In the face of global food and nutrition crises, incremental adjustment in existing technology is not enough; the future of food systems hinges on innovative solutions that can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Innovative approaches and opportunities for the transformation of food systems exist. ‘Innovations’ includes new products, business models, policy practices, technologies, behavioral insights, or ways of delivering products and services that benefit the poor in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These include the innovative use of technology, the reallocation of government expenditure, and the promotion of more nutritious diets. However, scaling these innovations requires capital and platforms to connect stakeholders and facilitate the transfer of technology and know-how. It is here that food system innovation hubs have a key role to play.
This chapter draws attention to the role that food system innovation hubs can play in creating healthy, resilient and inclusive communities in LMICs. Eight different archetypes of food innovation hubs are described, and the opportunities for these hubs to deliver planet-friendly nutritious and safe foods are explored. These archetypes include science and technology parks, research centers, incubators, accelerators, advanced development spaces, innovation districts, virtual hubs and nodes. Food system innovation hubs can provide transformative solutions to food systems by bringing the right innovations to market faster in a cost-effective manner.
This is a chapter from Science and Innovations for Food Systems Transformation - a critical product of the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit.