Innovation Institute for Food and Health at the University of California, Davis Announces 2023 Partner Summit

Innovation Institute for Food and Health at the University of California, Davis Announces 2023 Partner Summit

Davis, California, The Innovation Institute for Food and Health (IIFH) at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) will host the 2023 Partner Summit October 11-13, 2023 in Davis, California. Presentations will be led by food company leaders, foundations, investors, and UC Davis scientists, who have all partnered with the IIFH.

IIFH Faculty Director and Associate Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine at UC Davis Justin Siegel said, “The IIFH has been working with industry and academic partners to develop solutions to the most pressing challenges in food and health by creating an ecosystem that bridges the gap between groundbreaking academic research and commercialization. We see this event as an opportunity to bring together our partners and other forward-thinking individuals from around the world that share our passion for improving human health through food. Having these influential decision makers all in the room together will help build meaningful connections across sectors that will undoubtedly have a positive ripple effect across the global food system. These connections will help us enable advancements in food to address many diet related diseases and ultimately improve people’s lives. We are not looking to change people, we want to make the food they love healthy so they can live longer, healthier, and happier lives.”        

UC Davis and the IIFH are at the epicenter, intellectually and geographically, of the most groundbreaking innovations improving human health through food. They have been doing research on food for health for over 30 years, resulting in unique opportunities that are now ready to hit the market. New technologies such as synthetic biology, AI, and data science are being used to enable groundbreaking innovations in food that will be presented at the summit. These tools are being used to enable food to be delicious, healthy, and sustainable, without trade-offs.

UC Davis, Graduate School of Management Dean, H. Rao Unnava said, “The high quality of food science research at UC Davis, coupled with the collaborative and purposeful work of IIFH, have provided an unparalleled opportunity for our MBA students to work with scientists and address problems of global significance. I cannot think of any MBA program that can offer what we do to our students, and it is mainly because of the unique focus of IIFH on food and health, and their willingness to include our MBA students in their passionate quest to improve people’s lives via the food they eat.” 

Topics covered at the conference will include not only the latest technologies enabling healthy, sustainable foods that are desirable to customers, but also deep and current insights into the market dynamics in the food for health industry. Mars, Incorporated, Bank of Montreal, and AGR Partners are collaborating with the IIFH to host this event. In addition to new insights on the latest technological innovations in food technology, there will be panels on market trends in food and health that will provide the latest trends on merger and acquisition activity in the industry and on what food technology and food for health companies need to succeed in the market today.

Other speakers at the summit include top researchers and food scientists at UC Davis, CEOs of food technology companies and Chief Science Officers of some of the largest food companies, all looking to create happier, healthier, longer lives for consumers through food.

“We’ve reached the moment where consumers are demanding clean, sustainable products that are healthier for them and our planet. Consumer companies are committed to delivering on this with many having set objectives for a clean ingredient portfolio by 2030. This is the dream moment for science and biotech powered fermentation” said John Melo, former Chief Executive Officer, Amyris. “Many of the pioneers in this space were 10 years too early but we now have many learnings that can accelerate the transition to a healthier planet for all. Leveraging AI’s unifying force with groundbreaking synthetic biology tools, we stand ready to steer the industry toward a smarter, healthier future that is scalable and finally delivers significant positive impact for all. The organizations represented at the IIFH Partner Summit are many of these pioneers that are paving the path to a healthier and sustainable future powered by these transformative technologies. Now is the moment.”

Dr. Abigail Stevenson, Chief Science Officer, Mars said “Mars has been partnering with the IIFH since 2015, exploring opportunities that bring together science discovery and consumer relevant use cases focused on health, sustainability, and food systems. Our strategic partners within the IIFH ecosystem create vital links to groundbreaking technologies such as synthetic biology, AI and data science that together help fuel innovation pipelines across all areas of Mars – from our pet care products and services to snacking and our food and nutrition businesses.”

Muireann Kelliher, Global Head of Biotechnology at AB InBev said “At AB InBev, we are pioneering strategies to leverage our unparalleled fermentation expertise and robust supply chains, aiming to introduce a revolutionary generation of sustainable and accessible food products to the market. Even in these early stages, we are thrilled to witness how the ecosystem at IIFH has catalyzed the progress of our efforts.”

The IIFH Partner Summit convenes global industry leaders, emerging companies, food technology innovators, academic experts, and investors – creating new connections between the people and entities working to bring people happier, healthier, longer lives through food. This summit brings together an ecosystem that will enable our vision of reaching a billion people with products and services that support metabolic health in the next decade.

About the IIFH

The Innovation Institute for Food and Health (IIFH) is an independent institute within the world’s leading public research university – the University of California. Our goal is to make metabolic health easily accessible leading to happier, healthier, longer lives for everyone. Based at the University of California, Davis, we work with a world-class consortium of investors, corporations, start-ups, universities and foundations to reimagine markets for metabolic health. IIFH combines cutting-edge health insights with consumer understanding and innovative food technologies to create great tasting, affordable food and health choices. The result is active support for healthier lifestyles for everyone.

Media contact

Marissa Pickard, Innovation Institute for Food and Health, 916-599-5551
Andy Fell, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-752-4533