Innovation Hub UAE: Mobilising international efforts to strengthen safety, sustainability of global food sector

DUBAI: The establishment of the Food Innovation Hub UAE by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in cooperation with the World Economic Forum, reflects MBRGI's commitment to mobilising international efforts to safeguard and strengthen the safety and sustainability of the global food sector through solutions and initiatives aimed at enhancing food production and ensuring the sustainability and integration of supply chains, while combating hunger worldwide. The Food Innovation Hub launch stems from a deep conviction that the best way to tackle global rapid shifts lies in the active international cooperation in adopting sustainability practices and sharing expertise and success stories between governments and the private sector. It helps accelerate the realization of Dubai's Food Security Strategy goals, including the diversification of imports, boosting local production, limiting food waste, enhancing food safety and nutrition systems and boosting the sector's ability to manage crises. Mo hammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, in cooperation with the World Economic Forum, is organizing the Food Innovation Conference 2024 under the theme 'Reimagining Future Food Systems' from 13 to 15 May, at the Museum of the Future and Emirates Towers, Dubai. The event aims to support global humanitarian and aid efforts, develop future food systems and discuss approaches to developing innovative food production technologies. The Food Innovation Hub UAE was launched during the UN Climate Change Conference COP28, as part of MBRGI's efforts to support the global food sector sustainability, create end-to-end comprehensive solutions to combat hunger and meet the nutritional needs of underprivileged communities. The launch also aligns with MBRGI's endeavours to achieve key future transformations that support the provision of integrated food innovation systems. Through the Food Innovation Hub UAE, MBRGI seeks to foster international cooperation in the face of a food crisis that threatens the starvation o f millions of people due to conflicts, climate change and the rising costs of food and fuel. Along with other creative initiatives, the Food Innovation Hub UAE will help create innovative solutions to provide new tech-based food sources that meet the needs of current and future generations. Launched in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Majid Al Futtaim Retail, IFFCO Group, Al Dahra Holding and ADNH Compass, the Food Innovation Hub UAE extends the cooperation agreement signed between MBRGI and World Economic Forum to establish a global platform for the Food Innovation Hubs Global Initiative, signed at the 2022 World Economic Forum in Davos. The platform aims to accelerate and scale fit-for-purpose innovations and technologies in support of future sustainable and inclusive alternatives, as well as advance resilient food production mechanisms around the world. This cooperation between MBRGI and the World Economic Forum lends momentum to the efforts of the Food Innovation Hubs initiative which aims to accelerate knowledge- and innovation sharing in the fields of food production research and techniques, expand and facilitate international cooperation and create new opportunities that enable applying human knowledge into a more sustainable future. Through the Food Innovation Hub UAE, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives aims to develop effective solutions to challenges hindering future food sustainability, as well as global food and agriculture challenges. It also aims to find optimal solutions to fight hunger including vertical farming, climate smart agriculture and alternative proteins. Serving as a focal point unifying efforts of all countries willing to share knowledge and support the application of advanced solutions to manage and enhance the entirety of the food system, in order to realize food, environmental, and climate goals. It is a key step towards facing food challenges through unconventional solutions, reflecting MBRGI's commitment to expanding internatio nal partnerships to support joint global efforts aimed at addressing major challenges, including hunger and the absence of food system safety. A platform bringing together farmers, solution providers, innovators and retailers to explore solutions, examine concepts and scale up food sustainability innovations, the Food Innovation Hub UAE aims to support fit-for-purpose technologies to enhance the affordability of nutrition, while achieving sustainability in ways that benefit consumers and planet Earth alike. It aligns with MBRGI's objective of making Dubai a leading destination for innovation, as it eyes the development of a comprehensive, sustainable approach to food systems that ensures diversity of consumer trends while reducing carbon footprint and enhances health and wellbeing. The Food Innovation Hubs, launched by the World Economic Forum, seeks to foster partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders, share best practices and forge partnerships that bring tangible benefits across the supply chain. The initiative seeks to create a wide network of ecosystems that enable food innovation, facilitate communication between innovators, investors and stakeholders - including public and private sector players, civil society, farmers and others - to accelerate and expand food and agriculture system innovations and drive positive transformations across communities. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the largest regional contributor to charity, humanitarian and aid efforts, has spent a total of AED 1.8 billion in 2023, positively changing the lives of 111 million beneficiaries in 105 countries worldwide. Under its Humanitarian Aid and Relief pillar, MBRGI has launched a number of major food aid campaigns, starting with the 10 Million Meals campaign launched in 2020 is the first and largest community drive in support of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was followed by the 100 Million Meals campaign in 2021, which was the largest regional food aid campaign across 20 countrie s, and the 1 Billion Meals campaign in 2022, which provided meals across 50 countries, highlighting the UAE's contribution to the global endeavor to end hunger. In Ramadan 2023, MBRGI launched the 1 Billion Meals Endowment campaign, launching the largest sustainable food aid endowment fund and raising a total of AED1.075 billion. Source: Emirates News Agency

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