LAUNCH Food is a global open innovation program for innovators, entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs with big ideas for improving health outcomes by enabling people to make healthy food choices.
How can we improve health outcomes by enabling people to make healthy food choices? In September, the LAUNCH team asked the world to answer that question. The LAUNCH Food challenge received 280 applications from 74 countries, and our panel of expert reviewers helped us choose the most promising innovations. Eleven Innovators were selected to participate in the LAUNCH Food program.
Meet our LAUNCH Food Innovators:
- Dipika Matthias: Coffee Flour is a nutritionally dense flour made from discarded coffee cherry pulp and skin.
Beverley Postma: HarvestPlus has developed staple food crops enriched to provide between 25% and 100% of daily requirements for vitamin A, iron, and zinc.
Jarrod Goldin: Entomo Farms makes high-quality protein products from sustainably farmed, free-range insects
Habib Saqib: Telenor Pakistan presents Telenor Mobile Agriculture, a customized mobile agriculture advisory and direct farmer-to-consumer eCommerce platform.
Joanna Kane-Potaka: From ICRISAT, Smart Food is a campaign to popularize food that is good for you, the planet, and the farmer-- starting with millets and sorghum.
Robert Oliver: The world-renowned chef will lead Pacific Island Food Revolution, a health education initiative tailored to audiences in the Pacific Islands that includes a reality TV format, multimedia, and creation of a social movement.
Bruce Neal: FoodSwitch is a program that helps shoppers choose better foods, industry make healthier products, and government set effective policies.
Kirsty Bayliss: From Murdoch University, Breaking the Mould is a plasma-based treatment that extends the life of fresh produce by delaying mould growth.
Jeremy Fryer-Biggs: Evaptainers is a robust, efficient, and low-cost refrigeration solution powered by only water and sunlight.
Marc Noyce and Brendan Condon: Foodwall is a modular, user-friendly, and extremely water-efficient urban food growing system.
Salah Sukkarieh: The University of Sydney has developed a data-driven digital platform connecting small-scale farmers to a global growing community while helping increase growing capacity.
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. Our Food challenge was developed through consultation with industry, government, and civil society from the Pacific Islands, Australia, the United States, Europe, and beyond.
LAUNCH Food will showcase and support 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 called for for supply- or demand-side innovations that will ultimately impact people’s food choices, whether in the home, market, street, restaurant, or community. With the help of the LAUNCH Food Network, LAUNCH has selected a portfolio of 12 innovators: 11 from the LAUNCH Food Challenge and one from the LAUNCH Legends Challenge.
Selected innovators had the opportunity to present their innovation to members of the LAUNCH network at the LAUNCH Food Forum in March 2017. The Forum was 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 are currently being mentored by the LAUNCH Food network to scale their technical capabilities and increase the impact of their innovations. This includes 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.
Applications were selected on the strength of:
- Potential for improving health outcomes
- Technical feasibility and practicality of use
- Pathway to scale
- Sustainability of the innovation/solution
- Evidence of potential for application in lower-income and underserved communities and/or developing markets and countries
- Strength of project team and leadership
LAUNCH is particularly motivated to support solutions that:
- Promote inclusion, gender equality, and women’s empowerment
- Are appropriate at the local level with the potential to scale regionally or globally
- 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
- 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)
- Show a solid understanding of what comprises ‘good’ nutrition (bioavailable, nutrient rich, diverse diet, breast feeding, etc.) per FAO/WHO guidelines
- Improve the variety of food on the plate
- Acknowledge that eating is fundamentally a human experience, at turns social, nurturing, cultural, and necessary for survival
- Are mindful of the end consumer
- Shift the drivers and incentives that promote current poor health outcomes
- Promote the evolution of existing markets, or the development/expansion of new markets
LAUNCH believes good ideas can come from anywhere. Innovator submissions were invited from academics, companies (small or large), entrepreneurs, inventors, non profit organisations, research institutions, national laboratories, government agencies, social enterprises and funders. ‘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.
For more information, contact the LAUNCH Food team: firstname.lastname@example.org.