SFI Food Challenge shortlist aims to find solutions to food loss and waste
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has this week announced the 15 teams that have been shortlisted as part of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Future Innovator Prize.
Five teams have been shortlisted under the SFI Food Challenge and 10 under the SFI Plastics Challenge. At the end of the 12-month programme, two overall winners will be announced.
The SFI Food Challenge will “support the development of sustainable solutions to reduce food loss and waste across the full breadth of the food supply chain”.
The five teams shortlisted in this category are: Eye-Q; Solarbiome; Leaf No Waste; Bluestreambio; and WAVA.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Irish households produce over 250,000t of food waste per year, at a cost of €700 per household.
In addition, wasted food is a significant contributor to climate change – responsible for about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The SFI Plastics Challenge aims to support the development of innovative STEM-led solutions that will enable the sustainable use of plastics in a circular economy, restore and preserve our oceans’ health, and maximise how we use the earth’s finite resources.
The projects aim to address problems across a number of strategic challenge areas, including: removing plastics from coastal areas; reducing reliance on single use plastics in laboratories; upcycling plastic waste; and utilising plastic waste for sustainable battery technologies.