Thought for Food (TFF) announced the finalists in their 2017 innovation challenge to tackle the global challenge of feeding 9+ billion people by 2050. This year, ten teams of students from universities in Colombia, France, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the USA will move forward to Round 2 of the competition, where they will receive 12 weeks of intense mentorship in the TFF Bootcamp followed by the chance to win seed funding of up to $30,000 at the TFF Global Summit taking place in Amsterdam on May 26th and 27th.

“This year’s TFF Challenge Finalist projects represent some of the most exciting areas shaping the future of food and agriculture, not only in terms of technology breakthroughs, but also because of the open and collaborative business models they are using,” Christine Gould, Founder & CEO of TFF said in the press materials. “We are honored and excited to play our part within food security by working together with these young innovators to help them scale these sustainable initiatives to create broad impact.”

The annual TFF Challenge is the world’s largest open competition for university students who are building the future of food and agriculture. Student teams are empowered with tools and mentorship, and submit proposals which seek to solve the question: How do we feed and nourish 9+ billion people by 2050? Nearly 500 entries from 129 countries were received in this year’s open call. The proposals not chosen to participate as a Top 10 Finalist are still invited to join the TFF Community of innovators, researchers and change makers, as TFF seeks to build the largest global network of people working on food and nutrition security initiatives.


Here are the top 10 TFF Challenge Finalists:
Agri-Yolo (France): An investment platform enabling collaborative projects between Agribusiness (Agri), Young Investors (Yo) and Landowners (Lo). HEC Paris

AgroSpheres (USA): A bioparticle that degrades pesticides into safe by-products in a matter of hours, allowing farmers to better control when they harvest crops. University of Virginia

BlueGreen Nexus (USA): A floating greenhouse that uses passive solar energy to distill ocean water into freshwater, creating a land, water and energy-neutral form of scaleable urban agriculture. Sterling College; Savannah College of Art & Design; Green Mountain College

Climate Edge (UK): A low-cost weather station and online monitoring system that provides targeted recommendations for smallholder farmers in tropical climates. Imperial College London

Dairy FIT (USA): Combining the power of machine learning and data analytics technologies to predict cattle behavior and genomic tendencies, with an aim to improve the health, wellbeing and productivity of intensively-farmed animals. Colorado State University

From Challenge to Opportunity (India): Creating an affordable fertilizer from seaweed for farmers, and using the leftover pulp to make nutritious cookies for malnourished children. Gujarat Technological U; The Institution Of Engineers (INDIA); EPFL (Switzerland)

Growing Future (Cultivando Futuro) (Colombia): An information and agro-commerce platform that facilitates direct sales between small farmers and consumers, leveraging open data to analyze market trends. Jorge Tadeo Lozano; Universidad de Los Andes; Universidad Sergio Arboleda

Ligno Flava (Indonesia): Sustainable, low-cost, natural vanilla production from food waste that can replace chemical flavorings. University of Brawijaya

Sparky (Uganda): A thermo-dehydrator for vegetables and fruits powered by bio-waste to prolong the shelf-life of produce from two days to two years. Makerere U; Uganda Technical College- Elgon; Kyambogo U

WasteBuster (Malaysia): Using discarded fruits and vegetables to create a dried, nutrient-rich food which can be used in disaster relief situations and as a solid fuel source. Universiti Putra Malaysia

Interested in seeing these top 10 pitch on stage live at the TFF Global Summit? Check out TFF’s website for details on tickets and the Summit content.