World Economic Forum, MBRGI Announce AED11 Million Grant Programme to Support New Ideas in Food Technologies

World Economic Forum, MBRGI Announce AED11 Million Grant Programme to Support New Ideas in Food Technologies

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) has announced a grant programme at a value of AED 11 million (above US$3 million), in collaboration with the UpLink Platform operating under the World Economic Forum (WEF), with the aim of contributing to global efforts to end hunger, improve the resilience, sustainability, and health of our food and water systems

MBRGI signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with UpLink Platform of the World Economic Forum to strengthen the Food Innovation Hubs global initiative. Overall, the collaboration will aim toward driving joint efforts on advancing innovation for food.

The new cooperation agreement was announced on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, taking place in Davos, Switzerland between 15th and 19th January. The agreement is part of a series of programmes and initiatives implemented by the Food Innovation Hub UAE, launched by MBRGI in collaboration with the World Economic Forum in December 2023 during the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) at Dubai Expo City. The Food Innovation Hub UAE aims to drive innovation and enhance food production mechanisms to ensure sustainable access to food.

Through Uplink and Food Innovation Hubs globally, the collaboration seeks to invest in innovative ideas and solutions for food insecurity, support and empower innovators in the field of food systems to help them turn their ideas into realities by providing the necessary resources and facilitate the launch of their projects. It will also allow them to utilise the vast experience gained by MBRGI from its work in humanitarian aid and relief, as well as the other pillars of its work.

Through this programme, MBRGI hopes to promote creative initiatives on a larger scale that adds to more engagement with some pressing humanitarian challenges, including access to food, education, healthcare, jobs and social security.

Saeed Al Eter, Assistant Secretary-General of MBRGI, said,

“MBRGI continues to launch its projects and programmes based on a humanitarian vision that aims to positively change the lives of tens of millions of people, by enabling the poor to access essentials and live with dignity. Partnerships are key to achieve these noble goals, for which MBRGI was initially established."
“The grants programme reflects the key principle of being open to new ideas, respect and acknowledge innovation, and promote creativity in everything we do in order to create the positive change we seek on the largest possible scale. It is also represents an important step in agricultural innovation, especially in the most disadvantaged communities. In addition to it being a key step for the Food Innovation Hub UAE, the new agreement with the World Economic Forum reflects MBRGI’s visions and ongoing cooperation with international organisations,”

he added.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said,

“Our society’s well-being and long-term security depends on the resilience of food and water systems. Today, we are proud to strengthen our collaboration with the UAE and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives through Uplink and the Food Innovation Hubs as platforms that can drive cooperation and a global innovator movement to ensure that the millions of farmers and the growing population of 8 billion+ people can positively benefit from fit-for-purpose solutions. Uplink will allow for sourcing innovators that will contribute significantly to a sustainable and equitable future.”

The upcoming collaboration is set to highlight flagship initiatives currently in the Food Innovation Hubs network, while contributing to creating innovative solutions across network countries, including the UAE, with the UpLink Platform playing a pivotal role in sourcing and accelerating food system innovations.

Unique in its methodology, the open innovation platform UpLink focuses on the creation of an entrepreneur movement at scale and building bridges within the innovation ecosystem.

MBRGI brings under its umbrella dozens of initiatives, projects and foundations over five main pillars: Humanitarian Aid and Relief, Healthcare and Disease Control, Spreading Education and Knowledge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Empowering Communities.

In 2022, MBRGI spent AED 1.4 billion benefiting 102 million people in 100 countries, of which AED 910 million were spent on Humanitarian Aid Relief initiatives that benefited 30.2 million people.

Among initiatives launched under the pillar of Humanitarian Aid Relief, MBRGI launched the “10 Million Meals” campaign in 2020 as the first large-scale show of food aid solidarity during COVID-19, helping those affected by the pandemic in the UAE. The ”100 Million Meals" campaign in 2021 expanded the scope of the previous campaign and provided support to 20 countries in Africa and Asia. It was followed by the “1 Billion Meals” campaign in 2022 and most recently, the “1 Billion Meals Endowment” initiative in 2023 to establish the largest sustainable food fund.

News Source: Emirates News Agency

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