Competitions

AGROBIODIVERSITY INNOVATION CHALLENGE 2021

Apply for the Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge

Deadline: 30 September 2021

Innovators who aim to mainstream agrobiodiversity solutions into the agri-food sector are welcome to submit applications to the Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge.

The challenge seeks to support innovators who are working on new products, services, and best practices that utilize agrobiodiversity to transform food systems. It will convene the top innovations that are helping to use, conserve and consume agrobiodiversity in ways that are kinder to people and the environment.

The competition is being held in conjunction with the 2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress, 15-18 November 2021. The free, global virtual event will bring together farmers, technical experts, policymakers, and business leaders from around the world to discuss and advance agrobiodiversity. 

The challenge is open to individual founders, private companies, and institutions. Submissions should help address challenges in different interest areas. Submissions will be accepted until 30 September 2021.

Selected innovations will be awarded cash prizes, mentoring, and partnerships opportunities. Successful innovations will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to IFAD’s country teams.

The Second Agrobiodiversity Congress is organized by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, with the support of the Italian Government and in partnership with CIHEAM Bari, IFAD, the Italian Institute of Technology, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture Business Incubation Platform, Rockstart, and The Lexicon. IFAD is leading the Innovation Challenge and will fund winning solutions.

Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge: Call for innovative solutions in the agri-food tech space

The Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge is seeking innovators driven by a passion for solving challenges in the agri-food sector by utilizing or conserving agrobiodiversity.

As part of the 2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress, November 15-18, 2021, in Rome, the Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge will recognize new products, services, and best practices that can help farmers, consumers, and food companies increase production effectiveness, competitiveness, and resilience while conserving agrobiodiversity.

In an open innovation approach, the Innovation Challenge aims to: 

  • Connect different actors motivated to improve global and community-based food systems
  • Attract and support innovators to scale up their solutions through a long-term research and development collaboration with CGIAR and its partners 
  • Identify innovators who could help advance research by sharing ideas and solutions 

Disruptive innovators will have an opportunity to pitch their solutions to transform food systems through the use and conservation of agrobiodiversity and to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The challenge will highlight leading innovations that are helping to use, conserve, and consume agrobiodiversity in ways that are better for people and for the environment.

Solutions should have the potential to:

  • Boost food production, consumption, and nutritional security
  • Promote women’s engagement, entrepreneurship, as well as youth-led exercises 
  • Promote Public-Private-Partnerships to link formal and informal sectors for sustainable intensification leading to livelihood and environmental benefits
  • Accelerate rural adoption using mobile applications that boost nature-based solutions to improve sustainability, profits for growers, and consumer health
  • Leverage technological innovations with biodiversity-sensitive potential for producers, their communities, and consumers
  • Close the gap between breeding outcomes and commercial delivery of quality certified seeds to farmers

Prizes and benefits:

In addition to increased visibility, recognition, and networking opportunities with leading industry players, investors, and scientific experts, 10 shortlisted candidates will receive a place on the Congress website and an invitation to participate in the Virtual Pitch Day Competition on Monday, November 15th. 

Following the Pitch Day Competition, selected winners will be awarded cash prizes, mentoring and training, partnerships, scientific and technology guidance, or tuition for a master’s program.

The competition is open to individual founders, private companies, and institutions. Learn more.

Deadline for applications: 30 September 2021.

For further information, please contact innovations@cgiar.org

The Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge is an initiative organized with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with CIHEAM Bari, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) , Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) BiP, Rockstart, The Lexicon and the Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP).

More information and how to apply

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Also check> WFP Innovation Challenge 2021 – Apply to receive up to US $100,000 in equity-free funding

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