Transforming the Food System through Strategic Partnerships in
Moonshots for Better Food

IIFH joins a non-profit consortium of food and agriculture leaders to accelerate food system transformation

moonshots for better food (image source:

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SEPTEMBER 13, 2018 – Davis, CA — The Innovation Institute for Food and Health (IIFH) at UC Davis is partnering with FoodShot Global, a world-class consortium of investors, universities and foundations to accelerate food system transformation through “Moonshots for Better Food”.

FoodShot Global is a new investment platform that provides financing and support to innovators and their businesses to create a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable food system worldwide. Along with IIFH, FoodShot partners include Rabobank, Generation Investment Management, Mars Edge, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Builders Initiative, Armonia, The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, ACRE, The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the Soil Health Institute, and The Nature Conservancy. The unique combination of debt and equity financing, along with $500,000 in annual philanthropic prizes, helps accelerate food and agriculture innovations that can require support over longer life cycles to be truly transformative.

“We must look at where systemic transformation is needed, and how current systems can be improved to provide safe, sustainable and secure nutrition for all,” said Justin Siegel, IIFH Faculty Director. “By enabling multi-sector collaboration, the IIFH can accelerate research discovery from inception to wide-scale delivery and community impact.” IIFH’s partnership with FoodShot leverages uncommon collaborations and UC Davis expertise to provide capacity-building resources and de-risk early stage ventures.”

Together, IIFH and the FoodShot consortium are expanding a vibrant innovation community in food and health, focusing on soil in their first annual challenge: Innovating Soil 3.0. “As we strive to feed a growing population while protecting the planet, a perfect storm has emerged creating an urgent need for change. But no one fund, bank, company, foundation or university can solve global food system issues alone,” said Victor Friedberg, founder and chairman of FoodShot Global. “The deterioration of soil is one of the most pressing global crises for humanity affecting health, environment and geopolitical security.”

Innovating Soil 3.0 seeks projects and ideas that utilize the latest in technology, science and engineering to address the crisis of soil deterioration. To develop a 21st century soil operating system, FoodShot is seeking innovators tapping into advances in biology, genetics, and chemistry, and solutions that lean on big data, smart sensors, blockchain and robotics to set the framework for a global food system that can sustainably and equitably produce healthy food for all. “Achieving systemic change in the global food system means taking big risks — approaches that are radically new, not just incrementally better,” said Sara Eckhouse, FoodShot’s executive director. “We’re looking for those bold ideas, innovative companies, and groundbreaking organizations that can shift the paradigm.”

As part of a dynamic and integrated strategy to create a food system that can nourish people and sustain the planet, IIFH is excited to help drive such innovations forward. Through this unique partnership between investors, academia and entrepreneurs, FoodShot vetted startups will receive IIFH research and development support to advance and validate new products and processes, bring concepts to scale, and overcome barriers to commercialization. IIFH and FoodShot are also pleased to partner in supporting an inaugural Innovator Fellowship that offers graduate students essential hands-on experience and insights into how investors evaluate food-agriculture-technology startups. Eligible students are invited to explore upcoming biannual fellowship opportunities.

About the Innovation Institute for Food and Health

The IIFH at UC Davis makes uncommon connections between sectors and disciplines to catalyze innovation across food, agriculture and health. For more information, please visit

Media contact: Karina Saravia, (530) 752-8087,

About FoodShot Global

Headquartered in New York, FoodShot Global is a non-profit investment platform bringing together a worldwide consortium of venture funds, banks, corporations, universities, and foundations to catalyze the success of global, transformative solutions to critical food and agriculture problems. For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Kirsten Maynard, (415) 350-4147,


IIFH and FoodShot initiate their partnerships through an inaugural Innovator Fellowship that offers graduate students essential hands-on experience and insights into how investors evaluate food-agriculture-technology startups.

2018 Innovator Summit

Plenary FoodShot Panel, during IIFH’s 2018 Innovator Summit
How do we best pursue uncommon collaborations and outcomes? How do we produce healthy foods to meet the demands of a growing global population, while considering planetary margins? How do we transform the food system into one that is more healthy, sustainable and equitable?

FoodShot Global chairman & founder, Victor Friedberg, discusses the importance of investing in the future of food. It’s time to transform the food system at the annual EAT forum.