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New Zealand Hackathon looks to shape the future of food

The future of food and the alternative ways to feed a growing global population will be the focus of a plant-based innovation hackathon in Christchurch in early December.

The Feed the World 2030: Power of Plants Hackathon will take place on 2-3 December in Christchurch, providing a platform for agritech food innovators, scientists, industry experts and entrepreneurs to engage and start to shape New Zealand’s agricultural platforms for the future and beyond.

Lincoln Hub is teaming up with the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), AGMARDT, Callaghan Innovation, Lincoln University and Creative HQ to create this event to enable new connections to broaden innovation in New Zealand’s agrifood system.

Agriculture has long been considered the backbone of New Zealand, and now the combination of technology, science and innovation in sourcing and processing plant based foods presents a unique innovation challenge for New Zealand’s agriculture industry, as well as the opportunity to create sustainable economic growth and establish ourselves on the world stage.

Toni Laming, Lincoln Hub Chief Executive, says, “Lincoln Hub is excited to be teaming up with key agrifood innovation leaders to create new kinds of collaborations and innovation in the Agrifood tech field which is expanding globally. Many innovations and advancements are happening at a rapid pace to create the foods we eat and is fundamentally reshaping how we farm and cultivate crops to reduce the impact we have on our ecosystem.

Tomorrow’s global food supply challenges demand a radical approach to innovation in the Food and Agriculture sectors today – the “Feed the World 2030 Hackathon” is one of the visible initiatives from Lincoln Hub designed to do just that.

For decades we have focused on commodity crops and neglected the rich source of proteins across the diversity of plants we have when we consider food innovation. With diversification of our sources of food, we create an opportunity to cultivate innovative farming practices that lower the impact on our planet and create more attractive options for farmers seeking opportunities.”

The hackathon format will allow teams to organically form around new ideas and develop customer-centric solutions. At the end of the weekend, teams will pitch their new solutions in front of a live panel of judges for a chance to win bragging rights and prizes, as well as exposure and valuable feedback from key investors, mentors and industry partners.

“The primary sector is increasingly aware that it needs to work beyond its own boundaries or ‘silo’ to access additional skills and insights. The hackathon proposed here provides a significant opportunity as a catalyst in the sector across a number of dimensions… it creates connections and networks beyond the sector's boundaries and builds skills around innovation that have a life well beyond the event," expressed Richard Green, Greenvale Group.

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