Bibeau Launches Second Half Of $20-Million Food Waste Reduction Challenge

May 25, 2021

On Tuesday, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau hosted a virtual event to launch the novel technology streams of Canada's Food Waste Reduction Challenge, an initiative under the Food Policy for Canada.

"The Food Waste Reduction Challenge is revealing the tremendous appetite and ingenuity across Canada to tackle the problem of food waste head-on. We are calling innovators of all types and sizes to bring forward new and innovative technological solutions that will extend the life of food or transform food waste. Our Government is committed to empowering our innovators and creating a truly sustainable food system in Canada," said Bibeau.

Every year, over half of Canada's food supply is wasted, and nearly $50 billion of that wasted food is avoidable.

To help spark new ideas and engage diverse perspectives, the Government of Canada launched the $20-million Food Waste Reduction Challenge in November 2020, calling for innovators to deliver solutions to this issue.

The Challenge's novel technology streams (Streams C and D) are now open for concept applications with a closing date of August 31, 2021. Up to $6.5 million in prize funding will be awarded to innovators with novel technologies that can extend the life of food or transform food that would otherwise be lost or wasted. For Streams C and D, up to 18 semi-finalists will be selected by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to receive $100,000 and move on to develop prototypes of their technology over an eight-month period. Then, up to six finalists will receive up to an additional $450,000 to evaluate the effectiveness of their solution over one year. At the final stage, one winner per stream will be awarded a grand prize of up to $1 million.

Applications for Streams A and B, which focus on business model solutions that can prevent or divert food waste at any point from farm to plate, opened November 19, 2020 and closed January 18, 2021.

This first round of the Challenge attracted 343 applications from innovators in Canada and around the world and the 24 semi-finalists were announced on May 7, 2021.

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