Wednesday March 20

Overcoming Obstacles Presummit Workshop: Scaling Biotech to Reach Commercialization

When: Wednesday, March 20 2024, 1:00– 5:00pm PT

More details on the presummit workshop to come.

Thursday March 21

Taking A Holistic Approach to Tackling Nutritional Insecurity
  • From feeding those in schools and hospitals to the everyday consumer, how are food industry players working together to overcome nutritional insecurity through innovation and collaboration?
  • How are the ramifications of covid, climate change and market volatility still impacting food security in the US and around the globe? What programs and initiatives are being put into practice to combat these ripple effects?
  • In times of geo-political instability and conflict, how can supply chains be strengthened to ensure that access to food isn’t disrupted when needed the most?
  • What impetus should be placed on government and federal bodies to shape policy and encourage the procurement of healthy and sustainable foods, increasing access to good food?

Leticia Gonçalves, President, Global Foods and Specialty Ingredients, ADM
Isabelle Esser, Chief Research, Innovation, Quality and Food Safety Officer, DANONE

Leveraging AI to Create the Next Generation of Food
  • How is AI already being integrated into food production and business operations to accelerate transformation across the food system? Looking to the future, what new channels can AI and digitalization open up?
  • What is the potential for food companies to leverage AI to accelerate product development and design more nutritious foods and ingredients?
  • What power does AI have to level the playing field in the food industry? How will large corporations and CPGs stay ahead of the game?
  • From data and ethics issues to costly implementation, what challenges does the application of AI in the food space create?

Session Chair:

Lanette Shaffer Werner, Chief Innovation, Technology and Quality Officer, GENERAL MILLS

Networking Coffee Break & Live Demo Kitchen
Prioritizing Climate-Smart Solutions to Accelerate the Journey to Net Zero
  • How do companies across the value chain determine their carbon footprint to better understand their impact and the changes necessary to move forward, given the importance of reaching net-zero?
  • What innovations are accelerating efforts to reach net-zero targets? From alternative ingredients for carbon heavy foods, to waste reduction and processing innovation, what are the latest developments?
  • How can sustainability be incorporated into all parts of the supply chain, including manufacturing and distribution?
  • Are standardized frameworks and procedures like LCAs and MFAs the key to calculating accurate footprint and environmental impact more transparently?
  • What platforms and technologies are able to capture quality data to enable accurate reporting of footprint and impact?

Session Chair:
Sara Eckhouse, Executive Director, FOODSHOT GLOBAL

Andy Jarvis, Future of Food Director, BEZOS EARTH FUND
Andrew Richard, Chief Technology Officer & Founder, COMET
Ashley Kleckner, Senior Vice President, TERVIVA

Diversifying the Food System with Novel Foods
  • As the need to diversify the food system increases in urgency, what novel products, ingredients and technologies might we expect to see by 2050?
  • How are innovators looking to nature in order to reimagine food production, from inspiring molecular farming approaches to utilizing duckweed and water lentils for next-gen legumes?
  • What will new developments with novel foods and ingredients mean for nutritional health, across the globe and in particular in lower income areas?
  • What innovations and technologies can provide sustainably sourced alternatives, that are also low in cost so not compromising on accessibility or affordability?

Session Chair:
Jack Bobo, Director Food Systems Institute, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM


The Future of Nutrition, Backed by Science

Emilie Fromentin, Head of Explore Health, Wellness and Nutrition, GIVAUDAN

Creating Nutrition-Centric Foods through Fortification and Bioactives
  • How are companies taking a more targeted approach to fortification and what innovation can tackle specific nutritional concerns with bioactives?
  • What developments are elevating the impact, digestibility, and performance of fortified products?
  • How are AI and machine learning being utilized to further understand the relationship between bioactives and human health, as well as optimizing formulation and product development?
  • What partnerships across the food space are emerging to increase the integration of bioactives into food and health products?

Session Chair:
Katie Stebbins, Executive Director of the Food & Nutrition Innovation Institute, TUFTS UNIVERSITY

Sofia Elizondo, Co-Founder and COO, BRIGHTSEED
Frank Jaksch, Chief Executive Officer, AYANA BIO

Networking Lunch Break & Live Demo Kitchen

Lunch hosted by:

Developing a Roadmap to Take Alt Proteins to Commercialization
  • As the alternative proteins sector reaches a new phase, how do players achieve the scale needed to reach successful commercial models?
  • What infrastructure is necessary to scale, and what enabling technologies can complement and accelerate this?
  • It’s no secret that scaling is CAPEX intensive, so what funding or subsides will be necessary for scale to be achieved when fundraising is more challenging?
  • What collaborations and partnerships are crucial in order to reach commercialization, and what does a successful partnership look like?

Session Chair:
Steven Winegar, Head of Science, MCWIN CAPITAL PARTNERS

Tony Moses, Director, Product Innovation, CRB GROUP
Francisco M Codoner, CEO, SCALEUP BIO 


Deep Dive: Navigating Health Challenges with Personalized Nutrition
  • As the links between health and diet are increasingly on the consumer’s radar, what are the key needs being addressed through personalized nutrition currently, and what are the future trends?
  • What technologies, from AI to wearable hardware, are elevating personalized nutrition platforms by enhancing the quality of the data gathered and improving our understanding of the impact of specific foods on individual health?
  • What are the biggest challenges for personalized solutions to reach mass market? What obstacles need to be overcome?

Ari Tulla, CEO & Founder, ELO HEALTH

Networking Roundtable Discussions

Delegates break into small groups to discuss the most critical issues facing the food-tech industry. Each table is hosted by an industry expert, and delegates can choose the topic most relevant to their business.

Networking Coffee Break & Live Demo Kitchen
Overcoming the Obstacles in Advancing Cell-Based from Vision to Reality
  • As the sector matures and the cell-cultivating space moves from vision to reality, how can companies maintain momentum in the face of scalability and fundraising challenges?
  • How are enabling technologies being implemented to reduce cost and time to market from growth factors to scaffolding, and what role can hybrid products play to improve performance and consumer adoption?
  • What do the recent regulatory approvals for Upside and EatJust in the US mean for others striving for regulatory approval? How might this impact the pathway for regulatory systems in other countries?
  • How can cell-based innovators achieve differentiation, whilst also forming a united front around messaging, the consumer, and the external industry?

Session Chair:
Deepti Kulkarni, Partner, COVINGTON & BURLING


Investor Projections & Predictions for Food-Tech in 2024 & Beyond
  • What does the year ahead look like for companies across the food sector as the dust settles after a period of investor cautiousness?
  • With dry powder out there to deploy, what are investors looking for when expanding their portfolios and what differentiation is important to see?
  • What areas of the food-tech space hold promise and excitement, and what solutions are investors looking for?
  • What kind of financing, other than VC dollars, is needed to help sectors such as alternative proteins continue to mature and reach scale?

Steve Young, Managing Partner, MANNA TREE PARTNERS
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Founder, KBW VENTURES

Close of Day One & Networking Drinks

Friday March 22

8:00am - 8:45am
Women’s Breakfast: Inspiring Women Across the Food Ecosystem

To kickstart Day 2 of Future Food-Tech, women across the food-tech ecosystem are invited to join a breakfast briefing featuring inspirational talks, interactive discussion and networking to celebrate women across the industry, sharing stories of challenges, learnings and successes.

Hosted by:

Taking Plant-Based to the Next Level with Innovative Strategies for a Maturing Sector
  • As challenges and criticism of plant-based offerings persist, what are companies prioritizing to further improve the taste, performance and reception of plant-based products?
  • With increasing pressure to improve nutritional profiles, how can precision fermentation and novel ingredients be used to optimize taste whilst delivering health benefits and nutritional density?
  • As fungi and mycelium products are gaining momentum, what new products might we see that disrupt the space and stand apart from meat alternatives?
  • How are companies across the sector working to re-engage with consumers, and what new strategies and products are being implemented to reach a wider range of consumers?

Sherene Jagla, Chief Demand Officer, IMPOSSIBLE FOODS
Martin Habfast, Co-Founder, UMIAMI

Designing Healthier Products That Deliver on Taste & Indulgence
  • As demand for healthier products grows, how are companies across the food sector working to create more nutrition rich products, whilst still delivering on taste, texture and experience, without the calories?
  • With growing consumer pushback and media criticism around ultra-processed foods, what are the latest breakthroughs in product development for improving nutritional profiles foods?
  • What impact does the recent rise of Ozempic and other weight-loss drugs have on the food industry, and particularly on areas such as snacking?
  • How are functional ingredients being implemented across food and drinks products, meeting consumer demand for taste, health and convenience?
  • What regulatory work needs to be considered in this process, and how is collaboration between corporates and innovators valuable in overcoming obstacles?

Session Chair:
Elizabeth Crawford, Senior Editor, FOODNAVIGATOR-USA

Anne Marie Butler, Global Director of Strategy and Innovation, EDLONG
Jeff Turnas, Senior Vice President of Global Culinary, WHOLE FOODS MARKET
Johanna Vasquez, Head of R&D Nutrition, North America, UNILEVER
Ben Goodwin, CEO, Co-Founder, and Formulator, OLIPOP

Networking Coffee Break & Live Demo Kitchen
Forging Partnerships at the Intersection of Food & Medicine to Achieve Health Equity
  • What partnerships between the healthcare sector and the food industry could be put in place to better tackle health issues and achieve health equity through food?
  • What innovations around medical nutrition, meal providers and platforms are in the space to help improve health?
  • How can retailers help to reach and engage with people who are nutritionally insecure, and what programs are in place to improve access to healthy and nutritious food?
  • What policy initiatives need to be actioned in order to drive positive change around the interconnectivity between food and health?

Pamela Schwartz, Executive Director, Community Health, KAISER PERMANENTE
Sarah Mastrorocco, Vice President & General Manager for Health, INSTACART

Voice of the Industry: Fostering Disruptive Innovation Across Retailers & Foodservice
  • What do retailers and foodservice companies want from food-tech innovators and how can these partnerships address their needs and challenges?
  • How does partnership and collaboration help to connect the dots in terms of consumer needs and products developed? What is necessary to ensure that the consumer is brought along the journey?
  • How can foodservice companies and retailers leverage tech innovations for operational efficiency and customer satisfaction?
  • How do data, technology, and sustainability shape the future of food-tech partnerships, and what trends can we anticipate?

Session Chair:
Chris Cochran, Founder, GOOD FOOD ADVISORS

Joanna Lepore, Director, Foresight & Capabilities Exploration, MCDONALD’S
Susie Weintraub, Chief Executive Officer, Envision Group, COMPASS GROUP

Shifting Consumer Mindsets by Building Trust
  • What has been the impact of recent macroeconomic shift on consumer drivers and behaviors, and what ripple effects may be expected over the next 12 months?
  • For the consumer, taste is king – but what trade-offs are being made around nutrition, sustainability and price?
  • How can companies work to communicate the role of technology in food, to build trust and understanding?
  • What insights can technology and data provide into consumer priorities, and how should companies leverage this to ensure messaging and strategy align?
  • What consumer trends are brewing in foodservice and ‘out of home’ eating that may filter into ‘at home’ eating?
Networking Lunch Break & Live Demo Kitchen
Getting Gut Health Right with Prebiotics, Probiotics & the Microbiome
  • As the importance of a healthy gut becomes more mainstream, what products are emerging that can improve the microbiome and individual gut health?
  • What connections can be made between the gut and other broader health concerns, such as metabolic health, women’s health and mental health, and what innovations are targeting these issues?
  • How can prebiotics and probiotics in products be leveraged to complement each other, replenishing the gut microbiome and improving bioavailability to bolster overall health?
  • Where is food-tech poised to provide an alternative to the likes of Ozempic in terms of safer and most cost-effective appetite control and weight management? What role can prebiotics, gut health and functional ingredients play here?
  • What is needed from a regulation and legislation standpoint to uphold a higher level of standards for health claims, to ensure accountability and build consumer trust?

Sonia Nath, Partner, COOLEY 

Marc Washington, CEO & Founder, SUPERGUT
Christian Roghi, Director Microbiome Solutions, Partnerships and Ecosystem, EAGLE GENOMICS

De-Risking & Scaling Up Production in Fermentation
  • What do the challenges look like for fermentation technologies, whether looking at biomass fermentation, solid-state or precision?
  • How can collaboration and out-sourcing help to de-risk production and R&D and improve ROI?
  • What strides are being made to tackle issues of capacity for precision fermentation, from utilizing AI to potent molecules?
  • What do the unit economics look like for fermentation technologies, and how can technology be implemented to optimize this?
  • As the technology scales, what impact does increased scale have on the footprint and sustainability of fermentation, and what light can LCAs shed on this?

Session Chair:
David Welch, Co-founder and CSO, SYNTHESIS CAPITAL

Yvonne Armitage, Biotechnology Business Unit Director, CENTRE FOR PROCESS INNOVATION (CPI)

Optimizing R&D & Innovation through Cross-Sector Collaboration
  • How crucial is collaboration to support the innovation ecosystem and scale technologies that are essential for creating healthy, tasty, and sustainable food?
  • How are companies large and small optimizing their internal and external R&D strategies by collaborating with other players from across the value chain?
  • What kind of innovations can enable corporates to become more nimble, and what partnerships are necessary for start-ups to effectively scale and reach commercialization?
  • With no silver bullet, what holistic approaches need to be taken to ensure that the food-tech sector continues to innovate and grow?

Florian Schattenmann, CTO and VP of R&D and Innovation, CARGILL
Richie Gray, Vice President and Global Head of Snack Futures, MONDELĒZ INTERNATIONAL
Robert Scott, President, Research and Development NA Zone, THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY


Close of Summit