Centro de inversiones de la FAO

Shifting mindsets, fostering connections: Innovation with Private Sector

World Food Forum – Global Youth

Some inspired agrifood industry players today understand the need to move from the business-as-usual model to follow the pace of change, and to stay one step ahead. Market and consumer demands for more complex products with green credentials are increasing, as are the challenges of production and distribution in the context of the climate crisis. This is why companies are opening minds and doors to innovative thinkers, often from start-ups, as catalysts to alter traditional business models.

At the same time, these startups can benefit from the resources and access to markets provided by companies to fully test their ideas and innovations and bring them to scale. Such types of collaborations and partnerships - including the open innovation approach - are expanding, as agribusiness companies realize the benefits of looking beyond their own R&D across the sector, to discover, promote and adopt new ideas.

The EBRD and FAO are working closely together to support interactions between innovations, public and private investment and related policies, in order to support more sustainable and inclusive agribusiness development.

The concept of open innovation is being more and more embraced as to how unique partnerships between established companies and start-ups at the cutting edge of creative thinking can create market space for young people. This brings fresh ideas to the agrifood table; ideas that can potentially be scaled through sustainable agrifood investments.

The EBRD and the FAO Investment Centre as part of the World Food Forum/Global Youth 2023 invite you to explore the experiences of open innovation at our event, and will showcase how promoting these partnerships, coupled with the right investments, could contribute to agrifood systems transformation. You will also hear first-hand from both agri-food industry representatives and start-ups about the benefits and pitfalls they have experienced when joining forces, and gather tips on how to better innovate together.


This one-hour event will include a dynamic discussion with speakers and panelists including from the Institute of Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge, the agribusiness company Kernel Group, FAO’s Office of Innovation, as well as and the American University in Cairo and FreshSens. The latter two are respectively winners of the contest launched by Savola Foods Company and Migros Ticaret A.Ş., part of a recent open innovation competition designed to stimulate youth innovation and investment in agrifood technologies. The underlying aim is to promote innovative ways of doing business so as to make agrifood practices more sustainable environmentally, economically and socially.

Registration – WFF 2023 Flagship Event (zoom.us); Event language – English