Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research: Egg-Tech Prize – Seed Fund
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) is seeking applications for the Egg-Tech Prize, a groundbreaking initiative that seeks to revolutionize global egg production by preventing the culling of male chicks. FFAR will support the firm, group, or individual who successfully develops technology that can accurately and rapidly determine a chick’s sex as early as possible in the egg production process.
Several billion layer chicks are hatched each year to supply the world’s eggs, with demand expected to rise in coming years. Egg industry workers are currently only able to identify a chick’s sex after it hatches. For the six billion laying hens hatched each year worldwide, a similar number of male chicks are produced that never make it to market. The male chicks cannot lay eggs and are unsuitable for consumption due to poor growth performance and meat quality. As there is no need for the male chicks, they are culled, a practice known as male chick culling. This practice not only creates major challenges for animal welfare, but it also results in lost-opportunity costs that hinder farm profitability.
The Egg-Tech Prize encourages the development of innovative technologies that will determine a chick’s sex prior to incubation, which may allow male eggs to be directed into the food supply or vaccine production.
The Prize will also foster competition and build momentum to support scientific breakthroughs, from concept to prototype development, to provide practical solutions for the egg industry.
This prize is broken out into two distinct phases:
- Phase I: Seed Funding. Phase I provides funding to develop the necessary technology to compete in Phase II.
- Phase II: Prize Competition, details available in November 2019. Submissions for consideration can be made in early 2021. The objective of Phase II is to develop and validate a working prototype that meets the criteria published in late 2019. Participation in Phase II of the competition does not require that an organization apply for or receive an award in Phase I.
Amount: Up to five awards of up to $400,000 each will be awarded. The project duration is 12-24 months.
Eligibility: Any domestic or international public or private institution, consortium, nonprofit organization, for-profit company, tribal government entity, or any combination of these eligible entities may apply.
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