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24 May 2024

Dubai to host Food Innovation Conference 2024 themed 'Reimagining Future Food Systems'

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By E247

The Food Innovation Conference 2024 is set to kick off tomorrow, Monday 13th May, in Dubai. The event, running until 15th May, is organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), under the theme “Reimagining Future Food Systems”.

Hosted at the Museum of the Future and Emirates Towers in Dubai, the conference brings together over 150 international experts, academics, local, regional and global private businesses and farmers, who will be taking part in various discussion panels that focus on driving tech support of resilient, inclusive and sustainable food systems, fostering global cooperation and addressing the latest trends in the field of sustainable food systems.

The event will also highlight the best international practices and studies in the food sector, and the latest relevant technologies including AI and Data for Food.

Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Secretary-General of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), said that hosting the Food Innovation Conference in Dubai reflects the visions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for embracing creative ideas and innovative solutions to create cost-efficient food systems that empower underprivileged communities to tackle food challenges resulting from natural disasters, crises and climate change impact, while helping extend aid and relief to refugees and support global humanitarian efforts.

“The conference is testament to the close cooperation between MBRGI and the World Economic Forum, and their joint visions for utilising the huge potential of AI and advanced food tech to meet the growing global food needs, and creating the frameworks necessary to institutionalise this approach while encouraging research centers and innovators to develop solutions that address this noble cause,” he said.

“The conference aligns with MBRGI’s mission of serving humanity and improving lives, as well as the main objectives of the Food Innovation Hub UAE, launched in late 2023, further affirming the UAE’s commitment as a key contributor to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2023,” he added.

The Food Innovation Conference aims to accelerate knowledge exchange and capacity building through the Food Innovation Hubs Global Initiative, showcase national innovation modules as well as global frontiers and scalable technology innovations, facilitate matchmaking between entrepreneurs, investors, private and public sector leaders, and amplify the role of technology in support of resilient, inclusive and sustainable food systems.

The conference enjoys the support of the Food Innovation Hubs Global Initiative, launched by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with MBRGI. The initiative brings together partners from public and private sectors, international and regional organisations as well as civil society players. It mainly aims to foster partnerships and collaboration in the area of food system innovation, fund promising and meaningful initiatives locally and regionally, while promoting the sharing of food related knowledge and data globally.

The event will kick off with a welcoming dinner gala on 13th May 2024, hosted in the Museum of the Future, with keynote speeches by Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment; Tania Strauss, Head of Food and Water, World Economic Forum and Asma Khan, Chef Advocate, World Food Programme.

The opening session on 14th May under the title “Purpose-Driven Innovation for a Positive Food Future” will be hosted in the Godolphin Ballroom, Emirates Towers. Moderated by Tania Strauss, the opening remarks will be delivered by Dr. Abdulkareem Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI). Session panelists include Khadim Al Derai, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Al Dahra Holding; Cao Duc Phat, Former Minister of Agriculture and Chair of the International Rice Research Institute in Vietnam; Marie-Rose Mukahirwa, Senior Vice President and Head of Products, Humanitarian and Development, Mastercard; Leonardus Vergütz, Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer of OCP Group, Morocco; Carrie Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Avant Meats, Hong Kong and Shelly Trench, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group.

The event will also host a session entitled “Advancing Global Frontier Innovations”.

Dr. Amna Al Dahak will deliver the opening remarks for the closing plenary of the conference, entitled “Reimagining Future Food Systems”. Panelists at the session moderated by CNBC’s Dan Murphy include Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises; Dan Pathomvanich, Chief Executive Officer of NR Instant Produce in Thailand; Ishmael Sunga, Chief Executive Officer of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director of the Centre for Nature and Climate at the World Economic Forum; Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, Group Chief Sustainability Officer, ADNOC Group; Leonardus Vergütz, Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer of OCP Group and Jane Nelson, Director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School

On 13th and 14th May, the Food Innovation Conference 2024 is organising an open exhibition showcasing latest food system innovation through an interactive platform that invites visitors to learn about modern technologies shaping the future of food systems, with a chance to taste and try innovative products.

The Food Innovation Hubs Leadership Committee meeting will be held on the sidelines of the conference on 14 May, following an agreement signed between MBRGI and the World Economic Forum in Davos 2022, under which Dubai is designated the international headquarters for the Hubs annual meeting.

Field trips on the last day, 15th May, will take participants to multiple sites including farms and production plants, to highlight innovative practices adopted in the UAE to achieve food sustainability, while exploring areas of cooperation and investment.