Published On: 03/06/2024Categories: Agbiosciences, AgriNovus News

New research defines critical areas of focus for innovation to eliminate food insecurity, launches HungerTech Innovation Challenge

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HungerTech Innovation Challenge to focus on developing tech models that increase equitable food distribution, environmental sustainability and economic viability

AgriNovus Indiana, an initiative to grow the state’s agbioscience economy, released new secondary research today identifying the need for market-driven technologies that ensure increased and equitable food distribution to eliminate hunger.

The study was conducted by Purdue University student, Tushar Sonvani, to inform the scope of the 2024 HungerTech Innovation Challenge that tasks innovators with creating and implementing tech-enabled business solutions that connect food supply with food demand. A winning solution will receive $25,000 to help accelerate commercialization of their solution.

“Combatting food insecurity requires a portfolio of solutions, and it’s clear that innovation presents tremendous opportunity to unlock new ability to better connect food supply with food demand,” said Mitch Frazier, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana.

Entitled Addressing Food Insecurity and Waste in the United States Through a Market-Driven Model, the research shows a significant paradox in the United States where nearly 12 percent of households face food insecurity while up to 40 percent of our nation’s food supply is discarded annually. This stark contrast is exacerbated by logistical inefficiencies, inaccurate demand planning and unequal access to information about the availability of food and nutrition.

The study unveils a key set of challenges that need to be solved to eliminate food insecurity, including:

  1. Logistical gaps in the food supply chain: current critical inefficiencies exist in capturing, managing and redirecting surplus food from points of excess – such as producers and retailers – to communities grappling with food insecurity (this is exacerbated for perishable goods).
  2. Inadequate demand planning and forecasting:  deployment of tools for accurately forecasting the production of surplus food and quantifying demand from food-insecure populations have significant deficiencies.
  3. Preservation: there are shortfalls in current food preservation technologies to prolong shelf life of perishables without detracting nutritional value or safety.

“The challenges that face food insecurity are numerous, systemic and widespread,” said Tushar Sonvani, Purdue University student and author of the study. “Participating in the HungerTech Research Sprint creates a new way for entrepreneurial minds to tackle these challenges head on with more than one solution to better connect food supply with food demand.”

Registration for the HungerTech Innovation Challenge closes on March 12. To learn more and register a team for this year’s Challenge, click here.

The full study, Addressing Food Insecurity and Waste in the United States Through a Market-Driven Model is available at