Challenge calls for ideas to improve food security

This year’s #IdeasForChange Challenge presented by the Stellenbosch Network, calls for entries on how to improve food security. PICTURE: PIXABAY

Entries are open for the Stellenbosch Network’s #IdeasForChange Food Security Challenge.

The fifth edition of the Stellenbosch Network’s IdeasForChange Challenge, is in partnership with the Agricultural Sustainability Education Lab and government’s Department of Science & Innovation’s Regional Innovation Support Programme (RISP).

This year’s challenge will focus on revolutionising the way society thinks about food security to inspire innovative ideas and encourage entrepreneurship in our community.

Budding and established innovators are called upon to submit their ideas in two categories to stand a chance of winning a share of R30,000 in cash prizes and more, to help bring their ideas to life.

The challenge is open to anyone living, working and/or studying in Stellenbosch and its surrounds or any business/initiative operating in the Stellenbosch region.

Hanli Brink, Operations Director at Stellenbosch Network says: “In the heart of Stellenbosch, a taste of change is in the air. Having been at the forefront of some of South Africa’s most transformative initiatives, Stellenbosch has over the years developed many initiatives to help the town secure a sustainable future for its residents.”

The competition aims to uncover and support the development of innovative ideas, business models, process flows, and technology with the potential to improve food security and the quality of life of citizens, lessen the social and environmental impact of rapid urban development and enhance the sustainability of local ecosystems on which Stellenbosch is dependent.

“Despite the developing climate crisis – evident through the increased prevalence of droughts, floods and extreme temperatures – the South African food system is under pressure to produce more healthy food for more people while conserving the environment,” says Mhlengi Khambule of the Agricultural Sustainability Education Lab.

“We welcome all creative and innovative ideas that will help improve food security and develop efficient food systems in Stellenbosch within the thematic areas of Agritech, Food waste solutions and Food logistics,” he says.

The Stellenbosch Network was co-established by Innovus, Stellenbosch University’s (SU) innovation and commercialisation division, as a cross-sector and inter-disciplinary membership platform aiming to bring people together to share ideas and encourage collaboration and partnership in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Anita Nel, Chief Director of Innovation and Commercialisation at SU says: “The #IdeasForChange Food Security Challenge symbolises not just innovation, but the very essence of Stellenbosch’s spirit.

“SU has always been at the forefront of transformative initiatives, and we recognise the power of innovative solutions in securing a sustainable future for our community.

“We eagerly await the ingenious ideas that will emerge, addressing our unique food security challenges and enhancing the sustainability of Stellenbosch,” she adds.

Entries can be done by means of an online google docs form, visit www.sun.ac.za/ and search for the article on #IdeasForChange Challenge, to gain access to the online form. The competition closes on 30 September.

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