The White House recently hosted an event to explore how government and the private sector jointly promote science and technology innovations to advance global development. One of the projects to be recognized was a partnership between Scientists Without Borders, DSM and Sight and Life. The partnership has issued a challenge to find innovative ideas for more sustainable packaging for micronutrient powders (MNPs), which is one of the most widely distributed and cost-effective nutrition interventions in resource-poor settings. Given that two thirds of the current cost of production of MNPs is attributable to their packaging, and that 200 to 300 million MNPs are distributed a year, the current foil packaging creates significant waste. A new delivery mechanism could dramatically reduce waste and make MNPs more cost effective, thus potentially increasing their availability to the world’s poor. Scientists Without Borders, the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Sciences at the New York Academy of Sciences, DSM and Sight and Life will sponsor a prize of at least $25,000 (US) for the most innovative ideas. Dr Klaus Kraemer, Director of Sight and Life, said: “We are excited to work towards more innovative and sustainable approaches to tackling malnutrition. We hope to eventually better reach millions of people with MNPs which will not only improve their lives but will also have a less detrimental effect on the environment.”
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