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MIT / Solve's 2020 Global Challenge: SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS

Ana Isabel Paraguay
Posted April 29, 2020 from Brazil
Expired on June 17, 2020

Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to solve world challenges. Solve is a marketplace for social impact innovation. Through open innovation Challenges, Solve finds incredible tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world. Solve then brings together MIT’s innovation ecosystem and a community of Members to fund and support these entrepreneurs to help them drive lasting, transformational impact.

Agriculture occupies more than 40 percent of the Earth’s land and is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Farming, fishing, transporting, processing, and distributing food supports 28 percent of human livelihood, including 470 million smallholder farmers who often depend on less than 2 hectares for both income and sustenance. By 2050, that system will need to feed 3 billion more people while reducing net emissions to zero to align with Paris Agreement targets.

New trends make transforming the food system more difficult. As people move out of poverty, they buy more meat, increasing the amount of land used to raise and feed animals, and further burdening overexploited fish stocks.
Disruptions from climate change-related disasters and recently, from COVID-19, can lead to lower production and more food insecurity, demonstrating a need for more resilient supply chains.
Simultaneously, humanity gets 75 percent of our food from just 17 species, decreasing resilience to diseases and other climate-related stresses and shocks.
Finally, with 30 percent of food lost or wasted, a third of the food system’s environmental impact happens without feeding anyone.

New data-rich technologies, combined with the revival of traditional practices such as intercropping or indigenous fisheries management, hold great promise.
But new business models are required to bring these approaches to far more people, while further innovation is still needed to transform the food system at scale.

The MIT Solve community is looking for technology-based solutions for a low-carbon global food system that provides nutrition with minimal environmental impact.
To that end, Solve seeks solutions that:
1. Support small-scale producers with access to inputs, capital, and knowledge to improve yields while sustaining productivity of land and seas;
2. Scale practices and incentives for larger farmers and ranchers to decrease carbon emissions, land-use change, nutrient runoff, or water pollution;
3. Improve supply chain practices to reduce food loss, scale new business models for producer-market connections, and create low-carbon cold chains; and
4. Promote the shift towards low-impact, diverse, and nutritious diets, including low-carbon protein options.

Over $1.5 million in prize funding is available for Solve's 2020 (six) Global Challenges, including Sustainable Food Systems.

Utilize This Offer

How can we produce and consume low-carbon, resilient, and nutritious food?

Solve seeks innovative, human-centered, tech-based solutions to our Global Challenges.

Anyone, anywhere around the world can submit a solution to Solve's Challenges.
You can be an individual, a team, or an organization.
You can be an applicant from previous years or already part of our community.
If you have a solution, we hope you'll apply.

Deadline to Submit a Solution: 18 de June, 2020 at 12:00 EDT.

For more information please visit

Comments 2

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Ana Isabel Paraguay
Apr 29, 2020
Apr 29, 2020

Friendly reminders:
1. Study similar calls (open and closed ones) that interest you in order to discover what they have in common and how you can think ahead/plan to apply = increase your chances of success!
2. Prepare/update paperwork (certificates and attests usually required from an organization like yours);
3. Write (baby steps...!) and discuss a project draft - to validate the priorities within your group and to train your grant writing skills;
4. Do not wait to find a call and then start writing your proposal/project. Start now!!!
5. Visit the World Pulse website >>> My Pulse >>> Resources and then use its filters (right upper corner) to find what may really suit you;
6. Share the opportunities that may not apply to you but can interest others;
7. Spread the word about your failures and achievements in grant requests. Yes, tell these stories too! They will enlighten and inspire your network.

Jill Langhus
May 01, 2020
May 01, 2020

This sounds great! Thanks, Ana!