Call for Submission: YSEALI World of Food Innovation Challenge

More than 600 million people living in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) states are awaiting your innovative ideas to boost regional food security. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is calling on young visionaries, like you, to help in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) World of Food Innovation Challenge! 

So let your imagination take flight in helping us tackle some of the region’s most daunting food security challenges! The YSEALI Innovation Challenge will consider innovative technology solutions that are most likely to have a positive impact on agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries.

The deadline to apply was May 1, 2016.

Who Can Participate?

  • Multi-disciplinary teams of students (e.g. students in agriculture, business, computer science, engineering, and food science) who are currently enrolled in a post-secondary technical vocational education and training (TVET) institution or university in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Teams must be limited to three members.
  • Diversity of team members, including a balance of male and female members, is strongly encouraged.
  • An instructor or faculty member must agree in writing to provide guidance and mentorship to support the team throughout the duration of the Innovation Challenge.
  • Students must be YSEALI members, ages 18-35 years old, and must be a citizen of one of the participating countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam).

What Should You Submit?

We are looking for a creative concept note that describes an innovative technology-based solution that addresses the following:

  • Sustainably manage and reduce waste and loss in the aquaculture and fisheries sectors over the next 10 – 20 years;
  • Increase labor productivity and/or yields in the agriculture sector over the next 10-20 years.
  • Increase adaptation capabilities of Southeast Asian food producers to the effects of climate change;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of businesses’ needs in the selected area; and
  • Are low cost, practical, can be fabricated in country and can be maintained/repaired locally.

All team entries, interviews and materials for the Innovation Challenge must be presented in English. Each team will be responsible for organizing their members, managing activities, and ensuring that a team representative is available to participate in Innovation Challenge events, as needed. All teams must submit original work and provide references where other work is cited.

Hungry for the Challenge?

Teams must submit a written Concept Note that defines a precise challenge in a food-related industry and proposes a technology-based solution.  Preference will be given to teams that can demonstrate that their Concept Note responds to an identified business need.  Documentation of an identified business need may include video, audio, or written quotes from a local business, academic expert, or an excerpt from published research related to technology challenges in the food processing value chain.