Bill Gates to address Abu Dhabi agriculture forum

GFIA LogoCo-founder of Gates Foundation to deliver speech at Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture

In the upcoming Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), the world’s largest showcase of game-changing agricultural innovations and technology, Bill Gates will call on participants to help create another agricultural revolution in our lifetime to support a world where most of the poorest are farmers. Mr. Gates, world-renowned innovator and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will deliver a speech at the GFIA Opening Ceremony in Abu Dhabi on 3 February.

“We are delighted to have the support of Bill Gates and his team at the Gates Foundation. The work that the Gates Foundation undertakes in support of agricultural innovation is of critical importance in reducing poverty and improving food security for millions of families across Africa and Asia. Those attending GFIA will undoubtedly be inspired by Mr. Gates’ dynamism, innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Mark Beaumont, GFIA Project Director.

The solutions-driven event is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and will run from 3-5 February 2014 at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC).

Mr Gates and other world-leading experts in the fields of agricultural innovation and research will give their ‘Visions for an Agricultural Revolution.’

Confirmed to speak is Dr Mark Post, Professor of Vascular Physiology at Holland’s Maastricht University, better known as the scientist behind the world’s first lab-grown burger. Dr Post’s $350,000 project was funded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and has the potential to pave the way for a more humane, environmentally friendly future for the meat industry.

Dr Frank Rijsberman, CEO of CGIAR Consortium, is also to deliver a Keynote Speech. CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future that brings together 15 research organisations. CGIAR has recently announced that its funding has doubled in five years, from $500 million in 2008 to $1 billion in 2013.

Andras Forgacs, CEO of Modern Meadow and the pioneer of 3D-printed meat and leather, is confirmed as GFIA’s final Keynote Speaker. An entrepreneur and venture investor, Mr Forgacs’ work was named one of the top inventions of 2010 by Time Magazine.

GFIA will also host two areas dedicated to entrepreneurs – an Innovation Zone that will showcase cutting-edge technologies such as algae-based fuel production, aquaculture and desalination, and an Incubator Zone in which the next generation of innovators and start-ups from around the world will be looking to strike up relationships with investors and business partners to help get their products to market. Amongst the many exhibited innovations will be an underground irrigation system, nano-tech micronutrients and sensor technology.

For further information and to register for GFIA, visit the website at http://www.innovationsinagriculture.com/

 About GFIA

Held February 3-5, 2014, under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs of the UAE, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) will be the world’s largest showcase of innovations in sustainable agriculture.

With the key theme of ‘driving innovation for an agricultural revolution,’ GFIA will highlight the sustainable agriculture initiatives being planned and deployed around the world, facilitate knowledge transfer and demonstrate available investment opportunities. The GFIA agenda was designed by a steering committee of 20 international experts in the fields of academia, R&D, science, industry and investment.

The GFIA program includes:

  • Exhibition and conference: keynote sessions, panel discussions, an African Ministerial debate and 150 presentations.
  • Incubator zone: a low-cost space for UAE and international entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and prototypes.
  • Innovation Zone (curated by the University of Arizona): display of working models of some of the most inspiring innovations in agriculture today.
  • Technical tours to a range of sustainable agriculture projects in the UAE
  • GCC Farmer Focus: a dedicated programme to educate GCC farmers on the benefits of sustainable agriculture
  • NGO Zone: dedicated area for NGOs, development agencies and charitable foundations to meet and share ideas across sectors

16 January 2014


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