QUT team awarded $100,000 food innovation prize
A team from Queensland University of Technology has held off competition from some of the world’s top universities to take out a $100,000 food innovation prize.
Team Exatio from QUT was one of six finalists in the Global Business Challenge who pitched their food production innovations to Brisbane-based food facilities designer Wiley, with the hope of securing $100,000 in kind of professional support to commercialise their idea.
Managing Director Tom Wiley congratulated the QUT team on securing the Wiley Genesis Award to help produce and commercialise the lemna aquatic plant (duckweed) as a sustainable high-yield and high-value food source for intensive animal and fish farming.
“We were incredibly impressed by all of the teams who pitched their ideas, but the QUT entry really stood out for its research and ingenuity,” he said.
“Team Exatio has developed a new food source for agriculture and aquaculture and addressed a number of key challenges facing global food production, including water quality and land availability.
“We look forward to working with the team to bring their idea to life.”
Wiley specialises in food engineering, design and delivery, and is at the forefront of creating solutions to increase global food production and security.
“Wiley has long championed innovation to increase sustainable food production,” said Tom Wiley.
“We need to embrace technology and science and push the envelope with new ideas to stem the global food crisis, but we also have to be pragmatic. Often it’s the simplest ideas that have the biggest impact.”
The Global Business Challenge finalists were:
Team Exatio — Queensland University of Technology: A new cropping system to produce and commercialise the lemna aquatic plant, part of the duckweed family, to provide a sustainable, high-yield and high-value feed for intensive animal and fish farming.
Team Mayisara — Symbiosis International University (India): A sustainable and holistic model to integrate farmers with consumers, which ultimately increases a farmer’s revenue, while reducing consumer costs and waste.
Team C-Fu — Cornell University (USA) & Schulich School of Business, York University (Canada): Using food science and biotechnology to develop the next generation of insect-based foods with excellent nutritional profiles and high consumer acceptability.
Team Garbage Clinical Insurance — Brawijaya University (Indonesia): Developing sustainable micro-finance schemes in poorer Indonesian communities to fund the collection and management of household waste to improve community health.
Team BioThinkers — Warsaw University, Warsaw School of Economics & Warsaw School of Life Sciences (Poland): An eco-friendly, portable micro-farm — BugHub — to produce and process insects as a secure and sustainable food source in Africa.
Team Fish 4 Africa — Cape Town University (South Africa): A replicable fresh-water aquaculture solution that produces a market-accepted, cost-effective catfish product to increase consumption in Africa.
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