Food Waste Reduction Challenge: novel technologies put to good use

Modern logo for the food waste reduction challenge

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

The economic, social and environmental footprint of food waste is too large to ignore. 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 game-changing solutions to this long-standing and complex issue.

By encouraging more solutions to food waste in Canadian society, we can increase food availability, save consumers and businesses money and strengthen our food systems, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The first two streams of the Challenge focused on business models that prevent or divert food waste at any point from farm to plate. The novel technologies streams (Streams C and D) will now support the advancement of novel technologies that can extend the life of food or transform food that would otherwise be lost or wasted.

The Challenge is on

The application intake is now closed. Innovators had until August 31, 2021 to submit concept applications. We are looking for technologies that are at the prototype and testing phases to improve their effectiveness and make them ready for market within the next two years.

These solutions may include, for example, surface treatments, natural additives and plant-based coatings for Stream C or by-product processing, machinery improvements and creating new food from by-products for Stream D.

A total of up to $6.5 million in prize funding will be awarded through these two new streams.

Quick Facts:

  • Up to 18 semi-finalists will be selected to receive $100,000 and move on to develop prototypes of their technology. Then, up to six finalists will receive an additional $450,000 to test their solutions. At the final stage, one winner per stream will be awarded a grand prize of up to $1 million.
  • Entries will be evaluated against established criteria, including technology effectiveness, level of innovation and scalability, impact on food safety and integrity as well as environmental and economic benefits.
  • Eligible applicants include: businesses and social enterprises of any size; not-for-profit and charitable organizations; Indigenous organizations and groups; academic institutions; and individuals or a group of individuals. The Challenge is open to international applicants with a Canadian partner or an ability to register to do business in Canada, and solutions must be deployed in Canada.

Learn more about the Challenge on the Food Waste Reduction Challenge: Novel Technologies website.


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