Application to Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Challenge

About the Challenge

In the midst of the COVID-19 challenge we all face major uncertainty. We anticipate a deep recession and we anticipate that 1bn people will fall back into a position of nutrition insecurity at a time when the already-stretched global food supply will come under increasing pressure. We must focus on the need to make affordable and nutritious food available, but at the same time we cannot ignore the burning platform that is the need for action to mitigate climate change.

These two challenges can move forward hand-in-hand. The ability to extract value from food supply chains in an energy efficient manner can support the economics for consumers, manufacturers and their supply base (including farmers) whilst reducing the CO2 footprint of the entire food value chain. Startups can play a unique role in bringing new disruptive ideas to the table. Corporations can play a critical role in scaling these ideas bringing benefits to society quickly.

A group of leading global food manufacturers and producers- Nestlé, Bühler, GEA, Givaudan, Barry Callebaut, Südzucker, Amcor – have partnered with MassChallenge to find and collaborate with startups or organisations, who have proven solutions or technologies, in the following areas:

  1. Food processing solutions (technology, software, control) that minimizes waste and the use of energy, water and chemicals.
  2. Technology solutions to reduce the CO2 footprint of food production, distribution & disposal.
  3. Value creation/upcycling of food processing side streams
  4. Sustainable (plastic-free) bottling and food packaging

The Sustainable Food Systems Challenge is a project to find 6 startups or organisations, and match them to MassChallenge’s corporate partners, so that the startup & partner can collaborate to scale the startup’s idea, and contribute to feed the planet sustainably.

More info here:

Press review: La Liberté February 28th 2020

The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley actively supports the creation of a National Centre of Competence Research (NCCR) in the field of food. Sustainable and high-quality food.

A research project has been launched by more than 70 specialists supported by a parliamentary interpellation I submitted last year (19.4306). A Task Force will be set up early April.

Switzerland will thereby confirm its leadership in Future fo Food. The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley is working on it.

A lire dans la Liberté du 28 février:

Future Food Initiative

EPFL and ETH Zurich are looking for talented and motivated young researchers ready to address the main challenges of the food system. Deadline: 31 March 2020.

For more information you can download the Future Food brochure here

Press Release – Davos, January 23, 2020

Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley : a unique innovation ecosystem

The Swiss Canton of Vaud, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne (EHL Group) and Nestlé have joined forces to develop and promote a food and nutrition innovation ecosystem. The initiative was launched on 23 January 2020 at the World Economic Forum in Davos under « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley ». The aim is to address the key challenges of sustainable and high-quality food by attracting talent, start-ups and investments to Switzerland. An association is being set up in order to bring together the stakeholders of the ecosystem and lead the initiative, supported by the Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin, in charge of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.


Press Release – Davos, January 23, 2020


The production of sustainable and high-quality food and nutrition is vital. The world is facing major challenges ranging from agricultural production, nutrition, to waste management and recycling. Switzerland can play a key role in addressing these challenges: it is home to a unique food and nutrition innovation ecosystem, which comprises of high-quality gastronomy and agriculture, an unparalleled density of world-class companies and scientific institutions, and a large number of start-ups in the fields of food, nutrition, life sciences and robotics. Thanks to intensive collaboration between the local stakeholders, first-class innovation platforms have emerged in Switzerland.


The Swiss Canton of Vaud, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne (EHL Group) and Nestlé have joined forces to create the « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley », and make Switzerland a world reference for innovation in food and nutrition. The aim is to attract talent, start-ups and investors, while connecting the existing ecosystem, contributing to their visibility, and to develop sustainable solutions for quality food and nutrition.


To achieve these objectives, and strengthen our ecosystem,  the « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley » organizes events in Switzerland and abroad and takes part in international shows under the brand «Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley ». The campaign was launched with Presence Switzerland at the last Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It will continue as part of the #SwissTech campaign, run jointly by Presence Switzerland, Switzerland Global Entreprise (S-GE), Innosuisse, Swissnex and digitalswitzerland. An international symposium dedicated to the future of food will be held in Lausanne on 25 and 26 September 2020.


The « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley » addresses the key challenges of the future of food and nutrition from a sustainability perspective, using cutting-edge science and technology – from agriculture to waste, from innovative products to healthy and sustainable diets. The initiative will focus on various areas, such as nutrition, life sciences, alternative proteins, packaging science, waste management and precision agriculture.


The four founding members of the « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley » will create an association by spring 2020 in order to engage all key players of the ecosystem – cantons, companies, start-ups, universities and associations. The membership terms and  statutes are currently being finalized and will be presented at the association’s constitutive assembly.  The « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley » is being launched with the support of Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.


Contact: Fathi Derder,

Martin Vetterli (president EPFL), Paul Bulcke (Chairman Nestlé) and Franck Giovannin (Chef Hotel de Ville, Crissier).