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Food Innovation Conference 2024 kicks off in Dubai with 150 global experts

Food Innovation Conference 2024 kicks off in Dubai with 150 global experts
13 May 2024 22:23


The Food Innovation Conference 2024, organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, kicked off in Dubai today under the theme ‘Reimagining Future Food Systems’.

The three-day conference brings together more than 150 global experts, academics, innovators, public and private businesses, and farmers.

The aim is to create innovative solutions for food sustainability and develop plans that expand agricultural and food systems innovation and investment.

Additionally, it seeks to accelerate knowledge exchange, learning, and capacity building, as well as deepen collaboration between researchers, entrepreneurs, and the public and private sectors in support of resilient, inclusive, and sustainable food systems.

The premier event strives to mobilise global efforts and drive urgent action to transform food systems, as well as develop strategies that safeguard food system security while protecting the planet.

Moreover, it aims to unify the efforts of the public and private sectors, multilateral organisations, and food system stakeholders to scale frontier technology solutions in food systems.

The conference extends the partnership between MBRGI and WEF.

In 2022, the two parties collaborated to establish the Food Innovation Hubs Global Initiative and to set up the Food Innovation Hub UAE in December of last year.

Other hubs are under development in Colombia, India, Kenya, Europe, and Vietnam.

The Food Innovation Conference 2024 was inaugurated with a welcome dinner and an immersive experience in the presence of Her Excellency Dr. Amna Al Dahak, Minister of Environment and Climate Change; Saeed Al Eter, Assistant Secretary General of MBRGI; Tania Strauss, Head of Food and Water, WEF; and the World Food Programme (WFP) Chef Advocate Asma Khan.

Al Dahak said she hoped the global event would help achieve food security in countries, especially those most affected by climate change, crises, and rapid economic transformations, through an accelerated adoption of Artificial Intelligence and the Fourth Industrial Revolution applications.

Furthermore, she stressed that the event reflects the UAE’s future foresight philosophy and embodies the country’s commitment to supporting international efforts in addressing food security as one of the major challenges facing humanity.

She also highlighted the UAE’s keenness to deepen cooperation with various countries and international organisations in finding innovative solutions for securing new food sources.

Al Dahak noted that the conference presents an ideal opportunity to foster connections among innovators, investors, public and private sectors, civil society, and farmers to accelerate food and agricultural systems innovation.

She praised the partnership between the MBRGI and WEF in contributing to enhancing research and development in the food sector.

Al Eter said the Food Innovation Conference 2024 is an extension of the collaboration between MBRGI and WEF, with both parties aiming to help create innovative solutions in food systems.

This makes the conference a vital platform for exchanging knowledge and ideas, as well as establishing a vision based on collective action to confront food production challenges and the risks of hunger.

He stressed the role of the conference in bringing together global experts, academics, and innovators to discuss harnessing resources and innovations in the food sector to aid less fortunate communities worldwide.

Head of Food and Water, World Economic Forum, Tania Strauss, said, “In support of global goals to achieve food security, zero hunger and combat climate, the World Economic Forum is proud to partner with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) for the premier Food Innovation Conference event, a key milestone of the Food Innovation Hubs Global Initiative.”

"Through six country-led hubs and a Food Innovators Network, the initiative is working to accelerate fit-for-purpose technology and innovations to secure a positive food future. Our efforts are not just about addressing immediate challenges, but about forging enduring solutions that transcend borders," she added.

"Working alongside the leadership of the UAE on this landmark occasion, we advance collective action across all sectors to harness the power of innovation for inclusive and people-centered solutions,” she pointed out.

Asma Khan of WFP said, “We all have a stake in the well-being of the planet, and we need to take ownership of the food system and work in partnership with other stakeholders to make a difference.”

Participants of the first day of the conference were introduced to organic and environment friendly food products, innovative concepts related to food production, local ingredients, and low waste food.

The second day of the conference will feature the opening session titled ‘Innovating with purpose for a positive food future.’

Through the panel discussion, participants will share their insights on the role of emerging technology and innovation in food systems transformation.

Another session titled ‘Advancing global frontier innovations’ will take place before the closing plenary titled ‘Reimagining future food systems.’

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