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Food Innovation Hubs

Food Innovation Hubs

Worldwide, nearly 2 billion people lack access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food and 690 million people suffer from chronic hunger or lack of proper nutrition. Current food system needs to produce much more food, whilst already now planetary boundaries are being crossed. The Food Innovation Hubs initiative catalyzed by the World Economic Forum with public, private and civil society partners is a call to action for a locally driven program, enabling innovations to sustainably improve the way we produce and consume food, through an eco-systems approach.

 

Our food systems must become more sustainable, efficient, inclusive, and deliver more nutritious and healthy food. Innovations that can help transform our food systems are often already out there. Unfortunately, the adoption and scale-up of innovations in the agri-food sector lags behind other sectors. Collaboration between the different stakeholders, who are working from ‘farm to fork’ is key.

That is why World Economic Forum and partners have initiated Food Innovation Hubs across the globe. Food Innovation Hubs are a multistakeholder, precompetitive and market-based partnership platform aimed at strengthening local innovation ecosystems to sustainably scale innovative solutions for food systems transformation.

Locally driven – Globally supported

Food Innovation Hubs are the next phase of the World Economic Forum’s Innovation with a purpose platform and a flagship initiative of the Forum’s Food Action Alliance. The Food Innovation Hubs are founded by partners from governments, private sector, innovators, entrepreneurs, farmer organizations, civil society, international organizations and others.

The Hubs are designed locally to address the needs of the local food system to:


  • Foster and cultivate food systems innovation

  • Support delivery and adoption of innovations at scale

  • Develop a community of practice to share learnings and build capacity

Guiding principles

The Food Innovation Hubs are partnership platforms that connect across various ecosystem actors to foster partnerships and networks that unlocks investments, stimulates innovation and collectively works to de-bottleneck barriers. Hubs focus on primarily state national or regional level opportunities and are guided by the following principles:



  • Multistakeholder and inclusive, engaging governments, private sector, innovators, farmer organizations, civil society, international organizationsand others


  • Locally driven and owned and alligned with national and regional goals, strategies and plans and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals


  • Market-based, focusing on catalyzing and expanding sustainable and inclusive investments and market-based activities


  • Neutral facilitator, playing the role of catalyst and honest broker

Global structure of Food Innovation Hubs

A growing set of global players from private and public sector drive and support this exciting initiative. The Food Innovation Hubs are supported by a Global Coordinating Secretariat (GCS) hosted by World Economic Forum, based in Wageningen, The Netherlands. The GCS enables the founding of local hubs, supports their functioning, stimulates adoption of innovation and creates a global network and learning environment. The first Food Innovation Hubs are being developed in Colombia, India and Europe. In addition scoping work is underway in the several countries in Africa (Zambia/Kenya/Ethiopia) and Vietnam. Each hub will be locally owned and governed.  

 

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