March 28, 2023

Agrifood systems transformation accelerates climate action: the FAO Transformative Research Challenge looks for innovative research ideas / Deadline 31st May, 2023


The World Food Forum (WFF) is an independent, youth-led global network of partners facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UNIMED’s partner.

It aims to spark a global movement that empowers young people everywhere to actively shape agrifood systems to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a better food future for all.

To drive awareness, foster engagement and advocacy, and mobilize resources, the WFF connects youth groups, influencers, companies, academic institutions, nonprofits, governments, media and the public.

It features a range of interactive online events, networks and content platforms organized around four thematic tracks: Youth ActionInnovationEducation and Culture.

In 2023, the World Food Forum (WFF) is committed to the theme: “Agrifood systems transformation accelerates climate action.

Currently, agrifood systems account for one-third of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions90 percent of global deforestation and 70 percent of water use globally, and are the single greatest cause of terrestrial biodiversity loss, putting pressure on food value chains. Food is also the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills and we lose or waste enough food to feed 1.3 billion hungry people every year.

Transforming agrifood systems can – and must – be a central part of the global climate solution. It can significantly accelerate climate action and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By creating efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems we can mitigate and adapt to climate change, increase biodiversity and restore ecosystems, while also ensuring food security and better nutrition through agrifood systems that enable and sustain healthy diets, and a more equitable future for all.

In order to truly and meaningfully address climate change, we need to focus on transforming our agrifood systems.

In this context, the WFF launched the Transformative Research Challenge (TRC), aimed to inspire research and innovation in sustainable development. Teams of young and young-at-heart researchers are invited to submit a two-page concept note proposing an innovative research idea to help end hunger and transform our agrifood systems. Shortlisted innovators will be invited to present a lightning talk at the WFF flagship event taking place in October 2023.

The WFF is teaming up with organizations who are looking to promote innovative, research-based solutions on topics related to the global agrifood system transformation through special prizes. Each special prize entails a different set of criteria for participation. Learn more here.

Indeed, this year’s TRC, special prizes will be co-hosted together with internal and external partners on topics related to the agrifood systems . This means that the co-host will be responsible to nominate mentors and reviewers as mentorship is part of this challenge. In addition, winners will be provided with funds to take their ideas one step further. 

An info session will be held on the 4th of April to kick off the TRC special Prize on Global One Health. Please find more info here.

UNIMED supports the Transformative Research Challenge and invites its member universities to commit to local action that emphasizes innovation, partnerships, science-backed evidence, and above all inclusiveness. UNIMED promotes a sustainable change, which means to respond to local needs and encourage youth to focus efforts on local actions.

Learn more on the Transformative Research Challenge at Special Prizes at The deadline for the Submission of Concept Notes is May 31st, 2023.