Back to Overview

Pandemics are a time of hardship for all. At the same time, a crisis often provokes innovation – a chance to improve the current and future situation for many. The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated outcomes are affecting health, and food and nutrition security leaving millions ailing, hungry and malnourished. Business as usual is therefore not enough. We need a new generation of innovators who can solve humanity’s most pressing challenge. The Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life aims to push progress by supporting disruptive innovations to address the stalled progress in nutrition brought on by COVID-19. Join us on December 4th at 13:30 CET for an exciting pitch competition. Save your spot and register for the event here

Elevator Pitch Contest

We are thrilled to announce four finalists for the seventh Elevator Pitch Contest hosted by Sight and Life and the Africa Green Revolution Forum, the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, and the Micronutrient Forum

Congratulations to:

Elizabeth Gikebe | Mhogo Foods

Elizabeth Gikebe is the founder of Mhogo Foods, a company making affordable, nutritious, and gluten-free cassava flour fortified with vitamins and minerals in Kenya. A product helping her target market, children under 5 years, pregnant and lactating women and women of reproductive age get their daily recommended nutrition. Mhogo foods works directly with over 8,000 small holder farmers. Its portfolio of products include cassava flour, crisps, and tapioca flour.  Mhogo foods is ready to scale.

Prince Abugri | Presbyterian Health Service

Prince Abugri looks to ensure rural health clinics have access to food supplements via a simple, local processing facility in Ghana. “Wini-mix”, a popular combination of  local ingredients such as soya-bean, maize, groundnuts and dry fish and fortified with essential micronutrients like vitamin A and C among others would be processed in a central processing plant in Ghana. 

Chibuike Emmanuel | Agserver

Chibuike Emmanuel is the founder of Agserver, a digital platform delivering information and hosting peer-to-peer knowledge transfer for farmers in Nigeria. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, farmers queries can be resolved in local languages and in real time without needing internet connection. Each farmers will be connected to the most suited and precise responder and resources proving information that allows the farmers to buy smarter (accessing quality products), and thereby produce better quality products. 

Caleb Mawuko | Traza Geospatials

Caleb Mawuko of Traza Geospatials is developing a mobile and website app, Green Basket, which ensures (1) door step delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables, (2) notifications and reminders of nutritious foods to include in diets and (3) dietary advice from nutritionists.

Join us for this exciting pitch competition on December 4th and more about their innovations. Register here

Thank you to our expert judging panel who ask hard questions and make tough decisions!

Dr. Klaus Kraemer – Managing Director, Sight and Life
Dr. Simon Winter – Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture
Dr. Debisi Araba – Managing Director, African Green Revolution Forum
Kalpana Beesabathuni – Global Lead, Technology and Entrepreneurship, Sight and Life

Back to Overview

We are happy to announce the awards for the Elevator Pitch Contest on Pandemic-Proof Innovations in partnership with the Micronutrient Forum 5th Global Conference, CONNECTED. As we are all living through this current pandemic, we know it is hard for everyone, but at the same time, a crisis often provokes innovation, and that is just what our finalists have done. Selected from a pool of 54 applicants from 11 countries, these four entrepreneurs delivered compelling pitches for their innovative solutions and competed for a grand prize of US$5,000 and an Audience Award worth US$1,000.

Grand Prize Winner

The four contestants brought attractive solutions making it a difficult decision for the judges, but we are pleased to share the grand prize winner is Wilvenna Añora, the co-founder of AtoANI. Wilvie is a young Philippino entrepreneur, who has made farming a lucrative and reliable livelihood option. By integrating digital technologies to bypass middle men and adopting a unique model of produce-to-demand, she has drastically limited food losses and wastage and increased farmers income. Wilvie has transitioned farmers from monocropping to growing a variety of fruits and vegetables, thus improving the dietary diversity in Philippines, but more importantly, among the farming communities she works with. Wilvie is very passionate about sustainable living and started this venture with her family in 2014. 

Audience Choice Award

The ‘Audience Choice Award’ goes to Yutaro Oka, CEO of NutriPride and a former UN WFP Ghana officer. Yutaro is improving nutrition among school going children in Ghana, one school at a time. He helps schools provide healthy and nutritious meals by procuring ingredient packages directly from local farmers and wholesalers according to the meal plans created with local dietician. He is very familiar with the business model as his family has been operating a school meal business in Japan for three generations. Well done, Yutaro!

We wish Yutaro and Wilvie, along with Bello and Issac the best of luck and much success in the future!

Thank you to everyone who participated, and please join us for our next pitch competition in partnership with AGRF on December 4th – it promises to be exciting! 

Back to Overview

The Micronutrient Forum 5th Global CONNECTED Conference is here with the theme ‘Building New Evidence and Alliances for Improving Nutrition’. This virtual event aims to cover the broad spectrum of micronutrients from the research, efficacy, program, and policy perspective. Additionally, experts deep dive into how micronutrients might be optimized and protected within food systems and the interactions between agriculture and climate change, and their impact on health and nutrition. Moreover, this year COVID-19 has placed an additional, unprecedented threat for (micronutrient) malnutrition and this conference will examine the implications, highlighting the work of the Standing Together for Nutrition consortium, and discuss how we can reshape the future for nutrition post-COVID19.

The CONNECTED 2020 schedule provides rich and thought-provoking content from notable presenters and a high-quality experience for attendees with access to 55 on-demand sessions, at their convenience, together with an engaging live program featuring distinguished keynote speakers. Here are Sight and Life, we are thrilled to be a part of the programing and invite you to join us at the CONNECTED conference. Be sure to register for access here

BE PART OF THE ELEVATOR PITCH CONTEST

Please join us November 9-13, 2020, as the four finalists share their pitches to the audience attending the virtual MNF CONNECTED 2020 conference. These entrepreneurs will be pitching their innovative solutions changing the way nutrition is delivered and competing for a grand prize of US$5,000 and an Audience Award worth US$1,000. Find out more about the finalists here

You can take part in the excitement by voting for your favorite innovation. Beginning November 9, the four pitches will be available for viewing via the Micronutrient Forum CONNECTED 2020 Conference website. On November 13, we will announce the grand prize winner and the recipient of of the Audience Award of the Elevator Pitch Contest during the Micronutrient Forum CONNECTED live programming. 

 Join us for this exciting and competitive event starting November 9. Register HERE to be a part of the fun and vote for your favorite. 

CONNECT WITH THE EXPERTS

Wednesday, November 4 at 9:00 AM EST | 3:00 PM CET 
Join Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director for Sight and Life, for an interactive discussion on fortification and collaboration with private sector. Please sure to sign-in early as space is limited to 70 people on a first come, first serve basis.

LIVE VIDEO CHAT

Wednesday, November 11 at 7:30 AM CET | 10:00 AM IST
Join Madhavika Bajoria, Manager-Nutrition Integration for Sight and Life for a live Q&A session on MMS. To join and be part of the conversation, click on the MMS tile on the MNF CONNECTED platform. Space is limited to 20 people on a first come, first serve basis. 

ON-DEMAND SESSIONS

At a crossroads: Scaling up Fortified Rice to Address Hidden Hunger
Conclusion-At a crossroads: Scaling up Fortified Rice to Address Hidden Hunger
Speaker: Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director for Sight and Life

Solutions to engagement with the private sector (small medium sized enterprises) to invest and support high quality foods
Demand creation to improve micronutrient intake in Ghana – the case of Obaasima
Speaker: Daniel T.O Amanquah, Food Scientist for Sight and Life 

What’s the value proposition? How to engage new partners along the value chain for micronutrient nutrition outcomes?
Innovation platforms: Elevator Pitch Contest
Speaker: Kalpana Beesabathuni, Global Lead – Technology & Entrepreneurship for Sight and Life 

Early life micronutrient interventions: short- and long-term outcomes
Introduction: Early life micronutrient interventions: short- and long-term outcomes
Panel discussion: Early life micronutrient interventions: short- and long-term outcomes
Speaker and Panel Member: Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director for Sight and Life 

Efficacy and effectiveness of food system value chain interventions
Introduction: Efficacy and effectiveness of food system value chain interventions + Q&A: Efficacy and effectiveness of food system value chain interventions
Speaker: Kalpana Beesabathuni, Global Lead – Technology & Entrepreneurship for Sight and Life 

Creating a Healthier Future: National Perspectives on the MMS Evidence Base, Policy Landscape, and Implementation Approaches
Introduction-A Renewed Urgency to Move the MMS Agenda Forward in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond + Q&A- Creating a healthier future: national perspectives on the MMS evidence base and policy landscape
Moderator: Nola Martin, Communications consultant for Sight and Life 
Closing Remarks: Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director for Sight and Life 

What’s next for the MMS movement: implementing and coordinating action on MMS programming
Ready for MMS? A Decision-Making Tool for Deciding When to Explore MMS, part 1
Speaker: Kalpana Beesabathuni, Global Lead – Technology & Entrepreneurship for Sight and Life  

A Decision-Making Tool for Deciding When to Explore MMS, part 2
Moderator: Madhavika Bajoria, Manager-Nutrition Integration for Sight and Life, Ready for MMS? 

POSTERS

The Egg Hub – an Innovative Business Model to Improve Micronutrient Status in Low-And Middle-Income Countries Through Consumption of Eggs
by Srujith Lingala, Manager – Technology and Entrepreneurship for Sight and Life 

Knowledge Gaps in Understanding the Etiology of Anemia in Indonesian Adolescents
by Kesso Gabrielle van Zutphen, PhD Candidate at Wageningen University & Research and Knowledge and Research Manager at Sight and Life

The Power of Cooperatives – to Improve Access to Affordable Eggs for Women and Children – a Case Study from India
by Priyanka Kumari, Programme-coordinator for Sight and Life  

Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS) for Pregnant and Lactating Women in South Africa: a Policy and Programmatic Analysis
by Madhavika Bajoria, Manager-Nutrition Integration for Sight and Life

Situation Analysis of Multiple Micronutrient Supplement (MMS) Procurement and Production in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Tanzania
by Madhavika Bajoria, Manager-Nutrition Integration for Sight and Life
 
EGGciting Innovations – Consumer Research to Understand Consumer Motivations and Generate Demand for Eggs in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
by Puja Peyden Tshering, Consumer Insights Specialist for Sight and Life

Nutrition Kiosk – Human-Centered Design to Convert Dull Environments in Workplace Canteens and Clinics to Enable Better Delivery of Micronutrients
by Anne Milan, Design Specialist for Sight and Life

Back to Overview

Pandemics are a time of hardship for all. At the same time, a crisis often provokes innovation – a chance to improve the current and future situation for many. The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated outcomes are affecting health, and food and nutrition security leaving millions ailing, hungry and malnourished. Business as usual is therefore not enough. We need a new generation of innovators who can solve humanity’s most pressing challenge. The Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life aims to push progress by supporting disruptive innovations to address the stalled progress in nutrition brought on by COVID-19. 

We are thrilled to announce four finalists for the sixth Elevator Pitch Contest (EPC) hosted by Sight and Life and the Micronutrient Forum (MNF), a global catalyst and convener on micronutrients in all aspects of health promotion and disease prevention, with special emphasis on the integration with relevant sectors. Congratulations to Maria Añora of AtoANI, Bello Maryam of Parkers Mobile Clinic, Issac Adu of Matabino Health Center and Yutaro Oka of NutriPride! Learn more about their innovations below. 

BE PART OF THE ELEVATOR PITCH CONTEST

Please join us on November 9-13, 2020, as the four finalists share their pitches to the audience attending the virtual MNF CONNECTED 2020 conference. You can take part in the excitement by voting for your favorite innovations. Beginning November 9, the four pitches will be available for viewing via the Micronutrient Forum CONNECTED 2020 Conference website (register here to access). On November 13, we will announce the grand prize winner and the recipient of of the Audience Award of the Elevator Pitch Contest during the Micronutrient Forum CONNECTED live programming. 

A BIG round of applause to these EPC finalists who made it to the final round ahead of over 54 applicants from 11 countries. These entrepreneurs will be pitching their innovative solutions changing the way nutrition is delivered and competing for a grand prize of US$5,000 and an Audience Award worth US$1,000. Join us for this exciting and competitive event starting November 9. Register HERE to be a part of the fun and vote for your favorite. 

MARIA AÑORA | Philippines | AtoANI

AtoANI provides a solution to enable sustainable agriculture by producing-to-demand distribution model of fresh organic produce straight from farmers to customers, using an analytics tool for farmers and an e-commerce platform that aggregates orders and enables efficient linkage of demand and supply. Maria Wilvenna Añora, the co-founder of AtoANI has an engineering and MBA from University of the Philippines. She is passionate about sustainable living and started this venture with her family.

BELLO MARYAM | Nigeria | Parkers Mobile Clinic

Parkers Mobile Clinic brings healthcare and nutrition services to vulnerable populations living in remote locations of Nigeria. Maryam Bello is the project officer and co-founder of Parkers mobile clinic and a STEM enthusiast on a mission to impact children’s lives through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

ISSAC ADU | Ghana | Metabino Health Center

Metabaino Health Center is a community-based medical center that encourages food fortification through clinical nutrition programs and fortified food products to address micronutrient deficiencies. Isaac Adu is a medical practitioner, entrepreneur, CEO and is in-charge of Metabaino Health Center. He is a passionate advocate of nutrition and healthy living.

YUTARO OKA | Canada | NutriPride

NutriPride provides nutritious and affordable meal packs to schools in Ghana by making healthy weekly meal plans with local dietitians using locally sourced ingredients. Yutaro Oka is the CEO of NutriPride and a former UN WFP Ghana officer who comes from a family that has been running a school meal business in Japan for three generations.

Thank you to our distinguished jury:

Dr. Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director, Sight and Life
Dr. Corinne Ringholz, Food Fortification Specialist, World Food Programme
Shantanu Pathak, Founder, CareNX Innovations
Kalpana Beesabathuni, Global Lead – Technology and Entrepreneurship, Sight and Life 

Find out where a few of the past EPC finalists are now by reading this blog post

Back to Overview

 

Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life Pandemic-Proof Innovations

We have extended the deadline for applications to the upcoming Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life to October 10th, 2020. In addition, AGRF has joined as a partner providing an additional platform for the virtual contest. Now we will have two contests and award two finalists with a grand prize of $5,000 USD. One competition will be held from November 10th-13th during the Micronutrient Forum (MNF) 5th Global Conference CONNECTED 2020 and the second will take place in December with the support of AGRF. Therefore, don’t delay and submit your pandemic-proof idea today!

Innovations can be in any of the following categories:

Health Systems: supports and strengthens micronutrient delivery through people, institutions, and resources that deliver health care
Food Systems: builds resilient and responsive infrastructure and processes to feed and nourish a population
Biological Systems: nutrition innovations that improve immune response to fight the effects of COVID-19
Digital Systems: uses data and technology to solve a problem or perform a task
Knowledge Systems: improves quality and reliability of nutrition delivery and behaviour change 

Please note, it is important to show that the innovation addresses the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and improves micronutrient or nutrition delivery to the population. 

For all the details on the upcoming Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life click here.

About Micronutrient Forum
The Micronutrient Forum (MN Forum) serves as a global catalyst and convener for sharing expertise, insights and experience relevant to micronutrients in all aspects of health promotion and disease prevention, with special emphasis on the integration with relevant sectors. Our primary objective is to foster dialogue among the research, policy, clinical, program and private sector communities to facilitate the translation of evidence for policy and program planning, and to inform research needs and priorities based on evidence gaps to support programs.

About AGRF
The AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. Under AGRF’s current strategy, the Forum is particularly focused on driving progress of the Malabo Declaration by 2025 as the priority set of commitments African Heads of State and Government have made to strengthen agricultural development at the center of the continent’s overall development and progress. AGRF tracks progress on the continental agricultural agenda in alignment with the African Union’s leadership by reviewing data of the Biennial Review of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The Biennial Review with its indicators and data provide detail on how countries, regions, and sub-sectors of Africa’s agricultural system are improving over time and the areas that need more focus and improvement.  AGRF thereby shapes its programmatic focus and platforms to best respond and continue to drive progress across the continent. The AGRF is organised by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation. 

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Back to Overview

UNICEF is extending its strong partnership with DSM and Sight and Life to increase access to micronutrient powders for children, and now multiple micronutrient supplements for mothers, to ensure healthy lives for the next generation.

6-month-old Falmata is being screened for malnutrition at a UNICEF-supported health center in Dalori IDP camp, Maiduguri, Borno State. Photo credit to UNICEF Nigeria/2016/Esiebo

Royal DSM, a leading science company in nutrition, the UN children’s rights agency UNICEF, and Swiss-based nutrition think tank Sight and Life have announced they are extending their cross-sector partnership focusing on delivering better nutrition to at-risk children and mothers in Nigeria until the end of 2021. The partners are bound by their shared vision to improve health and end all forms of malnutrition, by increasing the availability and accessibility of micronutrient powders (MNP) for older infants and young children, and multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) for women during pregnancy – improving nutritional wellbeing of the next generation.

Genesis of the partnership

UNICEF first began working with DSM in 2013 to support MNP programs in Madagascar and Nigeria. In 2015, the partnership supported the Nigerian Government in further introducing MNP pilot programmes in three states, reaching over 11,000 children from six to 23 months. The partnership was formalised and extended to Sight and Life in 2017 and has successfully endorsed MNP as a critical nutrition intervention, and by 2019, it had established a national MNP programme reaching one million children. The extended agreement is scaling our impact by aiming to reach two million children in 15 Nigerian states and integrating MMS for women across Nigeria as a new opportunity.

“In Nigeria, about 37% of children are stunted, which translates to almost 14 million children. This has a far-reaching consequence for child survival and development. Working with DSM allows us to leverage the power of business and markets to make a difference for these children. Since 2013, our partnership with DSM has contributed to reaching over one million children with vital nutrients that has helped save many lives. UNICEF and DSM will support the Nigerian Government to ensure even more children have access to vital nutrients needed for improved nutrition and optimum growth.”
– Simeon Nanama, Chief Nutrition of UNICEF Nigeria

Building a strong future with nutrition

As the partners scale up production and implementation of MNP and MMS, they are focusing on quality assurance and controls to guarantee the best standards, and are advocating for new regulatory policy around MMS in Nigeria. Their medium-term goal is to spur similar action in other countries where malnutrition is a critical concern.

“Fighting malnutrition requires local knowledge and extensive access which is why partnerships are so vital. Combining UNICEF’s reach with Sight and Life’s proven expertise and our science-based solutions will help get critical micronutrients to two million more vulnerable children in Nigeria next year. We are capable of so much more when we act together.”
– Geraldine Matchett, Co-CEO and CFO of DSM

A mother giving her baby complementary feeding at her workplace at Primary Health Board, Akure.
UNICEF Nigeria/2016/Esiebo

In parallel, the partnership is aiming to create an enabling environment for MMS. After decades of scientific research, MMS was recently endorsed by WHO as a cost-effective solution to improve the nutrition of mothers, and thereby the development of new-born children, especially in countries with a high prevalence of nutritional deficiencies. Specifically, scientific evidence shows MMS can effectively reduce maternal anaemia and the risk of children being born underweight, too small, and too soon.

“Good nutrition sets off a ripple effect. It can dismantle inequity, poverty, and poor health and drive progress at every stage in life. It supports physical and cognitive development, helps prevent a number of medical conditions and saves lives. MMS can help to improve maternal nutrition, thereby ensuring the health of children and breaking the perpetual succession of malnutrition.”
– Dr. Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director of Sight and Life

UNICEF, DSM and Sight and Life each bring unique but complementary competencies to this effort. The UN children’s rights agency is present in over 190 countries and leverages its strong development expertise to help improve the health and nutrition of the most marginalised children. DSM has differentiated itself in the health and nutrition sector as both an innovative research leader and a reliable producer of safe, high-quality vitamins and micronutrients. Sight and Life, finally, has garnered the best minds on nutrition to deliver cutting-edge solutions and address the world’s toughest challenges in malnutrition.

“Global and local food systems must ensure that all children, without exception, have access to nutritious, safe, affordable and sustainable foods. … Support in one sector supports success in all.”
– Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF

Besides their complementary expertise, the partners share a common vision and aim: working to end malnutrition. They are guided in their extended collaboration by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 and 3, aiming to end hunger and promote good health, respectively. The cross-sectoral partnership between an expert UN body, a humanitarian think tank and a global, purpose-driven company serves as a leading example of SDG 17 – “Partnership for the Goals” – and how bridging between public and private can enable a complete, large-scale, catalytic impact.

Back to Overview

A NEW Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life

Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life | Pandemic-Proof Innovations

 

Pandemics are a time of hardship for all. At the same time, a crisis often provokes innovation – a chance to improve the current and future situation for many. The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated outcomes are affecting health, and food and nutrition security leaving millions ailing, hungry and malnourished. Business as usual is therefore not enough. We need a new generation of innovators who can solve humanity’s most pressing challenge. The Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life and the Micronutrient Forum aims to push progress by supporting disruptive innovations to address the stalled progress in nutrition brought on by COVID-19.

Innovations could be in any of the following categories:

Health Systems: supports and strengthens micronutrient delivery through people, institutions, and resources that deliver health care
Food Systems: builds resilient and responsive infrastructure and processes to feed and nourish a population
Biological Systems: nutrition innovations that improve immune response to fight the effects of COVID-19
Digital Systems: uses data and technology to solve a problem or perform a task
Knowledge Systems: improves quality and reliability of nutrition delivery and behaviour change 

Please note, it is important to show that the innovation addresses the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and improves micronutrient or nutrition delivery to the population.

THE VIRTUAL PITCH

An elevator pitch is a critical part of the entrepreneurial process. As competition for research and investment funds increases, young scientists need to effectively articulate their idea and do so in a manner that is persuasive and precise. Sight and Life has developed a platform for organizing an elevator pitch contest (EPC) on disruptive ideas to stimulate networks and dialogue, especially among innovators.

Sight and Life is hosting the sixth Elevator Pitch Contest during the Micronutrient Forum (MNF) 5th Global Conference CONNECTED 2020 held online from November 10 to 13, 2020. The four selected innovators will have the opportunity to pitch their innovative solution to a panel of experts and the audience of the MNF in five minutes. One finalist will be awarded a grand prize of US$5,000 and one will receive US$1,000 as the recipient of the Audience Award. 

Submit your concept for the upcoming Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life by September 31, 2020.

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Back to Overview

On August 6, 2020, the fifth edition of the Elevator Pitch Contest (EPC) hosted by Sight and Life, a competition amongst innovators, hosted a LIVE pitch competition. The edition was supported by UNITLIFE, a new fund hosted by the United Nations and exclusively dedicated to the prevention of chronic malnutrition, and brings disruptive ideas that will change the current way nutrition is delivered. 

The EPC’s goal is to identify and support projects that can be implemented and produce a meaningful impact in the short term. To stimulate innovation, the EPC looks to identify and support projects that can provide climate-smart solutions for better nutrition. The competition was lively as the seven finalists brought their innovations to light in persuasive five-minute pitches. Watch the full Elevator Pitch Contest below:

The distinguished panel of judges awarded Dysmus Kisilu of Solar Freeze with the grand prize. Solar Freeze is pioneering portable cold storage units powered by solar energy for rural, smallholder farmers of perishable produce, to help them reduce the vast challenge of post-harvest food loss that currently accounts for more than 45% of all perishable produce going to waste in developing countries. Watch his pitch below:

In addition, Melissa Kartjito of Gama Mlindang (watch her EPC pitch here) was recognized by the viewers and received the “Audience Award”. Mlindang Spray Coating created by Gama Mlindang, an EPC finalists, is a spray-based edible coating that seals uneaten or unused food parts so people can meet nutritional needs while reducing waste. The sustainable spray is made through a simple and easy processes and uses inexpensive and easily found materials or waste products such as shrimp skin or melinjo seed. Watch her pitch below:

Congratulations to these EPC finalists who made it to the final round ahead of over 200 applicants from 46 countries. We wish you much success in the future. 

 

EPC, Elevator Pitch Contest, Climate-Smart, Nutrition, Innovations, Entrepreneur

Find out where some of the past EPC finalists are now by reading this blog post

Back to Overview

The planet is currently HOT, HUNGRY, and CROWDED. Climate change, rapid urbanization, and a growing population affect food and nutrition security leaving millions malnourished. Government programs supporting nutrition are underfunded, aid initiatives have a limited reach, and the private sector does not currently do enough to aid proper nutrition. Business, as usual, is therefore not enough. We need a new generation of innovators who can solve one of humanity’s most pressing challenges: how can we nourish and sustain 10 billion people by 2050 without hurting our planet?

On August 6, 2020, the fifth edition of the Elevator Pitch Contest (EPC) hosted by Sight and Life, a competition amongst innovators, will be hosted LIVE online (register for the event here). The edition is supported by UNITLIFE, a new fund hosted by the United Nations and exclusively dedicated to the prevention of chronic malnutrition, and brings disruptive ideas that will change the current way nutrition is delivered.

The EPC’s goal is to identify and support projects that can be implemented and produce a meaningful impact in the short term. To stimulate innovation, the EPC looks to identify and support projects that can provide climate-smart solutions for better nutrition.

EPC, Elevator Pitch Contest, Climate-Smart, Nutrition, Innovations, Entrepreneur

Congratulations to these EPC finalists who made it to the final round ahead of over 200 applicants from 46 countries. These entrepreneurs will be pitching their innovative solutions changing the way nutrition is delivered and competing for a grand prize of US$5,000 and an Audience Award worth US$1,000. Join us for this LIVE event on August 6 and vote for your favorite. Register HERE to save your spot. 

Esnath Divasoni | Zimbabwe | Glorified Community Empowerment Trust (GCET)

GCET empowers rural communities to improve their livelihoods. By working with a community’s vulnerable members, GCET ensures they receive the nutrition that they deserve through farmed insects and provides training on nutritional topics. 

Esnath, its founder, is a recent graduate from EARTH University in Costa Rica. She is passionate about community development and unleashing the potential in the forgotten communities.

Melissa Stephanie Kartjito | Indonesia | Gama Mlindang Team

Mlindang Spray Coating is a spray-based edible coating that seals uneaten or unused food parts so people can meet nutritional needs while reducing waste. The sustainable spray is made through a simple and easy processes and uses inexpensive and easily found materials or waste products such as shrimp skin ormelinjo seed.

The Gama Mlindang team consists of three agile-minded, change-focused students from the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia: Melissa, Eka, and Nadia.

Dysmus Kisilu | Kenya | Solar Freeze

Solar Freeze is pioneering portable cold storage units powered by solar energy for rural, smallholder farmers of perishable produce, to help them reduce the vast challenge of post-harvest food loss that currently accounts for more than 45% of all perishable produce going to waste in developing countries.

Rio Lawandra | The Netherlands | Enakke

Enakke is a high protein and flavor-rich seasoning to be sprinkled in your daily food and is made with herbs and viable ingredients such as moringa leaves and crickets. Without change eating habits, Enakke will help consumers enjoy delicious and sustainable food consumption.

Dennis Nyarko | Ghana | After Energy

Dennis is the Founder and CEO of After Energy Ventures, a Black Soldier Fly (BSF) Biowaste treatment facility that would feed food scraps to BSF larvae and then process the larvae into protein meals for aquaculture businesses and feed producers worldwide. 

Dennis is an award-winning, young environmentalist who is passionate about conservation in Africa. Through innovative enterprises, he is creating sustainable community development projects to help build a greener world.

Kelvin Ogholi | Nigeria | AgroVie

Agrovie is a social enterprise that up-cycles food waste from breweries, food service organizations, and farms into low-cost animal feed and bio-fertilizer.

Kelvin Ogholi, its founder, is a young farmer, social entrepreneur, and innovator. He is very passionate about farmers and his boldest ambition is to see poverty reversed in the lives of Nigerians and African farmers.

Alejandro Ortega | Costa Rica | Costa Rica Insect Company

The Costa Rica Insect Company creates sustainable and healthy food solutions using insects to provide a solution to malnutrition and future food scarcity.

Alejandro Ortega is an expert in Business Communications, with a passion for creating sustainable solutions to save the world, experienced leader and an entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Sibo Inc. & Costa Rica Insect Company.

Find out where some of the past EPC finalists are now by reading this blog post

Back to Overview

The 45th edition of UNSCN Nutrition – Nutrition in a Digital World is available now! This edition examines the complexity of the digital world for improved nutrition and considers the benefits and potential-risks that technologies might entail, and explores a range of issues from food-systems to behavior change and capacity-building to inequality and human rights.

This edition includes a contribution from the team at Sight and Life on the different ways in which technologies are changing how we address malnutrition and highlights examples of innovations featured in Sight and Life‘s Data in Nutrition magazine.

Download the full edition here.

Download the article by Sight and Life here

Back to Overview

On 20 June 2020, IMPAct4Nutrition, a platform to Mobilise Private Action for Nutrition in India, was honored with a UNICEF global INSPIRE Award in the category ‘Best Multistakeholder Engagement’. Nearly 100 campaigns from 50 countries were nominated and voted on by UNICEF staff worldwide.

The IMPAct4Nutrition along with the founding partners such as UNICEF, Tata Trusts, CII, Sight and Life, CSR Box, IPE Global, and NASSCOM Foundation co-developed a robust knowledge base for nutrition literacy that companies can use in their ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and employee engagement programs.

By taking the pledge with IMPAct4Nutrition, companies are committing to make POSHAN Abhiyan a Jan Andolan, a social movement to address nutritional issues in their company ecosystem. With this commitment, the private sector will reach out to employees, their families, and customers to spread awareness and improve their knowledge of the importance of nutrition and healthy eating. 

IMPact4Nutrition received a ministerial-level nod when the Ministry of Women and Child Development recommended the implementation of IMPact4Nutrition’s workplace nutrition tools to more than 9,000 member companies through the Confederation of Indian Industry. The IMPact4Nutrition platform is already reaching a combined workforce of nearly 10 million employees, their families, and communities in India and has taken the first steps towards mobilizing the Jan Andolan for nutrition that the country so desperately needs to improve the nutritional status of its people.

Learn more about IMPact4Nutrition by reading our Action in Brief on IMPact4Nutrition or the case study in Sight and Life Magazine. Also, read our recent blog Nutrition in the Workplace is a Winning Solution During and Post-COVID-19 sharing the benefits as well as the science behind workplace nutrition.  

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On May 19, 2020 the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) announced Dr Purnima Menon as the recipient of the Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Award in Global Nutrition. This award is supported by Sight and Life and contributions from Global Nutrition Council members. It is given to a mid-career professional who has done innovative work to advance the field of global nutrition and is a current member of ASN’s Global Nutrition Council. The awardee is typically between 10 and 20 years post-terminal degree and has a sustained record of substantial research, mentoring, and training. 

Nevins Scrimshaw Award, San, Purnima Menon

Dr Menon is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy and Research Institute and is based in New Delhi, India. As the theme leader for South Asia Nutrition Programs in IFPRI’s Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division, Dr. Menon directs POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition in India), an initiative to support more use of evidence for nutrition in India. She conducts implementation research on scaling up maternal and child nutrition interventions, including evaluating large-scale behavior change communications programs in nutrition and health. Dr. Menon has research experience in India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Viet Nam, and Nepal, has published extensively, and invests deeply in research translation in her engagements with policy communities.

In addition to her research, Dr. Menon co-convenes a global nutrition policy course with the Institute for Development Studies in the United Kingdom, and has designed and taught many adaptations of this course in India as well. She serves on several national and global advisory groups, including the State of the World’s Children, the Global Nutrition Report, and the Countdown to 2030.

Dr. Menon has a Ph.D. in International Nutrition from Cornell University and an MSc in Nutrition from the University of Delhi.

Congratulations Dr Menon on a well-deserved accolade and we wish you continued success. 

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Sight and Life, MMS, Special ReportThe Sight and Life Special Report: Focusing on Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation inPregnancy compiles and curates the latest evidence, experience from the field and resources for scale-up. It aims to serve as an important resource for decision-makers and implementers, thereby driving the introduction and adoption of MMS.

Find the complete Sight and Life Special Report HERE.

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Sight and Life, Consumer Insights, magazine, Nutrition, BCCThe NEW Sight and Life Magazine is available now! This edition of the Sight and Life magazine explores various dimensions and applications of consumer insights. 

Each article in this issue of Sight and Life magazine is inspiring and thought-provoking and we very much hope you will enjoy it and trust that it will stimulate new ways of thinking that pave the way for meaningful and lasting change. Our deepest thanks to all of the authors for their contributions! 

Take a look at the magazine HERE.

 

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An elevator pitch is a critical part of the entrepreneurial process. As competition for research and investment funds increases, young scientists need to effectively articulate their idea and do so in a manner that is persuasive and precise. Sight and Life developed a platform for organizing an elevator pitch contest (EPC) on disruptive ideas to stimulate networks and dialogue, especially among innovators.

The Elevator Pitch Contest’s goal is to identify and support such projects that can be implemented and produce a meaningful impact in the short term. To stimulate innovation from different fields, this edition of the Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life will identify and support projects that can provide climate smart innovations for better nutrition.

The Elevator Pitch Contest will be held at the Micronutrient Forum Global Conference on March 25, 2020. Seven selected finalists will win a round trip and accommodation to Bangkok, Thailand, to present their idea. Each finalist will receive valuable mentoring throughout the contest and one winner will receive a cash award of US$5,000.

Elevator Pitch Contest Timeline

January 31, 2020 by 11:59 PM (GMT): Complete and submit the online application HERE

February 17, 2020: Seven best entries will be announced

March 24, 2020: Selected innovators will present their ideas to a panel of experts and the audience in five minutes. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered for all finalists.

Disclaimer:

The Elevator Pitch Contest is a platform founded by Sight and Life and open to students and young professionals to present their ideas in front of a distinguished team of experts, investors, and the nutrition science community. Sight and Life does not endorse or certify the quality, originality or potential of the ideas for the Elevator Pitch Contest. All participants are solely responsible for the ideas they express. Sight and Life expressly disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information or the quality, attributes, or availability of any of such ideas. In no event shall Sight and Life be liable for any damages, including without limitation special, indirect or consequential damages, resulting from the access or use, or lack of access and use, of these ideas.  

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On the evening of November 5, 2019, Sight and Life proudly announced the recipient of the 2019 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership award during the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Global Gathering (SUN GG) in Kathmandu, Nepal. Basanta Kumar Kar was recognized as a great leader in the nutrition field with the 2019 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award.

Sight and Life, Nutrition Leadership, SUNGG, scaling up nutrition, 2019
Gerda Verburg, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Secretariat (left) and Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director of Sight and Life, present Basanta Kumar Kar with the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award

“It’s with humility, respect and a lot of optimism that I accept this honor and thank you to Sight and Life. I dedicate this award to the men and women – the true nutrition warriors – who have been silently waging a war against the scourge of malnutrition, unrecognized, unheard and unacknowledged on the ground,” states Basanta Kumar Kar.

Sight and Life, nutrition, leadership, award, nutrition leadership award, SUNGGRaised in a small village in India, Kar experienced poverty and deprivation first hand. These childhood experiences left an impression, and for him was a motivation to create promising futures for others. Through his professional career he has applied this optimistic vision as a way to eliminate malnutrition and develop human potential, for a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. He has held leadership positions at The Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security, National Dairy Development Board, CARE, ActionAid International and GAIN providing vast experiences over the past 30 years and deep knowledge of nutrition. This is a reason why, today, he is known as the ‘Nutrition Man’, and is currently the Country Director of Project Concern International in India.  

“Faced with many challenges, Basanta continuously pushes forward with passion resulting in many positive changes to improve nutrition throughout India, “ expressed Klaus Kraemer, Sight and Life’s Managing Director, “Here at Sight and Life we have a vision of an improved world and one free from malnutrition, Basanta embodies this mission and has transformed systems in order to advance nutrition goals and therefore making more prosperous futures for many.”

In Bangladesh, he was instrumental in the mandatory food fortification legislation, where now 85% of the population are benefiting from vitamin-A fortified vegetable oil. In his home state of Odisha, he is co-leading a comprehensive strategy to make advances against the triple burden named “Mission Filaria, Malaria, and Malnutrition-Free Odisha”.

He built ‘The Nutrition Coalition’ in India, and recently, he was recognized by the Government of India for his leadership in supporting The Prime Minister’sNational Nutrition Mission, India’s flagship program to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant and lactating mothers. 

In addition to writing many scientific articles, he also translates his passion for improving the lives of others through poetry. ‘The Unfold Pinnacle’ is a series of poems sharing real life stories on nutrition and health issues of marginalized women and girls.

Kar joins an inspiring group of past recipients of the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award, such as David Nabarro, Robert Black, Anna Lartey, Shawn Baker, Ellen Piwoz, and Shilpa Bhatte. Congratulations to this very deserving leader in receiving the 2019 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership award, who is diligently working to change the face of nutrition for the better.

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We are pleased to announce the launch of egghub.org by Sight and Life, a one-stop source for the most up-to-date information and research related to egg consumption and production in low and middle-income countries. This new website is dedicated specifically to eggs and aims to improve collaboration and innovation around eggs, two elements that are key to increasing the availability of eggs globally.

Sight and Life is on quest to end malnutrition and we believe eggs are a critical part of the solution. As a source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, and essential fatty acids, eggs are increasingly being seen as a solution to combat maternal and child nutrition. Since 2016, Sight and Life has been engaged in multiple projects to deliver eggs to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations by increasing egg production and egg consumption. 

Through our Eggciting Program we are working on making eggs available and affordable to low-income households through innovative poultry business models in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, and Malawi. We are also piloting new innovations in egg production, egg-based products, sustainable business models, tools and approaches to address protein and micronutrient malnutrition during pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence.

As we continue to add more content and develop the website further, we encourage you to reach out to us with questions, information, and comments via the website’s contact page.

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Micronutrient malnutrition is highly prevalent and persistent among Ghanaian women where 1 in every 2 women of reproductive age are folate deficient, 40% are overweight and 20% are anaemic. There is a critical need for availability of foods rich in micronutrients. Therefore, the Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life in partnership with Obaasima, McGill University and Association of Ghana Industries sought disruptive ideas in aspirational and affordable nutritious foods.

EPC, Sight and LIFe, Elevator Pitch Contest, Ghana, nutrition, food products

The Competition

On September 12, 2019, Sight and Life’s maiden Elevator Pitch Contest designed to encourage local solutions to local problems by locals took place in Accra, Ghana. Open only to residents of Ghana, this contest drew 35 entries from students of 6 Ghanaian universities and many young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas to improve foods. Applications ranged from innovative ideas to successful solutions already at scale proving the judges a difficult task narrowing down the group of 35 applicants down to seven finalists. Our thanks goes to the jury members who shared their immense knowledge, experience and expertise in nutrition assessment.

Breda Gavin-Smith, Global Public Health Nutrition Manager, Sight and Life

Kwame Jantuah, CEO, African Energy Consortium Ltd.

Samuel Kwame Ntim Adu, Founder and CEO, Yedent Agro Group of Companies Ltd.

The seven finalists were awarded a round trip to Accra, Ghana to pitch their innovations at the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition 2019. Before the competition, each finalist received extensive mentorship and feedback regarding their concept and presentation to help hone their pitch. The finalists worked with Parand Salmassinia, Global Vice President of Commercial Strategy, Key Accounts & Aroma Ingredients Business of DSM, and Dr. Nii Addy, Assistant Professor (Research) at McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) of McGill University on their innovations through multiple group and individual sessions to refine their pitch and improve their narrative. They also met with William Offori Appaw, a previous Elevator Pitch finalist who shared his entrepreneurial journey and the experience of participating at the previous Elevator Pitch Competition held in Mumbai.

The Winners

The third place winner of the Elevator Pitch Competition was Ewura Esi Manful from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, with a nutritious yogurt called ‘Sweetpot yogurt’ that aims to curb vitamin A deficiency while simultaneously providing a market for sweet potatoes. Sweetpot yoghurt is naturally flavoured and supplemented with Vitamin A, and dietary fibres, presenting consumers with a healthier snack choice.

Grace A. Twumasi, receiving the first runner up award from Ing. Alfred D. Sackeyfio, Director, Corporate Strategy of Volta River Authority

The second place winner was Grace A. Twumasi from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She pitched an innovative nutrient dense food for children made completely from locally available raw materials such as orange flesh sweet potato, millet, soyabeans. Grace’s innovation has already completed research trials at the Manhiya Children’s Hospital in Kumasi and is ready to be scaled up to the market.

The winner of the competition was Zeenatu Suglo Adams from Pneuma Food Scientifics, a start-up that formulates affordable and nutritious snacks that taste great. Zeenatu pitched ‘Yammy pops’, a ready to eat (RTE) extruded snack made from underutilized and highly nutritious crops (yam, tamarind indica, baobab). This snack has high vitamin C, mineral, protein and fibre content. Yammy Pops, similar to corn pops, are made out of yams and therefore also reducing dependence on cereals and grains.

“Initially it was not an easy task, but after many rehearsals and coaching by the EPC team, I managed to talk about my idea in 5 minutes. This activity helped me identify the key features needed in a building a business. Passion alone is not enough. The facts and figures are very important,” states Zeenatu Suglo Adams, winner, Elevator Pitch Contest finalist.

Other finalists of the event are:

JOACHIM ASARE, SPeCS Foods
Muden is a nutritious fermented cake made from popular cereals in Ghana like maize, millet, rice, soybean & sorghum. It can either be eaten alone or added to cooked foods. The fermentation process enhances the development of micronutrients.

EDITH KUFOALOR, Sosogin
Sosogin is an organic herbal tea from hibiscus petals, bicolar sorghum grass, lemongrass and ginger produced from locally grown plants. It has nutrients that help support digestion, prevent stomach ulcers, and also contains anti-biofilm properties such as beta-carotene, lycopene and others.

JOHN ATTU, Nature Foods
Yogurt made from fresh pasteurized cows milk and fruits that are sourced locally. The product is rich in protein, calcium, vitamin D, B12, riboflavin, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and probiotics, which boosts digestive health. The addition of fresh fruits improves the vitamin, mineral and fiber content in the product.

DEBORAH AMOASI, Dietician App
A mobile app with a database of calories of all Ghanaian foods. The aim of the app is to be able to convert foods consumed into daily calories and provide individual body mass index (BMI) scores depending on height and weight.

The Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life brought together local entrepreneurs and provided an opportunity for them to connect and incubate their ideas. The seven finalists pumped life in to this contest with their cutting edge ideas and passion – we are looking forward to bright futures for all of them. This was Sight and Life’s fourth Elevator Pitch Competition, with the first three held in Cancun (2016) focusing on micronutrients, Boston (2018) seeking innovations in nutrition assessment and Mumbai (2018) challenging ways to reduce aflatoxins. For more information on these exciting competitions, visit elevatorpitch.org.

Take a look at pictures from the event:

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Here at Sight and Life, we believe great leadership is about having a vision of an improved world, acting on that vision and inspiring others to do the same.

·   A good leader is a visionary, not a dreamer: someone who not only dreams and talks about a better world but steps up to realize his vision.
·   A good leader is innovative and creative: someone who seeks new solutions to a problem and provides the knowledge and methods to take them into action.
·   A good leader is passionate: someone who is driven by a passion about his or her work to improve the current situation.
·   A good leader has courage: someone who rises and takes initiative in difficult times.
·   A transformative leader is an inspiration: someone who inspires, encourages, and helps other people achieving improvement.

In this spirit, we are proud to announce the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award 2019 will be presented this November at the SUN Global Gathering in Nepal.

Do you know a leader changing the future of nutrition? Please submit a nomination HERE for the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award 2019 by September 30th, 2019 EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 6th, 2019

PAST RECIPIENTS:
David Nabarro, 2012; Robert Black, 2013; Anna Lartey, 2014; Shawn Baker, 2015; Shilpa Bhatte and Ellen Piwoz, 2017

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A round of applause to the seven finalists of the Elevator Pitch Contest for aspirational and affordable nutritious food products. Congratulations! Join us on September 12, 2019 during the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition (GISE) in Accra to watch each of these pitches and learn about their innovations. The judges of this competition have a tough decision to select the recipient of the $5,000 cash award.

FINALISTS

Zeenatu Suglo Adams, Pneuma Food Scientifics
Deborah Amoasi, Dietician App
Joachim Asare, SPeCS Foods
John Attu, Nature Foods
Edith Kufoalor, Sosogin
Ewura Esi Manful, Sweetpot Yogurt
Grace A. Twumasi, Sweepolac

JUDGES

Breda Gavin-Smith, Global Public Health Nutrition Manager for Sight and Life
Samuel Kwame Ntim-Adu, CEO of Yedent Agro Group of Companies
Kwame Jantuah, CEO of Africa Energy Consortium Ltd

For additional information about the Elevator Pitch Contests visit elevator-pitch-contest.org

EPC, Sight and LIFe, Elevator Pitch Contest, Ghana, nutrition, food products

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Sight and Life is delighted that Dr Noel W Solomons, Co-Founder and Scientific Director of the Center for Studies of Sensory Impairment, Aging and Metabolism (CeSSIAM) and longstanding friend of Sight and Life, is the recipient of the 2019 J. David Naparstek Community Mentor Award alongside Ms Maria del Rosario Garcia-Meza. We warmly congratulate both of them on this well-deserved achievement!

The presence of exchange-students, as well as local students, has been a constant feature of CeSSIAM during the 34 years of its existence. Noel Solomons expresses his gratitude in receiving this prestigious award:

At least for me, this recognition is exceptionally sweet insofar as the mentoring of students and young scientists over the years in Guatemala has been more rewarding than the findings and publications. I had the good fortune to have mentoring from the likes of Nevin Scrimshaw, Irv Rosenberg and Fernando Viteri, and I have been passed the torch for a new generation of local exchange students through CeSSIAM’s 34 years of foundation.

Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director of Sight and Life, reflects on his relationship with Noel Solomons:

Those who have met Noel Solomons quickly understand he knows everything about nutrition. He is proactive about sharing his knowledge and experiences from the past forty plus years. Each conversation with Noel is an education that challenges your mind and his insights have changed my perspective on the most important underlying factors of malnutrition. Noel truly cares about the next generation of scientists and guides them as they take their first steps in the field and sets them up for a promising career path.

 
Dive into a day in the life of Dr Noel W. Solomons below:

Sight and Life (SAL): Dr Solomons, you are Director of the Center for Studies of Sensory Impairment, Aging and Metabolism (CeSSIAM). How long have you been in this role, and what does it entail?

Noel Solomons (NS): I have been in this position since July 1, 1985 – the day the new center was founded. I am also its Senior Scientist. The Center is the operative arm of a non-profit association, the ASOCIACION CeSSIAM. I’ve been the Vice President of the Board of Directors of ASOCIACION CeSSIAM since 1987. The role involves projecting the vision and the mission of the institution, both internally and externally. Above all, the Center is about discovery and the creation of new knowledge. It is also about training young scientists and building capacity for knowledge creation. It is not about participating in public health programs per se. External projection involves contacting potential donors of research financing in foundation, government and industry sources and communicating with potential collaborators and researchers. Reviewing research manuscripts and free-paper abstracts for scientific meetings occupies much of my time. The role also involves financial administration.

SAL: Is there such a thing as a normal working day for you? If so, could you describe it?

NS: When I’m not travelling, there is a usual work week. On Tuesdays, we hold an Academic Seminar, in which one of our staff or students will make a presentation on research. On Fridays, we convene a coordination meeting of our Guatemala City staff, followed by another Academic Seminar. Occasionally, we invite a guest professional to give a presentation. I try to leave Wednesdays free so that I can work from home, do errands and visit other professionals or entities. On Saturdays, I have one-on-one meetings with the post-doctoral staff members and graduate students to mentor their projects.

SAL: Can you tell us something about the team that supports you at CESSIAM?

NS: There is an external (international) team and an internal (local) team. The external team consists of the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation in Boston and the Hildegard Grunow Foundation in Munich, Germany. We also have productive ongoing academic collaborations with several other international universities. The internal support team consists of two loyal staff members in clerical and custodial positions. We have five full-time professionals based in the Headquarters – two with international doctoral degrees in nutritional sciences – and one coordinating our outpost in Quetzaltenango in the Western Highlands.

SAL: Can you tell us something about the history, values and objectives of CeSSIAM itself?

NS: CeSSIAM was born out of values: our guiding principle is to encourage creative and unfettered lines of research outside of the constraints and orthodoxies of any institutional oversight. From 1977 to 1984, I perceived a weakening of the investigative mission of INCAP due to the politicization of research. As a conscious counter-reaction, CeSSIAM’s most important value was to provide a refuge for the expression of scientific curiosity originating from the inspiration of the investigator, with strict adherence to the objectivity of the scientific method. We also wanted to develop young scientists as ‘human capital’ for innovative biomedical investigation. We originally had four divisions for the center, but this has evolved to two: Diet and Health; and Safety and Efficacy of Iron.

SAL: Your website states that “CeSSIAM is located in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The small, modest building belies the copious amounts of cutting-edge nutrition research going on within!” Could you tell us more?

NS: The small building on the website photo is but one of a number of small buildings that make up the Center. In our white office headquarters, we have the offices; in a twin building attached, there is a space used for a clinic or simple laboratory, as well as a meeting room for seminars and some offices for our students. In the city of Quetzaltenango, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, we have two locales in a commercial center. I have never subscribed to the “edifice complex” of some institutions, where the grandeur of the physical facilities becomes a status symbol. Our current facilities are ample compared to the space in the eye and ear hospital in our early years.

SAL: You are an officer of the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation (INF). What is the relationship between INF and CeSSIAM?

NS: Around the time of the founding of CeSSIAM it was “awkward” to have large amounts of funds in local banks. We worked out a means to have hard currency deposits held in Boston and released as needed on a monthly basis. This arrangement persists through today, helping us to obtain equipment and reagents that are difficult to purchase directly in Central America.

SAL: You are a Doctor of Medicine by training. In what ways has this identity influenced your work?

NS: Being a physician in first instance has enabled my work, permitting me to take a leadership role in research with human subjects and populations. Moreover, a physician is less likely to become too narrowly focused on one problem or experimental technique. Medical doctors are also committed to the Hippocratic tradition, which is based on the dictum of “first do no harm.” This is relevant to areas such as iron administration in malarial regions.

SAL: Do you have a hero who has inspired you in your career?

NS: There are three heroes who have acted as inspirational mentors. In 1965, my political leanings were considered too radical for Top Secret clearance in the Office of Scientific Affairs, so I was relegated to USAID and war-vintage out-buildings in the flats of Foggy Bottom in Washington DC. Again, a modest setting! There I was to meet Dr Harald Frederiksen, a tropical disease physician (and also somewhat of a political renegade), with whom I did a summer internship after my junior year at Harvard College. The topic he proposed would introduce me to the world of international nutrition, and turn my career aspirations from biochemistry to medicine. Returning to campus, I headed over to cross-register at MIT for an honors thesis on nutrition and infection with Prof. Nevin Scrimshaw, Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science. Nevin, at age 31, had been the founding director of INCAP in Guatemala. Over the years, working with him later on the faculty of his Department and subsequently with his International Nutrition Foundation, I would learn the art of science in broad and relevant topics, as opposed to narrow specialization. Prof. Irwin Rosenberg, Dean Emeritus of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition: Science and Policy is another major influence. Closely allied in the 1970s with Dr. Scrimshaw, he was a gastroenterologist with an interest in folic acid and vitamin B12. We first linked up at the Harvard Medical School as part of the civil rights movement. After finishing my medical training, I became a trainee in the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Chicago, which Irv was by then running. There I became involved in intestinal handling of lactose, zinc and bile acids in Chicago, and I carried those three interests to Guatemala, when he pointed me to a final, fellowship year abroad at the INCAP.

SAL: If you could change one thing about your working life, what would it be?

NS: I wish that I could spend more time with the staff and students at CeSSIAM’s outpost in the Western Highlands. It’s a remote – but vibrant – location.

SAL:How do you switch off from work? Do you have interests outside your professional existence?

NS: “So much to do … so little time” is my usual perspective. I enjoy photography, dancing and socializing, but usually in the context of a professional activity.

See the links below for more information on the remarkable work of CeSSiAM and Noel W Solomons:

CeSSiAM
Guatemala recognizes Noel Solomon’s research efforts
CeSSiAM celebrates 25 years of nutrition research
Read Noel Solomon’s latest insightful article on Nutrient Density as a Dimension of Dietary Quality in the latest Sight and Life magazine.

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On June 10, 2019 during the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Laura E. Murray-Kolb was announced as the recipient of the Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Award in Global Nutrition. This award is supported by Sight and Life and contributions from Global Nutrition Council members. It is given to a mid-career professional who has done innovative work to advance the field of global nutrition and is a current member of ASN’s Global Nutrition Council. The awardee is typically between 10 and 20 years post-terminal degree and has a sustained record of substantial research, mentoring and training. 

Dr. Murray-Kolb is an Associate Professor and the Professor in Charge of the Graduate Program in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, she holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Murray-Kolb’s research career is devoted to understanding the neurophysiological and neuropsychological consequences of iron deficiency with the aim of informing the development of policies designed to improve maternal and child health worldwide. Much of her research is conducted in South East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa where the integration of her training in nutrition, child development, and cognitive psychology has helped advance our understanding of the contextual variables that modify the effects of iron deficiency and the neural correlates underlying the detrimental consequences of iron deficiency.

For over a decade, she has chaired the Cognitive Development Subcommittee for a large, multi-site (8 low- and middle-income countries) study investigating the effects of repeated enteric infections and malnutrition in early life on child development. In 2016, she was awarded the Norman Kretchmer Memorial Award in Nutrition and Development by the American Society for Nutrition in recognition of her substantial body of independent research with relevance to improving child health. Dr. Murray-Kolb teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in global nutrition, nutritional epidemiology, micronutrient metabolism, and nutritional aspects of disease. She is also a dedicated mentor whose students have consistently had their work recognized with awards and who have gone on to leadership positions in academia, government, and the private sector. She considers it a privilege to have served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nutrition since 2010 and to be a member of a special task force that provides expertise on iron supplementation policy, particularly in malaria endemic areas.

Congratulations Laura, we wish you continued success!

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Join us on June 4th, during the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver, for Power for Mothers to understand why closing the gap in maternal is paramount, and how we can ensure all mothers get the critical vitamins and minerals they need. Compelling evidence shows that taking multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) during pregnancy reduces the risk of anemia in mothers and helps ensure babies are born healthy. But global recommendations lag behind the science, and many pregnant women cannot access MMS. 

Kristen Hurley, Program Director at Vitamin Angels, will moderate an enlightening discussion on MMS with Robert Black of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Spencer Kirk of Kirk Humanitarian, Lenore Spies from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, Klaus Kraemer of Sight and Life, as well as representatives from 1,000 DaysBill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

Power for Mothers: Bring a solution for Better Nutrition to All
June 4th at 5:30 pm
Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver

Hosted by: Sight and Life, CIFF, MMS TAG, Kirk Humanitarian, Vitamin Angels, 1,000 Days

Cocktails and light fare will be served following the event for an opportunity to meet the panelist and network.

All attendees must register on eventbrite HERE.

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As our project portfolio grows, we are looking for an addition to our team with experience in consumer centered research, product and service design, and monitoring and evaluation. Our current focus countries for consumer research are Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa. The role is based in Bangalore, India. 

For further information on the full-time position, please view the terms of reference HERE or download HERE to share.

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The NEW Sight and Life Magazine is available now! This edition of the Sight and Life magazine focuses on Double Burden of Malnutrition and the challenges and opportunities the global community now faces in addressing all forms of malnutrition. 

Each article in this issue of Sight and Life magazine is inspiring and thought-provoking and we very much hope you will enjoy it and trust that it will stimulate new ways of thinking that pave the way for meaningful and lasting change! Our deepest thanks to all of the authors for their contributions! 

Download the Full Edition Here

 

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Elevator Pitch Contest Winners announced at IUFoST

 

The 19th edition of the global event, IUFoST (International Union of Food Science and Technology) World Congress, was held in Mumbai, India from October 23-27, with the theme of “25 Billion Meals a Day by 2025 with Healthy, Nutritious, Safe and Diverse Foods“.

Aflatoxins, toxic metabolites of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus fungi, are one of the greatest risks to food security, health and well-being in low- and middle-income countries. Over 4 billion people are at risk of chronic exposure to aflatoxins through contaminated foods, with  detrimental consequences as diverse as growth impairment and liver cancer.

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), in collaboration with Sight and Life Foundation, Mars, Incorporated and Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN), invited ideas from students and young professionals for reducing or eliminating exposure to aflatoxin-contaminated foods and feed as part of the 2018 Elevator Pitch Contest (EPC).

On October 25th, six young innovators from around the globe pitched their ideas to a panel of experts, judges and potential investors. After much deliberation, Sight and Life is proud to share that Alexandra Warrington from Future Food Now, and Alexandra Sanderson of Kumwe Harvest were both awarded the prestigious prize and seed money for their ideas!!

Alexandra Warrington from Future Food Now offered a solution for using aflatoxin at-risk groundnut cake as a by-product from oil crushing to be used as a feed source for insect farming. The idea is to use insect farming technology to specifically target aflatoxin at-risk food chains, namely groundnuts, and potentially maize, in Malawi. It follows a circular economy approach where waste products are repurposed as feed for insects and redirected away from human food markets.

Alexandra Sanderson and her team from Kumwe Harvest proposed its existing “just-in-time” post-harvest processing model in which maize is aggregated ‘on-cob’ and processed immediately using high-capacity shelling and drying machines. The process involves buying unshelled maize on the cob from farmers after harvest, transported it to a central processing facility for immediate shelling and drying, before delivering to commercial buyers. It now achieves 100% quality acceptance rates with an aflatoxin limit of five parts per billion. This tried-and-tested concept aims to be taken to the next level by working with 80,000 farmers over the next three years to provide 30,000 tonnes of maize to commercial agribusinesses in Rwanda.

A big thank you is also due to our distinguished jury panel who brought their immense knowledge, expertise, and experience in aflatoxin-control to the table!!!

Winners of the Elevator Pitch Contest, Alexandra Warrington and Alexandra Sanderson with Benedikt Suter, Board Member for the Sight and Life Foundation, and Vish Prakash, Scientific Council Chair for the IUFoST, two of the EPC distinguished judges.

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Aflatoxin-control challenge in Africa winners announced

 

The Business Platform for Nutrition Research recently announced the winners of the Aflatoxin-control challenge in Africa, which called for innovative research projects to help reduce or eliminate exposure to aflatoxin-contaminated food and feeds in Africa.

Sammy Kipkosgei Kiplagat from Egerton University and Kizito Nishimwe from Iowa State University were named as the winners of the competition at an awards ceremony during the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) platform meeting in Dakar, Senegal in early October 2018.

They were each presented with the prize of USD 15,000 in seed funds.

Researching the ability of black nightshade

Sammy Kipkosgei Kiplagat, a PhD student from the Department of Animal Sciences and a tutorial fellow for the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Egerton University, was chosen for his original research proposal.He outlined a study to determine the capacity of solanum villosum (black nightshade) to eliminate or reduce the toxicity of aflatoxin in Kenyan indigenous chicken ecotypes fed with contaminated feed. Sammy is currently researching the alleviation of toxicities associated with aflatoxin contamination of feeds and foods.

 Emerging technology to reduce aflatoxins

Kizito Nishimwe, a PhD student from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University in the United States and a lecturer at the University of Rwanda, was also selected for his pioneering concept. His research proposal highlighted the capabilities of a new low-cost emerging technology called cold plasma, which is currently used in the food industry. Kizito emphasized its effectiveness and safety to help reduce aflatoxins in commodities. Kizito is currently researching the use of aflatoxin binders in feeds and assessing the efficacy of cold plasma in degrading aflatoxins.

Three-stage judging process

Sammy and Kizito were chosen following a rigorous three-step judging process of 120 applications from students and researchers from 20 different countries.

The challenge was funded by the Government of Canada and carried out by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, in partnership with Sight and Life Foundation, Mars Incorporated, and PACA.

        Ambassador Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner For Rural Economy And Agriculture DREA (3rd from left) with the award winners Kizito Nishimwe, Sammy Kiplagat and other dignitaries. 

 

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This edition of the Sight and Life magazine focuses on food product innovation and the huge potential it has to help us address key challenges in the journey to a sustainable planet that is free from all forms of malnutrition.

EDITION HIGHLIGHTS
Sight Life, Product Innovation, magazine, SAL, Nutrition ARISE, technology, product chainThe pages in this issue explore the spectrum of product innovation by providing a broad perspective from product discovery and formulation techniques through to cutting-edge developments with a promising positive impact on the future of nutrition. For instance, Simone Frey from the Nutrition Hub gives us an illuminating tour of the thriving food innovation ecosystem through her piece “Enabling Entrepreneurship in NutritionReformulating Food Products for Improved Nutrition” and written by Jörg Spieldenner from Innosuisse and Klazine van der Horst from Bern University introduces us to the evolutionary approach of food product reformulation. In “An Innovation Evolution,” Senoe Torgerson and Dipika Matthias from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation argue the need for evolution in one of the most successful nutrition-relevant innovations in history – food fortification. Simon Billing and Heidi Spurrell from the Protein Challenge 2040 Initiative at Forum for the Future walk us through the effervescent landscape of new protein sources and the promise they hold in the feature “New Protein Sources“. Enjoy pressing the pages of this issue cover to cover!

Download the full edition HERE

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Sight Life, readership survey, opinion, magazine, demographicsWe are always trying to improve Sight and Life magazine, and we very much value your views on it. Please take a moment to complete our readership survey HERE

Sight and Life Magazine is seeking input from its readers. As part of our continuous effort to improve our print and digital products, we are conducting a survey to gain information about the magazine and its readership.

The survey should only take about 10-15 minutes of your time. Your answers will be handled in a secure and private system and combined with others to protect your confidentiality.

All respondents who complete the survey and provide contact information (name, address and email) will be entered to win a hard copy of The Biology of the First 1,000 Days. The survey closes Friday, September 28, 2018.

Thank you for helping to make Sight and Life an even stronger publication and resource for the nutrition community.

 

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Sight and Life is seeking a full-time program coordinator to support the scoping and business plan development for egg production improvement in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The role is based in Bangalore, India. 

The Eggciting Project:

Despite the excellent benefits of eggs, its availability and consumption, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is quite low. Moreover, consumption is also lower among groups which are the most in need of nutrition: women and young children. This position presents an incredible opportunity to increase the availability and consumption of a highly nutritious food source by developing innovative, business models.

Duties:

– Point of contact for data repository and develop metrics to analyze pertinent information and share insights with the team
– Investigate the macro and micro industry trends to identify root causes, challenges and solutions
– Design, develop and prepare quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, interview tool-kits, focus group discussion guides

For further information on the position, please view the terms of reference HERE or download HERE to share.

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Social marketing has been recognized as a viable approach to behavior change for the past 40 years. As the field continues to shift and evolve to address the emerging issues of the 21st century, so too must the leaders of this field. One focus of the 25th Social Marketing Conference was to provide recognition to the up and coming leaders of this field.

Social Marketing, Award, Yana Manyuk
Tait Martin, Chief Research Officer and partner at Taproot agency, presents Yana Manyuk with the ‘Outstanding New Professional’ Award. Photo Credit: Angela Makris

We are proud to announce that Yana Manyuk, Sight and Life’s Social Marketing Specialist, was the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding New Professional Award sponsored by Taproot Agency at the USF Social Marketing Conference in Florida, USA. 

“Yana is a rare gem. She combines research and art to elicit behavior change. She has strong analytical skills, she asks the right (and hard) questions, and is beautifully creative. She absolutely deserves this award and we are very lucky to have her on our team.”Eva Monterrosa, Sight and Life Senior Scientific Manager

Yana Manyuk’s hard work and knowledge in social marketing and behavior change communication is an asset to the the Sight and Life team and the recognition of the “Outstanding New Professional” award is well deserved. 

Interested in learning more about her work? Read about her work in Sudan with WFP in the blog post titled, “The Social Marketing of Micronutrient Powder in Sudan” or watch latest Sight and Life Webinar Series focusing on behavior change communication to learn more. 

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EPC, GAIn, Elevator Pitch Contest, Aflatoxins

The Elevator Pitch Contest by GAIN is here! 

An elevator pitch is a critical part of the entrepreneurial process. As competition for research and investment funds increases, young scientists need to effectively articulate their idea and do so in a manner that is persuasive and precise. Sight and Life has developed a platform for organizing an elevator pitch contest (EPC) on disruptive ideas to stimulate networks and dialogue, especially among innovators.

The Elevator Pitch Contest by Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), in collaboration with Sight and Life, Mars Incorporated, and Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN), is seeking disruptive ideas from students and young professionals who can design an innovative product, service, technology, application or approach reducing or eliminating exposure to aflatoxin-contaminated foods and feed. 

To stimulate innovation from different fields, the contest will have two categories:
– Non-food category: Aimed at finding alternative, non-food solutions to keep aflatoxin-contaminated foods and feeds out of the food system

– Food category: Aimed at identifying solutions to eliminate or reduce exposure to aflatoxins from foods and feeds

Why a Aflatoxin-Free Food System?

Aflatoxins, toxic metabolites of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus fungi, are one of the greatest risks to food security in developing countries.  Over 4 billion people are at risk of chronic exposure to aflatoxins through contaminated foods. Significant health problems caused by aflatoxins include acute liver damage and liver cancer. Aflatoxins may be also involved in immune suppression, and growth impairment in children.

Aflatoxins significantly impact trade and economy. Inability to achieve import standards can create barriers to the development of sustainable agriculture, e.g., Africa loses approximately US$670 million annually in lost trade to Europe alone as a result of raw materials failing to meet EU import standards. High yield crop years can often result in even more waste due to limited storage facilities and an inability to export. Economically viable alternative uses of contaminated products could mitigate these economic losses for farmers unable to sell on market, and reduce the risk that they are consumed (through own production or sales within less controlled markets).

Cash Prizes and More!

Three finalists from each category will win a trip (round trip and accommodation) to Mumbai to participate in the 19th World Congress of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST, October 23-28, 2018) and pitch their idea to a panel of experts and potential investors. The winner in each category will receive seed funds of USD $15,000 to further develop the idea. Submit your concept HERE by August 6, 2018

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EPC, Elevator Pitch Contest FinalistsOn the evening of June 11th during Nutrition 2018, American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting, the winners of the 2018 Elevator Pitch Contest were announced. We are proud to share that Anne-Julie Tessier, from Canada’s McGill University, was awarded first place by the jury panel with her dietary intake innovation named Keenoa, an artificial intelligence based food dietary accessed through a mobile application.

Tessier and her team tackle the lack of tools to accurately assess food and beverage intake among individuals. Her entry, Keenoa is an artificial intelligence (AI) based food diary. A mobile application captures participants’ eating habits to the nearest detail by enabling them to record food pictures, quantity, date and time of meals. This detailed information is directly linked to clinical practitioner’s/researcher’s web application and is accessible real time. The mobile and web applications, developed from Mar ’16 to Jan ’18 are ready to be deployed on the field.

The second place winner is Eleanor Shonkoff, from Tufts University, with Picture This! Her team proposes accurate estimation of individual-level food and nutrient intake through digital imaging of food, computer vision (CV) and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. The aim is to develop a scientifically valid method by which consumers take pictures of their food and get rapid, real-time feedback on calories and nutrients consumed. The steps involved are usage of images to classify foods, construct 3-dimensional model, estimate boundaries and volume and determine the food’s weight and calories. The concept is at a prototype stage however, an early model has been built using an algorithm that draws from 3-D weight estimation techniques to determine object volume and uses machine learning to classify foods. 

The third place winner is Andrea Spray, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with a dietary intake innovation called INATU that measures the impact of women’s time on nutrition. Spray aims to overcome the limitations of tools currently used in measuring the impact of women’s time on nutrition through a method that requires neither direct observation nor relies on self-reporting. The team proposes to equip rural mothers in Uganda with life-logging wearable cameras, GPS trackers and mobile phones receiving automated IVR calls to assess time use, maternal and child diet.

Sight and Life was also impressed by undergraduate student at Malawi’s Lilongwe University, Chikumbutso Chibwinja. At 22 years old, he proposed a simple technique, called Arm Distance Technique (ADT) by measuring the circumference of their arm. ADT eliminates the need for equipment or technical personnel. Chikumbutso claims that his technique can be used to classify a person as obese, overweight, normal or wasted. To continue supporting this young academic in his endeavors Sight and Life is providing him with an educational grant. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend the conference in Boston, but were ever impressed with his passion in nutrition.

Sight Life, Elevator Pitch Contest, EPC, Finalists
Photo Credit to Susanne Ure

It was an invigorating process to watch these young entrepreneurs present their innovations which have the potential to change the landscape of nutrition assessment. Although we could only select three contestants to win an award, all seven finalists brought this contest to life with their cutting edge ideas and we are looking forward to bright futures for all contestants.

Anne-Julie Tessier, Doctoral student at McGill University
Andrea Spray, Doctoral student, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Eleanor Shonkoff, Post-doctoral student, Tufts University
Maryam Hashemian, Post-doctoral fellow, National Cancer Institute
Chikumbutso Chibwinja, Undergraduate student, Lilongwe University in Malawi
Ethan Braun, Doctoral student, Purdue University
Timur Osadchiy, Doctoral student, Newcastle University in the UK

Our distinguished jury panel brought their immense knowledge, expertise and experience in nutrition assessment to the table. They had a difficult task of evaluating 65 entries from eighteen countries and thirty-five universities down to seven finalists from across diverse categories and stages to present their innovations at Nutrition 2018 by the American Society for Nutrition in Boston. A big thank you to…

Klaus Kraemer of Sight and Life
Simone Frey of Atlantic Food Labs
Katharine Kreis from PATH
Alain Labrique from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Parul Christian from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Karen Regean from National Institutes of Health

Please join us in Mumbai for our next Elevator Pitch Contest seeking innovations to create aflatoxin free food systems.

Check out the coverage on the Elevator Pitch Contest in Nutrition 2018 Daily HERE and view the picture gallery from the Elevator Pitch Contest below. 

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Meet the finalists of the Elevator Pitch Contest on Monday, June 11, 2018 from 12:00 to 14:00 at the Sight and Life booth (#408) at ASN’s ‘Nutrition 2018’ in Boston. These seven entrepreneurs will be on hand to talk about their innovations in nutrition assessment. You might even meet some of the judges! 

To find out more about the elevator pitch visit elevator-pitch-contest.org

See you there!

Elevator Pitch Contest, sight life, innovation, nutrition, pitch, entrepreneur

Ethan Braun, Doctoral Student at Purdue University
POWER

Chikumbutso Chibwinja, Undergraduate student at Lilongwe University
Individual Student

Maryam Hashemian, Post-doctoral fellow, National Cancer Institute
Salt Intake Measurement

Timur Osadchiy, Doctoral student, Newcastle University
Intake 24

Eleanor Shonkoff, Post-doctoral student at Tufts University
Picture This

Andrea Spray, Doctoral student at the London School of Hygiene & tropical Medicine
INATU

Anne-Julie Tessler, Doctoral student at MGill University
Keenoa

 

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Congratulations to the seven finalists for the Sight and Life Elevator Pitch Contest. These students will be pitching their nutrition innovations during ASN’s Nutrition 2018 in Boston this June 2018. The competition is on! 

Elevator Pitch Contest, sight life, innovation, nutrition, pitch, entrepreneur

Ethan Braun, Doctoral Student at Purdue University
POWER

Chikumbutso Chibwinja, Undergraduate student at Lilongwe University
Individual Student

Maryam Hashemian, Post-doctoral fellow, National Cancer Institute
Salt Intake Measurement

Timur Osadchiy, Doctoral student, Newcastle University
Intake 24

Eleanor Shonkoff, Post-doctoral student at Tufts University
Picture This

Andrea Spray, Doctoral student at the London School of Hygiene & tropical Medicine
INATU

Anne-Julie Tessler, Doctoral student at MGill University
Keenoa

Join us on June 10, 2018 from 15:00 to 17:00 at ASN’s ‘Nutrition 2018’ to watch the seven finalists pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and potential investors! We will be in Room 311 at the Hynes Conference Center in Boston. See you there!

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Thought for Food, impact, innovationWe are honored to partner with Thought for Food (TFF) on a shared goal and purpose, of creating sustainable solutions that will help end malnutrition. TFF engages and empowers the next generation of innovators around the world to feed 9+ billion people by the year of 2050.

Together, we are working on an impactful session focusing on the frontiers of nutrition science as part of the first-ever TFF Academy. This will be taking place alongside the TFF Summit, a meeting place for innovators and entrepreneurs reshaping the future of food and is open to youth, corporates, investors, policymakers, media and more. Both events will be occurring in the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from 23-26 July 2018. In addition, Sight and Life is empowering three participants to join this life-changing experience!

Find out about our Thought for Food Summit HERE.

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Visit the Resources section to DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE BOOK.

Abstract

The first 1,000 days, from conception to two years of age, is a critical period of growth and development. Exposures to dietary, environmental, hormonal, and other stressors during this window have been associated with an increased risk of poor health outcomes, some of which are irreversible. The book, The Biology of the First 1,000 Days, addresses this crucial interval of early life across biological disciplines, linking concepts related to all biological fields to outcomes during the first 1,000 days (e.g. fetal growth and pregnancy outcomes) and beyond (e.g. gut microbiome and cardiovascular disease later in life). The strength of this book lies in its cross-disciplinary nature.

Features

–  Summarizes the importance and irreversible nature of growth and nutrition experienced in the first 1,000 days of life

– Outlines the negative impacts of malnutrition, hormonal stressors, environmental enteropathies, inadequate early growth, and others on later life

– Examines the biology and pathophysiology of the myriad influences on early health and development

– Reviews normal and abnormal fetal and infant development associated with prenatal and postnatal exposures

– Provides suggestions for interventions mitigating poor fetal and early postnatal conditions

Editors

Crystal Karakochuk, PhD, RD
Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition
Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia
Investigator, Healthy Starts, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Kyly Whitfield, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University

Prof Tim Green
Affiliate Professor Discipline of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, School of Medicine, The University of Adelaide

Klaus Kraemer
Director of Sight and Life and Adjunct Professor Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Reviews

“The Biology of the First 1000 Days compiles the substance behind what we know to be the key to progress. Investing in good nutrition during a child’s first 1000 days is essential for not only unlocking a child’s physical and mental development. It is the way forward for improved health, productivity, income and a sustainable future – with no one left behind. This book compiles our experience, and showcases it for policy makers, strategists and programmers. I hope the knowledge captured in these pages plays an important role in achieving the ultimate goal – an end to malnutrition, in all its forms.”

– Gerda Verburg, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Coordinator and UN Assistant Secretary General

“The book is a comprehensive and synthetic review of key spatial factors ranging from preconception to age two— it is a critical reference and will shape public policy and improve interventions for mother and child – impacts that will last a lifetime”

– Emorn Udomkesmalee, Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand

“Nutrition policy accepted that the first 1,000 days are critical for life. Now knowledge about the biology of that critical window – so important for specific policy actions – is provided by this volume. It is essential reading for the nutrition community. The list of contributors reads like a Who is Who in nutrition research.”

– Prof. Joachim von Braun, Bonn University, Vice Chair of the Board of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

“In The Biology of the First 1,000 Days we find, clearly and profoundly, the scientific evidence of how good nutrition truly shapes the future of our world – a most valuable contribution to our understanding of a long-neglected issue.”

– Roger Thurow, author of The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children – And the World

Visit the Resources section to DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE BOOK.

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Sight-Life-Elevator-Pitch-Conetst

Do you have a disruptive solution in nutrition assessment? 

The Elevator Pitch Contest hosted by Sight and Life is a competition amongst innovators to identify and support projects that have a high potential to be implemented and produce a meaningful impact in nutrition assessment. The 2nd edition of the Elevator Pitch Contest seeks disruptive ideas that will change the current way nutrition is measured. Whether a cutting-edge product, service, technology, or application the innovation needs to advance and improve the existing approaches to nutrition assessment.

Why Nutrition Assessment?

Nutritional deficiencies are major public health concerns in many low- and middle-income countries, but accurate and actionable information on their status in populations is often lacking due to high costs and logistical challenges associated with assessing nutritional status. Accurate, user-friendly, and low-cost analytical tools are needed to allow large-scale population surveys on nutritional status. We are striving to improve the assessment and evaluation of a persons nutritional status.

Prizes Awarded

Finalist will win a trip (round trip flight and accommodations) to Boston to participate in the American Society for Nutrition’s ‘Nutrition 2018’ and pitch their idea to a panel of experts and potential investors. Winners will receive a cash award of up to $2,000 USD.

How to Enter

Find out the details and requirements by visiting elevator-pitch-contest.org. Be sure to submit your idea by January 31, 2018. 

Disclaimer:
The Elevator Pitch Contest is a platform managed by Sight & Life and open to students to present their ideas in front of a distinguished team of experts, investors, and the nutrition science community. Sight and Life does not endorse or certify the quality, originality or potential of the ideas for the Elevator Pitch Contest. All participants are solely responsible for the ideas they express. Sight and Life expressly disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information or the quality, attributes, or availability of any of such ideas. In no event shall Sight and Life be liable for any damages, including without limitation special, indirect or consequential damages, resulting from the access or use, or lack of access and use, of these ideas.  

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Sight and Life has committed to match up to $50,000 from members and friends of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) in order to create an endowment for the Inaugural Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Award. The goal is a total fund of $100,000, which will allow the award to be bestowed in perpetuity.

Dr. Scrimshaw led an extraordinary career dedicated to the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition with work that substantially improved the lives of millions of people around the globe. This new award aims to annually pay tribute to Dr. Scrimshaw’s invaluable contributions while recognizing those who are following in his footsteps. Each year, a mid-career professional who is doing innovative work to advance the global nutrition field will be awarded this prestigious honor.
 
A total of $50,000 from the ASN membership is required to permanently endow the Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Award. Please join us in our support and consider making a contribution to this effort through the following mechanisms:

Donate online (Be sure to check off the Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Award Endowment Fund!) or print and send a contribution form through ASN. Thank you for your consideration. 

In addition, please join us in Boston form June 9-112, 2018 for Nutrition 2018 where the inaugural Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Award will be awarded. Sight and Life will also be hosting the 2nd Elevator Pitch Contest, to find our more visit elevator-pitch-contest.org.

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On the evening of November 8, Sight and Life proudly announced two winners of the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership award at the SUN Global Gathering in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Dr Shilpa Bhatte and Dr Ellen Piwoz were recognized as great leaders in the nutrition field who have a vision of an improved world and inspiring others to do the same.

2017 Sight Life Nutrition Leadership Award

“There are many types of leadership. Here at Sight and Life we back leaders who are agents for change, who role up their sleeves and work hard to accomplish their vision, and who serve as role models for the next generation. Shilpa Bhatte and Ellen Piwoz embody these traits and have transformed systems in order to improve nutrition at the national and global level.” Klaus Kraemer, Sight and Life Managing Director.

Shilpa Bhatte of Vitamin Angels receives the 2017 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership AwardBhatte is a medical doctor and a public health physician with more than 10 years experience of working in the maternal and child health sector in India. She has been part of the emergency obstetric care program (EmOC) of Govt of India, technical team of Operation Eyesight & Child Eye Care Charitable Trust in slum communities of Mumbai and currently heads Vitamin Angels in India as Senior Program Advisor. Over last 7 years under her leadership, Vitamin Angels, a platform providing lifesaving vitamins to mothers and children at risk of malnutrition in India, Bhatte’s efforts have successfully reached 12 million children under five with vitamin A supplementation and deworming interventions through a local network of 400+ NGOs. 

“This world has too much or too little of everything – we have to strive towards attaining a better balance!” states Bhatte.

In addition, she has also been able to support at least 6 state governments in India, with technical information and training, which has helped them to adopt using the vitamin A capsules as a more scientific and globally acceptable form of providing vitamin A to children under five.

Ellen Piwoz of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation receives the 2017 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership AwardPiwoz is an alumnus of both Duke University and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health where she has held adjunct faculty appointments as well. An expert in the field of nutrition, breast-feeding and HIV prevention, she has been published in an over 46 peer reviewed journal articles, 18 books and monographs, and 4 chapters. During her career she has taken on impactful roles as senior advisor on nutrition advising the Africa Bureau Office of Sustainable Development at USAID, and co-investigator on numerous clinical trials and behavioral studies on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

In 2007, she joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and currently leads the Nutrition Strategy Data, Analytics, and Evidence Initiative. Her work has lead her to shape and manage a diverse portfolio of grants including research on healthy birth, growth, and development and new intervention development; testing new delivery models for improving maternal nutrition, breastfeeding, and complementary feeding at scale through successful programs such as Alive & Thrive.

“I’m honored to receive this award alongside such a diverse group of leaders. I’m incredibly proud of the collective progress made, in my 35 years of work on this issue, and I am looking forward to working together until every woman and child, in every country, has the nutrition they need to live healthy, productive lives.” Piwoz shared.

Bhatte and Piwoz join an inspiring group of past recipients of The Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award such as Dr David Nabarro, Dr Robert Black, Dr Anna Lartey, and Dr Shawn Baker. Congratulations to two very deserving leaders in nutrition diligently working to change the face of nutrition for the better.

Watch the complete Scaling Up Nutrition Awards Ceremony during the SUN Global Gathering in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire here