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IFT Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge Awards 2022

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Deadline: August 1, 2022

IFT is now welcoming applications for the IFT Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge Awards 2022.

Funded by the Seeding The Future Foundation and hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists, the Challenge is intended to support innovations that have the potential for significant impact at scale and over time, and benefit at least one or more of the following intersecting domains: nutritious food for a healthy diet; sustainably produced; and accessible, appealing, affordable, and trusted by consumers.

The IFT Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge Awards 2022 seeks to encourage and assist teams of creative, diverse, and multidisciplinary individuals in developing ground-breaking solutions that will contribute to the transformation of the food system.

Eligibility
  • Non-profits located in any country
  • Academic or research institutions located in any country
  • Early-stage or emerging U.S. or European based for-profit companies (‘small companies’)
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply. Please note, however, that teams of students or researchers may participate as part of an organization’s submission. Organizations encouraged to form teams to compete in the Challenge. If two or more organizations form a team to compete, they should choose one of the organizations to serve as the applicant.

Grants

The Challenge will provide three levels of awards to incentivize transformative food system innovations at different stages of their development:

Seed Grants ($25,000 each)
  • Received by organizations that are planting and nurturing high-potential, innovative ideas and have developed a prototype and/or initial proof of concept demonstrating feasibility. Innovation must benefit at least one, ideally two domains of the Innovation Focus Area without negatively impacting the others.
Growth Grants ($100,000 each)
  • Awarded to organizations that have demonstrated that their innovation is doable and have projected both economic feasibility at scale and high-impact potential to transform the food system. The innovation must benefit at least two, ideally three domains with no negative impact on the others.
Seeding The Future Grand Prizes ($250,000 each)
  • Going to organizations that have created innovations that are scalable, economically feasible at scale, trusted, and compelling to consumers, and have demonstrated major impact potential to transform the food system. The innovation must benefit at least two, ideally three domains with no negative impact on the others.
Application process

Application Timeline for Each Award

Seed Grant Application

Application deadline: August 1, 2022

Announcement of award recipients: September 2022

Growth Grants and Seeding The Future Grand Prize Applicants

Application deadline: August 1, 2022

Finalists announced and finalist interviews held: October 2022

Announcement of award recipients: January 2023

Application Materials

To apply for funding, applicants must submit:

  • Responses to all application questions
  • A project timeline and budget
  • Documents to Verify Your Organizational Status and Financial Standing

U.S. or European based for-profit organizations must submit:

  • Most recent financial statement that includes a budget and revenue (including disclosure of current levels of investment and financial assets)
  • Articles of Incorporation or similar documents
  • Federal Tax ID Number (TIN) or tax status documentation
  • Certificate of good standing, indicating that the business is properly registered with the state or country

U.S. based non-profit organizations must submit:

  • Most recent financial statement (audited financials preferred but not required)
  • Most recent 990
  • IRS letter of determination
  • Non-profit organizations based outside of the United States must submit:
  • Most recent financial statement (audited financials preferred but not required)
  • Documentation verifying that the applicant organization is currently registered as a non-profit organization (equivalent to a US 501(c)(3) public charity) in its country. Please note that IFT may follow up to request additional documentation to verify the applicant’s non-profit status.

 Selection process

The Challenge application review process for Seed Grant applicants is executed in two steps and in four steps for Growth Grant and Seeding The Future Grand Prize applicants. The first two steps are the same for all three awards.

Applicants should refer to the Award Selection Criteria to determine the appropriate award level based on, your project’s maturity and impact potential. Additional criteria may be considered.

Eligibility Screen

  • This is a preliminary application vetting to ensure that each application meets the basic organizational and financial eligibility requirements for the Challenge. This includes a complete application, the applicant is an eligible organization, the applicant applied for the appropriate award level, and the applicant provided the required organizational and financial documentation.
  • Each applicant will receive a pass or fail. Applications that do not pass the eligibility screening will be notified and not advance.

 Initial Content Screen

During the Initial Content Screen, reviewers will assess and score the quality of each application based on the following criteria, which reflect the Award Selection Criteria explained above:

  • Quality of the Innovation: does the project lead to or create something new that is important and has a benefit?
  • Multidisciplinarity and DEI
  • Clarity and strength of the application’s premise
  • Project Plan, budget, and timeline
  • Potential for impact at scale
  • The application’s demonstrated alignment with the Innovation Focus area

For Seed Grant applicants, up to 16 submissions may be selected as finalists and advance to the final round for Seed Grant applicants. In this round, a group of highly qualified IFT subject matter experts will review, score and vote on the finalists’ applications to determine the Seed Grant awardees. Once Seed Grant awardees are selected, IFT will notify and announce the Seed Grant winners in October 2022.

For Growth Grant applicants, up to 12, and for the Seeding the Future Grand Prize applicants, up to 8 applications may be selected as semifinalists to advance to the Selection Committee Round One, were finalists will be selected by a selection committee consisting of globally recognized, national and international domain experts. For this Selection Committee Round One, the semifinalists will submit a brief 2-4 min video clip highlighting the project’s innovation focus, potential impact, and team members.

Selection Committee Round One

Selection Committee members will assess and score each semi-finalist application based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the Innovation: does the project create or lead to something new that is important and has a benefit?
  • The multidisciplinary nature of the project
  • The innovations demonstrated alignment with the Innovation Focus Area and a food policy perspective
  • The development stage / maturity of innovation
  • The projected size of the impact of the innovation at scale and over time
  • Sound budget, timeline, project plan
  • Projected scalability and economic feasibility at scale
  • Description how to compellingly communicate the innovation benefits to consumers
  • Assessment of risks and challenges
  • Alignment with Seeding The Future Foundation’s Vision and Mission

Based on these criteria, the Selection Committee may select from the group of semi-finalists up to 6 Growth Grant finalists and up to 4 seeding the Future Grand Prize finalists to advance to the Selection Committee Round Two.

Selection Committee Round Two – for Growth and Seeding the Future Grand Prize Finalists Only

  • In this final stage, the Selection Committee will conduct approximately 20 min interviews with the Growth Grant and Seeding the Future Grand Prize finalists. The interview will consist of a short presentation of the finalist team, followed by a discussion and Q&A with the Selection Committee members.
  • Following the interview meetings, and based on the discussion and Q&A, finalists may have the opportunity to submit supplemental materials to IFT as needed. Once all supplemental materials are aggregated and interviews complete, up to 3 Growth Grants winners and up to 2 Seeding the Future Grand Prize winners may be selected.
  • Award money will be given to each awardee subject to execution of an IFT award agreement.

Click here to apply

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