FAO Awards

Apply now for the 2024 Innovation Award

Selection and Eligibility Criteria

On 18 June 2021, the FAO Conference, at its Forty-second session, decided to establish a “FAO Award for Innovation” to recognise ground-breaking innovation in areas under FAO’s mandate to a broad spectrum of awardees including Members or non-state partners.

Agricultural innovation is the process whereby individuals or organizations bring new or existing products, processes or ways of organization into use for the first time in a specific context in order to increase effectiveness, competitiveness, resilience to shocks or environmental sustainability and thereby contribute to food security and nutrition, economic development or sustainable natural resource management. 

Innovation consists of doing something new and different, whether solving an old problem in a new way, addressing a new problem with a proven solution, or bringing a new solution to a new problem. 

Nature of the Award

  • a scroll describing the recipient's achievements and/or award,
  • a cash prize of USD 10 000

The FAO Award for Innovation will be conferred for ground-breaking innovation in areas under FAO’s mandate to a broad spectrum of awardees, including Members, institutions, individuals, international/regional organizations, academic or research entities, civil society organizations private sector entities.The Award will recognise but not be limited, for example, to innovations on agri-food systems, digital agriculture, agri-food innovation systems, advances in biotechnology, innovation in sustainable production practices such as Agro-ecology, new business models, etc. The innovations could fall under different categories such as technological, institutional, social, policy and financial innovations.

Award specific criteria:

  • Have an impact on more than one level of the supply chain from agricultural producers (e.g. farmers, herders, fishers) to consumers.
  • Strengthen the link between agricultural producers and consumers through innovative mechanisms (e.g innovative institutional arrangements, policy and financial mechanisms, social processes, innovative technological solutions including digital tools, platforms connecting producers and consumers, innovative ways of access to markets and consumers etc.,) with due consideration to environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainability.

General criteria:

  • Quality and merit of the innovation
  • Potential benefit, impact and sustainability
  • Accessibility and affordability of the innovation
  • Scalability
  • Value for money
  • Role of youth (under 35), and/or women, and/or marginalized groups

The procedures and general guidelines to be followed are set out below:

Submission of Nominations

Proposals for nominations presented by national, regional or global institutions should be submitted to FAO Representatives (in countries with an accredited FAO Representative) or to FAO Regional and Subregional Representatives (in countries with no accredited FAO Representative), as appropriate, for submission to the Awards Secretariat by 1 March 2024. If the nomination form is submitted by an individual or institution, an endorsement or letter of support from a FAO Representative (email or signed letter) should be attached or the application form will not be considered valid. All endorsements or letters of support will be verified.

The Office of Innovation (OIN) will provide the FAO Awards Secretariat with the necessary technical support, particularly with regard to the eligibility of each nomination including standard due diligence of the nominees if the entities are non-state actors.

An ad hoc interdepartmental Screening Committee chaired by the Deputy Director-General (Operations) and comprising the FAO Core Leadership Team, Assistant Directors-General at headquarters and at regional level, the Legal Counsel and the Director of the Office of Innovation and the Director  of the Office of Communications, as Secretary, will review the list of nominations submitted by the Awards Secretariat, and establish a short-list of nominations.  The Chairperson of the Screening Committee will submit the short-list of three institutions to the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

The Committee, chaired by the Director-General, and comprising the Independent Chairperson of the Council, the Chairperson of the Programme Committee and the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, will make a final decision on the basis of the short-list submitted by the Screening Committee.

The Award is conferred for activities and programmes with remarkable achievements during the biennium 2020-2021 preceding the current one. The Award will be presented by the Director-General to the individual or representative of the recipient institution during a special ceremony at the 176th session of the FAO Council on 2-6 December 2024.

The individual or representative of the selected institution will be invited to FAO Headquarters in Rome for the ceremony, the cost of travel being borne by the Organization.

Nomination Form

PLEASE SUBMIT by 1 March 2024 at 23.59 CET
Please note:

  • The text of the detailed nomination should be self-contained and should provide concrete elements and information.
  • The nomination can be submitted electronically at the form below or sent via mail at [email protected]
  • Detailed information of the nominated entity
    Detailed Nomination

    As per the terms and conditions, all applications should: (i) either be submitted by an FAO Representative or Director OR (ii) accompanied by an FAO endorsement (email or letter signed by an FAO Representative of the country in which the nominee is based, or a Director at FAO headquarters)

    (i)  If you are an FAO Representative or Director:

    (ii)  If you are not an FAO Representative or Director, please attach your FAO endorsement here

    pdf, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, ppsx, xls, xlsx

    Terms and Conditions

    By submitting an application on the FAO Awards page (https://www.fao.org/fao-awards/en), all applicants of the FAO Awards hereby acknowledge and agree to the following:

    General Provisions

    • Users acknowledge and accept to be bound by these Terms and Conditions, and the FAO’s Terms and Conditions. In the event of a conflict or inconsistency between these Terms and Conditions and FAO’s Terms and Conditions, the present Terms and Conditions shall prevail to the extent necessary to resolve such conflict or inconsistency.
    • FAO has the right to consider ineligible any application forms that are incomplete, do not comply with the terms and conditions specified, or are submitted beyond the deadline, according to the instructions provided.
    • No applicants under the age of 18 will be considered for the Awards.
    • Applications will not be considered eligible unless proof of endorsement by an FAO Representative or Director is provided.
    • FAO will not pay any fees, nor pay any costs relating to, participation in the FAO Awards, apart from the prizes outlined for each specific award to the winner/s.
    • Information provided by users who wish to submit an application, when registering via the form will be processed by FAO and stored in the FAO awards page database in accordance with FAO’s corporate procedures, including its Privacy Policy. Such information will be used and may be made available to third parties exclusively for services related to and within the purposes of the FAO Awards page and Features, or FAO institutional activities.
    • FAO reserves the right to verify the eligibility of applicants or that of any entry (including users’ identity and address) and to consider not eligible any application that is not in accordance with these Terms and Conditions or who tampers with the entry process. By submitting entries to the FAO Awards Secretariat, users agree that their Contact and Personal Data may be processed, shared, and otherwise used for the purposes and within the context of the FAO Awards and any other purposes outlined in these Terms and Conditions.

    Responsibility of Applicants

    • Users acknowledge and agree that they:
    • will comply with all applicable laws, including, without limitation, privacy laws, intellectual property laws, anti-spam laws;
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    • Unless otherwise indicated, applicants acknowledge and agree that the material submitted through the Application Form may be reused and redistributed by users for non-commercial purposes, in line with the objectives of the FAO Awards, without requesting prior written permission. Where specific authorization to reuse and redistribute material is required, users must obtain the necessary permission from the respective rights holder(s).
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    • FAO Awards web page
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    • Changes to these Terms and Conditions will be posted on this webpage and will be available via the FAO website. By participating in the the FAO Awards subsequent to FAO making available an amended version of these Terms and Conditions, users acknowledge, agree and consent to such amendment(s).

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    • The information on the FAO Awards page (https://www.fao.org/fao-awards/en) is provided for the convenience of users. Hence, FAO is not responsible for its accuracy, nor for any use of such information by users.
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    Nothing in these Terms and Conditions, nor any acts performed or statements made in relation to the FAO Awards page, shall be deemed as a waiver, express or implied, of any of the privileges and immunities of FAO, or as its acceptance of the applicability of any national laws, or of the jurisdiction of the courts of any country over disputes arising out of, or in connection with, these Terms and Conditions.