Submit Applications for 2021 WFP Innovation Challenge

Grant Size: $10,000 to $100,000 Deadline Date – 31-May-2021

Eligible Countries: Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia And Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo (Brazzaville) Congo DR Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote DIvoire (Ivory Coast) Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island And Mcdonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong SAR Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle Of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati South Korea North Korea Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Federated States Of Moldova Republic Of Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Burma(Myanmar) Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territories Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts And Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre And Miquelon Saint Vincent And The Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome And Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia And Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovak Republic Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard And Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand East Timor (Timor-Leste) Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad And Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks And Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States United States Minor Outlying Islands Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Viet Nam British Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands Wallis And Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Montenegro Saint Barthélemy Serbia Kosovo South Sudan

The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched the WFP Innovation Challenge 2021 in search of game-changing ideas to build stronger, more sustainable food systems addressing hunger, and in preparation for the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit.

WFP is looking for disruptive innovations for fighting hunger in areas such as resilience to shocks and stress; access to safe and nutritious food; and advancing equitable livelihoods for all.

Priorities

WFP’s current innovation priorities are listed here. They also encourage strong “wildcard ideas” to apply.

  • Resilient Food Systems: Improving the resilience of food systems is key to eradicating hunger. They are looking for solutions that enable communities to better resist and recover from the effects of conflict, natural hazards, pandemics, political instability and other shocks and stressors that drive food security in the long term. These solutions should have the potential to:
    • Enable home grown school feeding initiatives that will improve the nutrition of schoolchildren and boost local economies; 
    • Enhance the resilience in shock-prone areas by helping stabilize prices, build safety nets for temporary assistance, and boost national social protection systems; 
    • Enable preventative actions for compounded risks and multiple shocks through early warning systems; 
    • Accelerate the rural transformation and reach households at the last mile leveraging e-commerce ecosystems; 
    • Promote women’s tenure rights to own and control assets; 
    • Enable smallholder farmers’ access to credit with climate risk profiling (e.g. using artificial intelligence to predict weather patterns, agricultural best practice, etc.) to de-risk credit guarantee schemes; 
    • Enable sustainable water management solutions to maximise the value of water for agricultural use; 
    • Foster clean energy technologies to power value chains; 
    • Increase private sector investment in sustainable development, including through blended financing mechanisms to support small projects.
  • Safe and Nutritious Food Systems: To end hunger and all forms of malnutrition, they need food systems that bring affordable and safe food products to all people. They are looking for solutions that increase the availability of nutritious food, making food more affordable and accessible. These solutions should have the potential to:
    • Enable and expand the coverage of nutritious-sensitive social protection systems for food-insecure communities; 
    • Address micronutrients deficiencies in women and children; 
    • Enable biofortified crops such as naturally bred staple crops that have higher vitamin and mineral content than standard staples; 
    • Promote the implementation of comprehensive school food programmes (e.g. web-based school menu tools, artificial intelligence-powered tools to predict the attendance of students at school to ensure every child receives the food they need, etc.); 
    • Enhance nutrient intake of households by helping them plan their meals based on the availability of food in local markets, price constraints, dietary preferences, local food culture; 
    • Employ new affordable finished foods (that are not patented or subject to proprietary restrictions) that afford a balanced nutritional profile covering multiple vitamins and minerals, a shelf life of 12 months, and are stable at 30 C / 65% RH.
  • Inclusive Food Systems: Building food systems where no one is left behind will bring them a step closer to a world free from hunger. They are looking to support solutions that promote equitable livelihoods for all by empowering smallholder farmers and local producers and bringing food and income-generating activities to communities at the last mile. These solutions should have the potential to:
    • Promote women-led enterprises to grow and sell nutritious crops; 
    • Support small-scale farmers to raise productivity; 
    • Bridge the digital divide and increase access to information and services for smallholder farmers; 
    • Facilitate and promote local food production; 
    • Enable financial inclusion for vulnerable communities in rural areas; 
    • Streamline social protection mechanisms across agri-food systems and related sectors; 
    • Generate and promote living incomes and wages in value chains for small-scale farmers and agricultural workers.

Benefits

  • Funding: Apply to receive up to $100,000 in equity-free funding, with further funding dependent upon progress and measurable achievement of key targets.
  • Access to WFP Operations: Successful teams will work with WFP units on the ground to further develop and refine their solutions.
  • Hands-On Support: You’ll have the chance to work with technical and industry mentors who will provide guidance and accelerate your progress.
  • Networking: Teams will be able to tap into and leverage the strong network of public, private, and government partners to accelerate implementation.

Eligibility Criteria

  • If you are a start-up:
    • Your start-up must be incorporated at the time of application. It can be for profit or not-for-profit.
    • Your innovation must at least be at the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage. Proof-of-concept and initial traction is preferred.
    • Your solution should be financially viable.
    • Your proposal must show how working with WFP will serve your long-term strategy.
  • If you are a WFP employee:
    • Your team must have evidence of Country Office support and management buy-in.
    • You are encouraged to apply, regardless of your contract type or function.
    • They accept project applications from WFP employees who are collaborating with NGOs, government or private sectors.

For more information, visit https://innovation.wfp.org/apply

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