The Netherlands and the World Economic Forum Launch Food Innovation Hubs Initiative

The Netherlands will be the center for global food innovation with the Global Coordinating Secretariat (GCS)

On January 27, 2021, the Government of the Netherlands, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and several public and private sector partners launched Food Innovation Hubs at the Davos Agenda 2021 meeting. The Food Innovation Hubs will be a key multistakeholder platform that will leverage technology and broader innovations to strengthen local innovation ecosystems for food systems transformation. Supported by multi-year funding from the Government of Netherlands, the initiative will feature a Global Coordinating Secretariat (GCS) based in the Netherlands.

“Global food insecurity has been rising again. This stresses the need to redesign how we produce and consume food. The Netherlands is committed to forming partnerships that will catalyze the innovations that are needed to address the food system challenges. I am therefore proud to announce that the Netherlands will host the Global Coordinating Secretariat of the Food Innovation Hubs,” said Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

With the arrival of the GCS, the Netherlands will leverage its innovation-driven economy to help advance global food security. Boasting an extensive ecosystem of companies and knowledge institutions in agrifood, horticulture, breeding, high-tech and ICT, the Dutch are ideally positioned to play a leading role in shaping our planet’s food system.

The Food Innovation Hubs will be a flagship initiative of WEF’s Food Action Alliance leading to the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, and beyond. The role of the GCS will be to coordinate the efforts of the regional Hubs as well as align with global processes and initiatives such as the UN Food Systems Summit.

Global center for food innovation comes to the Netherlands

The Food Innovation Hubs initiative places the Netherlands at the center of global food innovation and sustainability. Located in Wageningen at the heart of the Dutch agrifood ecosystem, the GCS will direct the further development of global regional Food Innovation Hubs from the Netherlands. The work of these regional Hubs is already underway, with more than 20 organizations leading the initiative across Africa, ASEAN, Colombia, India and the European hub in Foodvalley Wageningen. Oost NL, a regional partner in the Invest in Holland Network, will support the GCS in starting this work.

“Food sustains life and is at the heart of our planet. But if we are to feed 10 billion people by 2050 within planetary boundaries, the way the world produces and consumes food needs to change. Innovation is critical in enabling this systemic transformation,” said Dominic Waughray, Managing Director of WEF.

“As progress is accelerated towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, the World Economic Forum is committed to supporting collective action and promoting country led agendas through the Food Innovation Hubs in this pivotal year for food systems,” added Waughray.

With country-led approaches, the Hubs will drive both high-end and low-cost grassroots and other innovations that could have scalable impact, as well as innovations encompassing supply chains, partnerships and business models that can enable systemic change.

Source: World Economic Forum

28 January 2021

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