’s edition of the award is a joint endeavor together with the FFI, which focuses on the promotion of innovation in the field of nutrition. "With UNIDO ITPO Italy, we are inaugurating a 2019 contest that will lead to our global involvement in projects of study, research, innovation and advocacy, on issues of sustainable development, with a special focus on the effects of food production and our lifestyles on climate change," said FFI representative Sara Roversi.
Participation in the contest is open to startups and companies, researchers and universities, research and technology transfer centres, associations and NGOs from all over the world. Applications must be submitted by 31 March 2019 through a dedicated website.
The proposals will be evaluated by a jury composed of experts from the agricultural, business and institutional sectors, representing, among others, the FFI, the Italian National Research Council (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – CNR) and Azimut.
“Our selections will be guided by the innovation’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, which were adopted by the United Nations. I firmly believe that they are all crucial and that missing them would be harmful to the future of our planet,” said Battaggia, coordinator of the jury.
There will be seven award categories, including for women and young people under 35 years, as well as for entries focusing on the food-climate-biodiversity nexus. A special prize will be given to the project which has the biggest potential impact for the future of agribusiness and for developing countries. UNIDO ITPO Italy will offer a package of services to the winners to support the implementation of their innovations.
The award ceremony will take place on 15 May 2019 in Rome, Italy, during the opening day of EXCO 2019 – the first international exhibition dedicated to the innovative solutions provided by the actors of development cooperation – which takes place simultaneously with the annual meeting of all the Development Cooperation Agencies of the European Union member countries.
During the two past editions of the International Award, organized in 2015 and 2017 in Milan, almost 500 applications were received from over 80 countries on 5 continents.