CHICAGO — IFT
's Food Improved by Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST)
, a new digital experience powered by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) will take place virtually next month. Programming and presentations will take place from July 19-21, 2021, while the Solution Exchange will be offered from July 19-23, 2021. FIRST, a new AI-enabled experience, will provide an interactive, personalized platform that brings together international communities to solve food-centric challenges and spark innovation to benefit the global population.
Trained chef, television personality and author Carla Hall will serve as host for the three-day event. Keynote speakers are Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, founder and CEO of Food Systems for the Future, and Dr. Lisa Dyson, founder & CEO of Air Protein. Claire Schlemme, founder and CEO of Renewal Mill and winner of IFT’s inaugural IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge pitch event, will host this year’s IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge.
“As a science of food and innovation community, IFT is uniquely positioned to convene global experts, entrepreneurs and solution providers to collectively discuss and ignite new and innovative ways to solve our greatest food-related challenges,” said IFT CEO Christie-Tarantino Dean. “While we can’t be physically together, IFT is excited to launch FIRST and provide attendees with a personalized, solution-packed forum to solve problems, share knowledge and expand strategic connections.”
New this year, FIRST will feature a matchmaking program called FIRST Solution Exchange, which will offer customized supplier recommendations, curate one-on-one meetings and feature interactive showrooms. Extending this experience will be Solution Suites, a virtual marketplace where participants can peruse supplier showrooms to learn and engage with experts about the latest products and services.
Other key aspects of the digital experience include:
- Curated Scientific Program: The scientific programming will focus on answering the question “Zero Hunger: Will we get there?” Sessions will feature the latest insights, research and industry solutions aimed at addressing the global hunger crisis.
- Supplier Showcase: Attendees will gain insights into emerging trends, access valuable business resources and make strategic connections through interactive and on-demand presentations and showcases from suppliers, all designed to further career and business opportunities.
- Startup Central: Innovative startup companies from around the globe will showcase their products and services as part of Startup Central. Startu/ulp programming and networking opportunities will also be offered for anyone interested in furthering their food science and business acumen and expanding their professional ecosystem.