The FDA is asking technology providers, entrepreneurs and innovators to come forward and develop traceability technology tools that are scalable and affordable for food operations of all sizes. The FDA New Era of Smarter Food Safety Low or No-Cost Tech-enabled Traceability Challenge will launch on June 1.
“Achieving end-to-end food traceability will involve everyone in the supply chain – from source to table. To achieve that level of participation, we need accessible tracing solutions for human and animal food companies of all sizes. That means that we must help ensure that even small companies can use and benefit from new tracing technologies,” said Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response at FDA, in an agency blog post. “Digitizing data at no or low cost through the use of creative financial models may allow the entire food system to get smarter together.”
The challenge will be administered by precisionFDA and overseen by the agency’s Office of Food Policy and Response. On June 1 at 8 am ET, the FDA’s pre-registration page will be updated with the submission information. The deadline for the challenge is July 30 at 5 pm ET.
Up to 12 winners will be selected and although there is no cash prize, the winners will have the chance to discuss their technology solution during an FDA public forum. “The food industry will gain new insights into how to solve traceability challenges, and the FDA will open the door to a conversation about finding new ways to overcome obstacles in the road to farm-to-fork traceability,” stated Yiannas.
The challenge is part of the goals outlined in the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint, which specifies tech-enabled traceability as a core element.