Top officials during the agreement signing ceremony in Davos.
On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 at Davos, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) has signed an agreement with the World Economic Forum (WEF) confirming the intention of the two sides to cooperate in the creation of the Global Platform for Food Innovation Hubs.
WEF established the Food Innovation Hubs initiatives to strengthen local innovation ecosystems to facilitate food system transformation, and this new international platform will contribute to focusing and accelerating the scope of innovation to improve sustainable food production mechanisms around the world.
The new Global Platform for Food Innovation Hubs aims to enhance joint international scientific and research cooperation in the field of food, exchange knowledge, experiences and data to develop local food production systems, and support national and global strategies to achieve and enhance food security. In doing so, it will help achieve the United Nations’ 2030 sustainable development goals, especially the second goal of ending hunger.
The agreement confirms Dubai as the international headquarters for the annual meeting of the Food Innovation Hubs. It also stipulates that MBRGI will also join the Supervisory Board of the Food Systems Initiative and the Steering Committee of WEF’s Food Innovation Hubs.
Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Secretary-General of MBRGI, highlighted that addressing global food challenges requires innovative thinking and international innovation accelerators through which we can develop modern solutions. The agreement with Davos provides a global platform for collaboration with all stakeholders.
Al Gergawi said, “In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, MBRGI is one of the largest institutions, regionally and globally, to battle the hunger and malnutrition, and provide less fortunate communities with food support.”
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, said, “In 2018, the UAE announced the National Food Security Strategy 2051 to develop a comprehensive national ecosystem that enables sustainable food production using smart technology across the value chain and enhancing initiatives that utilize research and development capabilities. The MBRGI-WEF collaboration to establish the Global Platform for Food Innovation Hubs supports that objective and will impact food security locally, regionally, and globally.”
The agreement, which paves the way for three-year cooperation, was signed by Saeed Al Eter, Assistant Secretary-General of MBRGI, and Sean De Cleene, member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, in the presence of a number of officials from both sides.
Saeed Al Eter stressed that, under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the MBRGI supports all efforts aimed at developing mechanisms and techniques for food production globally and bringing about qualitative future transformations to deliver integrated systems for food innovation. They are also fully committed to supporting research and development, the transfer and dissemination of knowledge, and the integration of the applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as artificial intelligence and data science to accelerate food security for countries and societies most affected by the repercussions of climate change, crises and rapid economic transformations.
Al Eter said, “Approximately 800 million people across the globe suffer from hunger or malnutrition. The crises that the world has witnessed during the past few years have directly affected supply chains, especially in the food sector, which underlines the urgent need to develop systems, options and alternatives to enhance food production at national levels, and provide interconnected and effective food safety nets locally and globally.”
He added, “The world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050. In this context, MBRGI’s support for the establishment of the Global Platform for Food innovation Hubs, which will be present in 17 global cities on five continents by 2030, is designed to achieve a sustainable future for food production, and contribute to meeting the demand in present and future.”
Sean De Cleene said, “Through the global network of Food Innovation Hubs, we seek to build a strong country and regional innovation ecosystems for the food systems to facilitate partnerships between farmers, innovators, financiers, governments, private sector and others to accelerate and expand innovations, investments and collaboration towards positive transformations in safeguarding people and the planet.”
He added, “WEF’s cooperation with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, which is known for its humanitarian and development initiatives that make a qualitative difference in the lives of communities around the world.”