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Home » QRDI Council launches a new open innovation opportunity in partnership with Hassad Food

QRDI Council launches a new open innovation opportunity in partnership with Hassad Food

by Mohammad Ghazal

The Qatar Research, Development, and Innovation (QRDI) Council’s flagship program, Qatar Open Innovation (QOI), launched an Open Innovation Opportunity of proposing technologies to produce lettuce using indoor farming in cooperation with Hassad Food Company.

Through its Innovation Opportunities, QRDI Council has partnered with Hassad Food, a Qatar Investment Authority subsidiary, invests globally and locally in food and agribusiness. It supports food security, owns subsidiaries, and has strategic holdings in farming, poultry, animal feed, dates processing, dairy, and livestock. Hassad is actively involved in crisis management and research.

Commenting on the launch, Mrs. Haya Al-Ghanim, QRDI Council’s RDI Programs, said, “We are excited to partner with Hassad Food in our pursuit of innovative technologies that promote sustainable agriculture and enhance food security. Indoor farming holds tremendous potential in addressing the challenges posed by arid conditions and limited resources. Through this collaboration, we aim to develop commercially viable solutions for lettuce production, leveraging the expertise and ingenuity of technology developers and agricultural innovators. Together, we can pave the way for a more sustainable and efficient future in agriculture.”

“Qatar’s National Vision 2030 aligns with these objectives, emphasising sustainable management of environmental, food, and water resources. In line with this vision, the Qatar Research, Development and Innovation (QRDI) Council and Hassad Food have joined forces to identify groundbreaking technologies that can facilitate the commercially viable production of leafy vegetables, specifically lettuce, through innovative indoor farming techniques,” Al-Ghanim added.

This joint initiative between QRDI Council and Hassad Food signifies a significant stride towards sustainable agriculture and the circular economy. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and embracing innovative farming practices, the project aims to enhance food security and optimise resource utilisation, aligning with Qatar’s strategic mission to manage its environmental, food, and water resources sustainably.

Hassad Food opportunity is entitled “Commercially Viable Indoor Farming of Lettuce in Arid Conditions”. Demand for innovative farming is increasing due to food security concerns, limited land, and high CO2 costs. Indoor farming is popular worldwide for efficient resource management and high-quality food. It’s promising for arid regions with limited resources. Advancements in hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics have accelerated its development. QRDI Council and Hassad Food seek tech for lettuce production using indoor farming, aligned with sustainability goals. The deadline to submit the proposal is September 06, 2023.

Recent advancements in high-tech systems, including hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics, have accelerated the development of indoor farming techniques. These technologies hold immense promise in addressing the challenges of harsh environments by minimising maintenance efforts and maximising yield. As prototypes and innovative projects emerge, the vision of establishing fully functional indoor farms draws closer to reality.

To ensure the successful implementation of indoor farming technologies, it is crucial to develop low-cost, simple-to-operate methods that require fewer labor hours and entail lower setup and operational costs.

Hassad Food, a prominent name in the agriculture industry, is actively seeking collaboration with innovative indoor farming companies and high-performing startups (HPSUs) to enable the large-scale production of Romaine and Iceberg lettuce varieties. As part of the collaboration, Hassad Food will provide full access to essential resources such as power, water, and required footprints.

The QOI program has provided a unique opportunity for innovators to collaborate with leading organisations, industry experts, and mentors to develop and scale their ideas. The program previously launched 21 challenge calls in collaboration with various partners in Qatar, including GWC, Aspire, Baladna, Sidra, Ooredoo, Es’hailSat, Hassad Food, Kahramaa, Milaha, the Ministry of Environment and climate change, and the Ministry of Municipality.

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