The World Food Forum 2024: Good food for all, for today and tomorrow.

Transformative
Research
Challenge

Innovation Lab
INNOVATION LAB
#worldfoodforum

TRC explained

The WFF Transformative Research Challenge (TRC) aims to inspire research and innovation in sustainable development to end hunger and transform our agrifood systems. Teams of young and young-at-heart researchers are invited to submit a two-page concept note proposing an innovative research idea to help end hunger and transform our agrifood systems. Shortlisted participants receive expert mentorship to help translate their concepts into sound research papers and present them at the WFF global stage each October.

Output examples include:

  • a research article for publication;
  • a research project proposal for grant funding;
  • a paper or presentation at a scientific conference;
  • a plan for further development, partnership or scaling to transform a research innovation into a tangible solution.

During the pitches, a panel of expert judges will select the top teams.

 

Prizes with the 2024 WFF Transformative Research Challenge

For the fourth iteration of the TRC, the WFF is hosting prizes in collaboration with new partners. We are looking to promote innovative, research-based solutions on topics related to global agrifood systems transformation and to better address current challenges.

Each prize entails a different set of criteria for participation that can be seen below:

 

(co-hosted with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) One Health & Disease Control Group (NSAH-CJW))

This prize, co-hosted by at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and at the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) One Health & Disease Control Group (NSAH-CJW), calls upon teams worldwide to propose One Health solutions to improve the health of all species. This Prize focuses on the creation of safer, more resilient food systems to minimize the emergence and impact of infections that threaten both animal and human health, thereby helping to prevent future pandemics. Five winners will receive research grants of up to USD 10 000 and the opportunity to attend the WFF flagship event in October 2024.

Learn more about the Prize

(co-hosted with Meatless Monday and Simon Fraser University)

This Prize focuses on identifying innovative ways to shift consumer behaviors that encourage plant-based food choices and decreased meat consumption. This could include a new food product or menu that is healthy, sustainable and accessible; a tool for making optimal food choices; or an approach that helps consumers overcome barriers to change. The goal of this prize is to encourage people to shift towards a more plant-based diet that can help reduce the global burden of chronic preventable diseases, preserve precious land and water resources, and slow the acceleration of climate change, which threatens our planet’s future. Two winners will receive research grants of up to USD 15 000, the opportunity to travel to the WFF flagship event in October 2024 and and the chance to publish their research through FAO.

Learn more about the Prize

(co-hosted with FAO Nutrition and Food Systems Division (ESN))

Food loss and waste (FLW) represents a significant global challenge, with profound social, economic, and environmental implications. Presently, an estimated 13 percent of the world's food fails to reach the retail stage of the supply chain, being lost between harvest and consumption, while an additional 17 percent is wasted in households, food services, and retail outlets. This prize aims to drive the transformation of agrifood systems by enhancing food security and nutrition through increased food availability, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and alleviating pressure on vital resources like land and water. Winners will gain visibility at the global WFF flagship event in October 2024, access to extensive networks within WFF and FAO, and the opportunity to disseminate their research through FAO channels.

Learn more about the Prize

(co-hosted with EIT Food)

Water plays a critical role in reshaping our agrifood systems toward a better food future. To ensure the resilience and sustainability of our agrifood system, we need innovative solutions to tackle today's immense water challenges. This prize, co-hosted by EIT Food, aims to address water scarcity, enhance water safety, and develop innovative water-efficient irrigation technologies focusing on the water-food nexus. Winners will gain financial support, visibility at the global WFF flagship event in October 2024, access to extensive networks within EIT Food, WFF and FAO, and the opportunity to disseminate their research through FAO channels.

Learn more about the Prize

(co-hosted with FAO PPR-GEP Secretariat)

Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) poses significant threats to livestock populations and economic stability across the Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, Africa, and Asia. Addressing this challenge requires innovative approaches that integrate gender perspectives to promote sustainable development and resilience in the livestock sector. This prize invites young researchers to propose groundbreaking solutions that mainstream gender in their efforts to eradicate PPR. Winning teams will receive financial support, global visibility at the WFF flagship event, access to extensive networks within FAO, and opportunities to disseminate their research through FAO channels. This initiative not only aims to combat a critical animal health issue but also seeks to empower women and youth, driving forward a world free from hunger and poverty.

Learn more about the Prize

(co-hosted with The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT))

This prize, co-hosted by The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), seeks to recognize and incentivize groundbreaking research aimed at developing crop varieties tailored to meet the challenges posed by climate change. The prize will focus on innovation in crop improvement techniques that deliver high-yielding, stress-tolerant, and nutrient-dense varieties, enhancing the genetic diversity and sustainability of crops. The objective of this prize is to support the development of crops that can withstand abiotic and biotic stresses and adapt to changing environmental conditions. These advancements should contribute to higher incomes for farmers, better nutrition, and the overall well-being of populations, reducing the impacts of diseases and pests exacerbated by climate change, and addressing the urgent need for improved dietary quality in dryland regions.

Learn more about the Prize

Five reasons to join the
WFF Transformative Research Challenge

Shortlisted innovators will be invited to present a lightning talk at the WFF flagship event taking place in October 2024, as well as benefit from the following:

  1. Mentoring: Twenty shortlisted teams will receive personalized mentorship from globally recognized experts in their field to help “translate” their concept note into a concrete research output (e.g. a research proposal for grant funding or research article for publication).
  2. Coaching: Each team will be coached in the preparation of the lightning talk for the final presentations.
  3. Networking: Participants will have access to a global audience of young leaders and organizations from the public and private sectors, including the United Nations.
  4. Visibility: The WFF will provide a platform for global youth to showcase innovative research ideas and approaches to a global audience. Shortlisted teams will be profiled on the WFF website, and have the chance to pitch their research project to a global audience and international expert panel on the WFF flagship event stage.
  5. Ongoing promotion: Shortlisted teams and the winner of the TRC may be included in additional learning and exposure activities associated with the WFF, such as a social media campaigns, case studies, and future events to foster ongoing visibility and encourage future development.

Call for Mentors and Expert Evaluators

Join TRC as Mentor and/or Expert Evaluator

Transformative Research in Action

Watch the TRC finals in:

2023         2022         2021

News

WFF at the STI Forum 2024 - Youth-led Innovation: Ensuring good food for all, for today and tomorrow
WFF at the STI Forum 2024 - Youth-led Innovation: Ensuring good food for all, for today and tomorrow
09/05/2024

The World Food Forum (WFF) joined the 9th United Nations STI Forum in New York to advocate for the support of youth-led innovation for sustainable agrifood...

Meet our Transformative Research Challenge (TRC) 2023 winners
Meet our Transformative Research Challenge (TRC) 2023 winners
29/11/2023

Innovative researchers took center stage at the World Food Forum 2023, where the third edition of the Transformative Research Challenge (TRC) concluded.

WFF at the STI Forum 2023 - Youth Innovation: Bolstering Climate Action Through Agri-Food Systems Transformation in the Context of COVID-19 Recovery
WFF at the STI Forum 2023 - Youth Innovation: Bolstering Climate Action Through Agri-Food Systems Transformation in the Context of COVID-19 Recovery
09/05/2023

World Food Forum joined the 8th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs to advocate for support of youth innovation...

World Food Forum 2022: Innovation Lab Highlights
World Food Forum 2022: Innovation Lab Highlights
08/11/2022

During the WFF annual flagship event, the Innovation Lab hosted its Transformative Research Challenge Finals, the Startup Innovation Awards finals,...

 

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