The British Columbia Institute of Technology, in partnership with Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Island University, and the University of Northern British Columbia launched the Nourishing Innovation: Campus Nutrition and Food Security Contest on May 6, 2021.
This contest is open to all current students at SFU, BCIT, UNBC, and VIU to develop innovative solutions to enable equitable access to nutritious, sustainable, and culturally sensitive food for all students on campus. Student competitors have the chance to win cash prizes of $500 to $2,000. The winning ideas will be implemented at each campus at the start of the fall semester.
Nourishing Innovation is an initiative of the BC Collaborative for Social Infrastructure (BCCSI), a joint project funded by the McConnell Foundation between BCIT, SFU, VIU, and UNBC to advance and scale BC higher education social infrastructure to strengthen communities while sharing knowledge. One of the pillars of this project is ‘Green and Sustainable Campus and community’ and the project’s current focus is on addressing and supporting each institution’s social, cultural, and environmental challenges with food systems.
“With the generous support from the McConnell Foundation our students can use their collective energies and strengths to make a real sustainable impact on our campuses,” says Hong Sy, Natural Research Analyst, BCIT Natural Health and Foods Products Research Group “Nearly 40% of post-secondary students in Canada experience food insecurity. Our hope with this contest is to empower students’ voices to develop innovative ideas to spark a movement within BCIT to address food security on our campus”.
Students can enter this contest by submitting a 3-minute video and 200-word description of their idea to the contest’s online entry form from May 6 to June 6. Students may compete on their own or as a team of up to four students. Contest entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges representing the partner institutions to select 8 finalists who will advance to an online pitch event on June 28. A full list of contest rules is available on the website.
“Food connects us all and the Nourishing Innovation project is a great example of 4 universities coming together around our collective interest in supporting student food security innovations and student engagement on campus. In centering students’ voices and ideas, we hope that the Nourishing Innovation contest can spark a movement to develop a just and sustainable food system on all of our campuses” says Tammara Soma, Nourishing Innovation Steering Committee and Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University
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