LAUNCH: Food

Please note: The LAUNCH Food challenge deadline has been extended! Applications are now due on December 7, 2016 by 11:59pm PST. 

LAUNCH Food is a global call for innovators, entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs with big ideas for improving health outcomes by enabling people to make healthy food choices.  Join us!

There’s more to healthy eating than meets the eye. What people feed themselves and their families is driven not just by cultural norms and personal habits, but also by the range of food they’re able to access. This, in turn, is governed by issues of food security, trade, and more.

Increasingly, the quality and quantity of the world’s food supply is changing – and so is the way that people eat. The result is malnutrition and poor health in many communities across the world. Deep divisions in global food equity exacerbate this burden for poor and vulnerable populations. 

 

In partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and a broad cross-sector network of key opinion leaders and industry players, LAUNCH is taking a people-centred approach to action across the whole of the food system. This call for innovations was developed through consultation with industry, government, and civil society from the Pacific Islands, Australia, the United States, Europe, and beyond.

If you are working on an innovation that will contribute to improving health outcomes through the food system, we want to hear from you. Don’t be afraid to surprise us! If you’re working on a related solution in another field that could apply to this challenge, answer the call.

THE LAUNCH FOOD CHALLENGE | CHOICE [download full text]

LAUNCH Food is seeking solutions with the potential to transform food systems and the behaviours they drive to promote health and prosperity for all people while respecting the planet’s resources.  

In its first year, LAUNCH Food is calling for supply- or demand-side innovations that will ultimately impact people’s food choices, whether in the home, market, street, restaurant, or community.  We will support and accelerate a portfolio of solutions that address availability of and access to affordable, nutritious, desirable, and sustainable food, and solutions that promote people’s selection and consumption of more nutritious food.

Our network of experts and key players from across the food landscape will select top applications for participation in the LAUNCH Food experience. These solutions could take the form of products, programs, technologies, services, business and delivery models, alternative modes of production, financial instruments, or new development approaches.

CALL FOR INNOVATION

LAUNCH is looking for a balanced portfolio of innovations (game-changing early stage prototypes) and solutions (post-pilot solutions with the potential to scale within 2 years) that address supply, demand, or both, but offer impact at the level of an individual’s personal consumption. We are open to solutions that address any point in an individual’s life journey, from birth on.

To be considered for the LAUNCH Food challenge, your submission must address one or more of the bullets below.

Producing Food

We care about: Available, affordable, convenient, desirable and nutritious food.

We are seeking innovations and solutions that address:

  • Supply chain infrastructure and practices across the value chain (harvesting, storage, processing/ drying/ manufacturing, transport, marketing), including food wastage
  • Food and food technology
  • Production processes and efficiency
  • Models of economic incentivisation
  • Financial products or services that drive how and where food is produced
  • Nutrition-sensitive and climate smart agriculture, including horticulture, aquaculture, and livestock
  • Harnessing data to understand the supply of and demand for nutritious food
  • Growing more (and a more diverse range of) nutritious food
  • Decoupling price and quality so that nutritious food is not always the most expensive option

For example:

  • Does your innovation allow producers to ‘close the loop’ by repurposing unused food before it becomes waste?
  • Does your innovation use city planning to encourage urban farming?

Consuming Food

We care about: People making healthy food choices and building healthy eating habits.

We are seeking innovations and solutions that address:

  • Empowering and incentivising people to change their eating and feeding behaviour
  • Reinforcing positive and nutritious cultural and social practices
  • Educating around the needs of humans and the value of food
  • Improving people’s understanding of what is and is not healthy
  • Helping people make better food and feeding choices
  • Helping reinforce and reward good food and feeding choices
  • Food messaging and marketing; creative consumer engagement
  • Labeling and packaging
  • Using food data to drive understanding and behaviour change
  • Driving inclusivity in the wider food system
  • Remedying the disconnect between the consumer and the food value chain
  • Collective action toward policy-making via investment, ‘buying into’ change 

For example:

  • Does your innovation use gamification to incentivise healthy eating?
  • Does your innovation use big data to create transparent, comprehensive metrics that can be used to define and measure health?

In this cycle, LAUNCH is not seeking solutions that exclusively address utilisation (good hygiene, sanitation, or safe food handling) or emergency response.

AWARDS

Selected innovators will have the opportunity to present their innovation to members of the LAUNCH network at the LAUNCH Food Forum, to be held in March 2017. The Forum is a facilitated multi-day event connecting innovators with investment partners, market leaders, and technical experts as well as philanthropic, NGO, and public sector actors committed to accelerating the adoption and scale of solutions.

LAUNCH Food innovators will be mentored by the LAUNCH Food network to scale their technical capabilities and increase the impact of their innovations. This will include one-on-one mentorship, access to market partners, and facilitated opportunities for investment with LAUNCH partners and others.

While this LAUNCH cycle does not offer a cash prize, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s innovationXchange has allocated up to AUD $5 million to seed and scale some innovations sourced through LAUNCH Food.

Specifically, innovators will receive:

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to attend the LAUNCH Forum in March 2017 for one member of your team (venue to be confirmed).

  • Assistance with articulating a compelling narrative and growth strategy to create a concise, high-impact presentation, which will be streamed live during the Forum and recorded for future use.

  • Ongoing acceleration support, leveraging the LAUNCH network to unlock opportunities.

  • Public recognition from LAUNCH and its partner organisations.

  • Media and public relations training and exposure, including a professional video of your innovation story, which will be featured on LAUNCH.org.

  • Continued engagement with, and access to, the LAUNCH network beyond this challenge cycle.

No cash prize will be awarded.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Applications will be evaluated on:

  1. Potential for improving health outcomes
  2. Technical feasibility and practicality of use
  3. Pathway to scale
  4. Sustainability of the innovation/solution
  5. Evidence of potential for application in lower-income and underserved communities and/or developing markets and countries
  6. Strength of project team and leadership

For example:

  • Does your innovation deliver a triple bottom line: increasing producer incomes, improving nutrition and sustaining the environment?
  • Is your innovation capable of speaking to the illiterate, the poor, those with no schooling, and helping them make healthy choices?

LAUNCH is particularly motivated to support solutions that:

  1. Promote inclusion, gender equality, and women’s empowerment
  2. Are appropriate at the local level with the potential to scale regionally or globally
  3. Offer the potential to impact impoverished, disenfranchised and other vulnerable populations in developing markets, even if this was not the original purpose of the innovation
  4. Plan for a changing world (increasing occurrence and severity of natural disasters, water availability, population growth and changing population demographics, increased pressures on protein demand, increased need for food storage, increased need for sustainable fertilisers, need for improved price resilience, need for reduced food loss, changing funding landscape, increasing urbanisation, growing inequity, among others)
  5. Show a solid understanding of what comprises ‘good’ nutrition (bioavailable, nutrient rich, diverse diet, breast feeding, etc.) per FAO/WHO guidelines
  6. Improve the variety of food on the plate
  7. Acknowledge that eating is fundamentally a human experience, at turns social, nurturing, cultural, and necessary for survival
  8. Are mindful of the end consumer
  9. Shift the drivers and incentives that promote current poor health outcomes
  10. Promote the evolution of existing markets, or the development/expansion of new markets

ELIGIBILITY

The challenge is open for anyone to apply. Responses from academics, companies (small or large), entrepreneurs, inventors, non profit organisations, research institutions, national laboratories, government agencies, social enterprises and funders are welcome. Cross-discipline and cross-geography teams are highly encouraged to apply. ‘Innovations’ may be at the stage of functional prototype up to market-ready solutions. Applicants ready to be supported by industry partners or ready to scale will receive the most benefit from the LAUNCH experience.

FAQs

Q: Is there a cash prize associated with LAUNCH Food? 

A: There is no cash prize associated with LAUNCH Food. However, selected innovators will receive access to a network of key stakeholders across disciplines, sectors and industries who stand ready to accelerate the trajectory of their innovations into the marketplace. For example, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s innovationXchange has allocated up to AUD $5 million to seed and scale some innovations sourced through LAUNCH Food.

Q: What expenses will LAUNCH cover for innovators to attend the LAUNCH Food Forum?

A: LAUNCH will cover travel, lodging, food, and other necessities for one member of each team to attend the LAUNCH Food Forum.

Q: May I submit more than one application?

A: Applicants may submit more than one solution. However, solutions must not be substantially similar to a prior solution in a submission by the same applicant.

Q: Whom may I contact with questions regarding my application?

A: Email the LAUNCH Food team: foodchallenge@launch.org

Q: Can an organisation apply, rather than an individual?

A: Yes. Please assign an individual from your organisation to be the point of contact for LAUNCH Food. This person should also be available to attend the Forum if your innovation/solution is selected.

Q: What can I do if I have worked on an innovation/solution with multiple people and/or organisations?

A: Applicants must have the full support and permission of collaborators before applying to the LAUNCH Food challenge. Please nominate one individual to serve as lead contact for your LAUNCH Food application.

Q: Will I receive feedback from my application?

A: We are unable to offer feedback to all applicants. However, individual requests for feedback will be considered. Please contact foodchallenge@launch.org.

Q: How will I know if I have been successful or not?

A: You will be contacted directly by the LAUNCH Food team to notify you of the outcome of your application. Successful innovators will be announced publicly on February 1, 2016. (USA). Keep your eye on LAUNCH.org social media channels.

Q: Is there a downloadable (Microsoft Word) version of the application form?  

A: Yes. You can download a Microsoft Word version of the application form by clicking here.  

Q: My Internet connection is unreliable - is there another way to submit an application?

A: Yes. If you are unable to submit your application via the online portal, please download the Microsoft Word version of the application form (click here to download) and submit your application by email to foodchallenge@launch.org.

Q: What if I have questions about the application process?

A: For more detailed information on the LAUNCH Food application, please read our how-to-apply guide for innovators. If your question is not answered in the guide, please email us on foodchallenge@launch.org. Please note that our team will be available every Monday, from 3-4pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, and every Thursday from 9-10am Pacific Standard Time. Email foodchallenge@launch.org to book a timeslot.