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Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge 2021 [Cash Prize Rs. 3 L]: Apply by Sep 30: Expired

Are you an innovator interested in solving challenges in the agri-food sector by utilizing or conserving agrobiodiversity? If yes, submit your application!

About the Challenge

The Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge aims to recognize new products, services, and best practices that can help farmers, consumers, and food companies to increase production effectiveness, competitiveness, and resilience while conserving agrobiodiversity.

In an open innovation approach, we aim to: 

  • Connect different actors who are motivated to improve global and community-based food systems.
  • Attract and support innovators to scale up their solutions through a long-term research and development collaboration with CGIAR and its partners. 
  • Identify innovators who could help advance research by sharing ideas and solutions. 
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The challenge will highlight leading innovations that are helping to use, conserve, and consume agrobiodiversity in ways that are better for people and for the environment. The competition is open to individual founders, private companies, and institutions. Learn more.

The Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge is being organized by The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, with the support of the Italian Government, and in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), The Lexicon, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture Business Incubation Platform, CIHEAM Bari, and the Italian Institute of Technology.


Applicants must be: individuals, private companies, or institutions responsible for an innovation with a demonstrated efficiency using novel tools, products, or services to enhance and promote sustainable food and agriculture.

  • Startups
  • International Organizations (IOs)
  • National Agriculture Research System (NARS)
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • Private Companies
  • Universities
  • Individuals (e.g. farmers, processors, engineers, etc.)

All innovations must apply to agrobiodiversity conservation and consumption practices and should aim to include climate change adaptation measures.

Application forms that are incomplete, do not comply with the terms and conditions specified in the call, or are submitted after the deadline, will not be considered.

No applicants under the age of 18 will be considered for the Award, unless represented by a parent or legal guardian. Participation is free of charge. 

Noticebard WhatsApp - Telegram Group
Noticebard WhatsApp - Telegram Group

Preference will be given to applications by teams that have developed solutions to address the needs of the rural poor and/or communities in fragile and conflict-affected states or heavily affected by the aftermath of COVID-19. 

Selection Process
  • Call for ideas announced. Submissions will be accepted until September 30, 2021 
  • The 10 shortlisted contestants will be notified by email. Guidelines will be provided for shortlisted contestants to prepare descriptions and pitches to be uploaded on the Congress platform. 
  • All applicants will be invited to attend and network at the 2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress. 
  • The 10 shortlisted contestants will be invited to take part in the Pitch Day Competition on Monday, November 15th. Contestants will be asked to make a final pitch and attend a Q&A session with the Selection Committee, investors, partners, and a global audience. 
  • The five winning innovations will be awarded a prize on November 15th. 
  • The winning innovations will also be notified by email and must respond to the notification email to accept the prize. If the Secretariat does not receive a response from winners within seven (7) days of the notification, the Secretariat reserves the right to reallocate the prize to another applicant.

The Selection Committee is chaired by the Deputy Director for Research & Innovation of Bioversity International and CIAT and four representatives of non-state actor/s from the field of research, academia, youth agriculture entrepreneurship, civil society, and/or the private sector.

Awards and Benefits

Awards will be conferred during a ceremony at the Congress. Prizes will be presented by the Director General of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and a high-level representative of the Government of Italy.

For Applicants:

Selected winners of the Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge will receive both in cash and in-kind prizes. 

Cash prize – Two grants/free equity of USD 5,000 to each of the top two innovators based on level of excellence and innovation – (IFAD) 

Mentoring – Support in fine tuning business models and developing business plans, along with access to science and business development teams – (CGIAR/ IITA BIP) 

Partnership – Partnering with a CGIAR scientist or team to provide guidance and feedback on innovation – (CGIAR/ Alliance, IIT) 

Matching – Participating in a Shark Tank/Dragon’s Den-like pitch to IFAD country teams for opportunities to match for further product development and/or scaling (IFAD) 

Expertise – In-kind, post-award support will be provided to equip innovators with tools, technical assistance, strategic guidance, technological due-diligence, mentorship, and access to a global community of scientists and to field operations to test and scale solutions – (CGIAR/ Alliance, IIT) 

Training and Tuition – Three winning ideas (team or member) will receive two full scholarship worth USD 25,000 each, and one additional full tuition assistance for participation in the Master I Level Open Innovation & Youth Entrepreneurship course from CIHEAM Bari – (CIHEAM Bari) 

Final allocations of the awards will be announced on September 30, 2021. 

For Startups and Founders:

Visibility and recognition – Shortlisted teams will be featured on the Agrobiodiversity Congress website, reaching a global audience including international investors and organizations, as well as have the opportunity to pitch virtually to the Selection Committee. 

Networking – Teams will have the opportunity to meet and network with technical experts, international organizations, investors, private sector companies, and research institutions. 

Corporate activities – Winning teams may be invited to opportunities for additional learning or exposure associated with the Agrobiodiversity Congress and Accelerate for Impact Platform, such as participating in social media campaigns, case studies, and webinars to foster the open innovation model and sustain entrepreneurship and innovation. 

How to Apply?

Interested applicants can apply for the challenge through this link.

Important Dates
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Email: innovations@cgiar.org

Click here to view the official notification for the Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge 2021.

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