the Next Billion
XPRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and incentivizing breakthroughs that address the most critical challenges facing humanity. Established by Executive Chairman Peter H. Diamandis in 1994, the Foundation has pursued a vision of hope and abundance for humankind’s future by fostering innovation, accelerating breakthroughs and inspiring entrepreneurs to focus on the biggest global challenges through large-scale, incentivized prizes. Title Sponsor of XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, ASPIRE, a UAE governmental organisation, shares similar goals to create transformative technological solutions for the benefit of all.
The two organizations worked together to create XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, a $15 million competition, launched in December 2020. The project aims at reinventing how humanity will feed future generations by incentivizing the production of structured chicken breast or fish filet alternatives that replicate or outperform conventional chicken and fish in: access, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, nutrition, as well as taste and texture.
Abu Dhabi was selected as a natural host for the event due to the centrality of its food sustainability agenda and its commitment to innovation and technology. The Semifinals took place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), 2-7 February 2023, and brought together 8 teams from around the world to compete in a closed event. During Semifinals testing, each team presented plant or cell-based protein samples that they had created, these samples were assessed by the judges on weight, size, safety for consumption, and preparation/cookability, and teams were only permitted to use oil, salt and pepper for seasoning.
ADNEC’s The Hive and White Rooms were used as briefing, preparation and judging areas and a purpose- built industrial kitchen was built outside on ADNEC’s adjoining grandstand space.
ADNEC Services, ADNEC Group’s award-winning event agency, were engaged by XPRIZE to support Semifinals testing. Due to the technical requirements of the event, with regards to industrial kitchen space, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre was the obvious choice for venue. Each individual closed cooking station was fully equipped, and lockable refrigeration was also provided due to the proprietary nature of the protein products.
ADNEC Services involved Capital Catering + Services, a fellow ADNEC Group company who supported the event with the provision of chefs as well as procurement and kit-out of the kitchens. Capital Catering + Services supported the event free-of-charge due to their own commitment to innovation, sustainability and food development. They also procured hotel blocks for them through ADNEC group stablemate, Capital Experience and consulted with logistics companies to facilitate customs clearances.
The client was extremely happy with the event and Caroline Kolta, Program Director, XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion said “XPRIZE had a great experience working with all the teams at ADNEC. From early planning with ADNEC Services to on-site support, the ADNEC teams continuously demonstrated their willingness and capability to ensure the success of XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion Semifinals.
Everyone enjoyed the space and was impressed by the level of support that was provided throughout the event. Operations ran smoothly and we received great feedback on catering. I would recommend ADNEC as a venue that is versatile for any event.”