“Young Earth Solutions! (Yes!)”, The Barilla Competition To Select Sustainable Food Projects

The competition, which has received the patronage of UNESCO and the European Commission, was launched this past March and has already been downloaded by 4,000 students and researchers around the world. Application information and rules are available on the www.bcfnyes.com website.

Those eligible to participate in BCFN YES! must be university students or researchers in any department, year of study or country, and not be over 30 years of age at the end of October 2013. Applications are open to individual students or teams of a maximum of 3 members. The projects must involve such issues as global challenges tied to the theme of food and nutrition, the obesity crisis and simultaneous paradox of lack of food, as well as re-thinking in the food industry towards greater environmental sustainability throughout the food chain. The proposals will be selected by evaluating the real social impact of the idea, how innovative and original it is and its feasibility. Of major importance is whether the solution is multi-disciplinary, an aspect BCFN considers to be the most complete and effective approach to taking on the world’s food challenges.


The ten best ideas will take part as competition finalists at the 5th International Forum on Food and Nutrition to be held in Milan on November 26-27 and they will have the opportunity to present their projects to an audience comprised of scientists, nutrition experts, investors and venture capitalists. The winner will receive a prize and the opportunity to be involved in a Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition research project during the course of 2014.


The 2012 competition was won by Federica Marra, a student at the University of Leiden (Netherlands), with her idea “Manna from our Roof”, a project aimed at young people around the world and focused on making unutilized spaces such as terraces, rooftops and green walls available for creating urban vegetable gardens. Federica is currently working with experts from the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition in studying issues connected with food waste.

Full information is available online at 


Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition

The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition is a think tank with a multidisciplinary approach to the world of food and nutrition, connecting these to other related issues: economics, medicine, nutrition, sociology and the environment.  The body which oversees the work of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition is the Advisory Board, which comprises: Barbara Buchner, Director of the Climate Policy Initiative Europe; Ellen Gustafson, sustainable nutrition expert; Gabriele Riccardi, endocrinologist; and Camillo Ricordi, scientist, University of Miami. Joining the Advisory Board in 2013 are Riccardo Valentini, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Director of the Climate Impacts Division of the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change, and Danielle Nierenberg, expert in sustainable agriculture and co-founder of FoodTank: the Food Think Tank. Mario Monti was a member of the Advisory Board until November 2011.