By awarding up to $90,000 in grants to four finalist teams, DINA, a not-for-profit from Danone North America (DNA), says it will support food sustainability and reflect its mission to “bring health through food to as many people as possible.”
The organization is looking for transdisciplinary teams from the US and Canada to apply, now through June 1. The four finalists will “design, implement and evaluate actionable community-based projects for sustainable food systems.”
DINA plans for this inaugural year of the ‘One Planet. One Health Initiative’ to provide seed funding for projects like pilot studies, feasibility testing, needs assessments and planning grants. Each team will receive a $20,000 Innovation Award to ‘implement its project’ and ‘amplify its message’ to a broader audience.
Miguel Freitas, Ph.D., VP of scientific affairs at DNA, said "As one of the largest food and beverage companies in the U.S., it's our responsibility to find new, more sustainable ways of working and empower future innovators to do the same."
A new generation of thought leaders
DINA will have the four teams attend a four-day program in Boulder, Colorado for training on sustainable food systems. They will learn from experts in sustainability, implementation science, communication, nutrition and economics, and also participate in presentations and panels involving community leaders like farmers and retailers.
The entry proposals are required to include written components like a project description, design and evaluation plans and one-year budget details. The teams must: have four core members representing “diverse disciplines related to food systems,” and be led by someone associated with an academic institution.
Leslie Lytle, president of DINA, said "A transdisciplinary approach is critical to building sustainable foods systems, and that's why the One Planet. One Health. Initiative was designed to forge relationships between diverse practices and fields of study."
"The program will bring together seasoned experts and budding innovators to uncover new solutions through an immersive experience that starts with the proposal development. We encourage all scholars and practitioners who share in our vision to create a healthier world through food to join us by submitting a project idea that helps bring this vision to life."
At the end of the program, the teams will present their projects and a communication plan to a panel of experts. A selected winner will be awarded an additional $10,000 prize, and all the teams can continue receiving coaching by food systems experts and DINA board members following the end of the program.
Some of the objectives DINA outlined for the four-day event include:
- Catalyze the amplification of the One Planet. One Health vision through innovative, actionable North America-focused initiatives to promote sustainable food systems.
- Foster a new generation of transdisciplinary thought leaders and academic-led teams trained to work together and to advocate for food systems solutions that can benefit the public and promote the One Planet. One Health vision.
- Amplify the understanding of sustainable food systems among the press and public.
- Forge new networks and collaborative relationships among Danone North America, Danone Institute North America, North America academic institutions, and broader food systems disciplines.