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U.S., Chinese entrepreneurs call on government to play bigger role in innovating food technologies

(Xinhua)    14:26, March 02, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Food-tech innovators and entrepreneurs from the United States and China are calling for a greater government role in helping innovate food technologies.

The representatives from the food industry gathered on Thursday in San Francisco to explore the opportunities of food technologies.

The event, with the theme of "The Future of Food," was organized by GlobalSF, an organization committed to facilitate investment in San Francisco, in partnership with RocketSpace, a San Francisco-based tech startup accelerator.

The speakers shared their opinions on the future of food, new investment opportunities, and the disruptive food innovation emerging from the San Francisco Bay Area and globally.

They agreed that government can play a big role in transforming the global food ecosystem and addressing food challenges.

Both public and private sectors can work together to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the food industry, said Daniel Kurzrock, co-founder of ReGrained.

His company works to reduce food waste by taking spent grain from beermaking that would typically be thrown out and turns it into flour.

"The reality is markets fail all the time, and in my opinion, market-based solutions alone are not sufficient," he said.

One of the things that are "pivotal" in their development is that they got in touch with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) -- an in-house research agency of the department, according to Kurzrock.

"The facility has food scientists and engineers and provide funding," he said. "We actually entered into a subsidized research and development agreement with the USDA."

"We invented technology together. We patented together," he added. "There's a lot more you can do, pretty much every area. There are many positive things happening, to really solve some big problems."

LiLy Ng, CEO of a Hong Kong-based Foodie Group Ltd., said the government should play a big role in providing better infrastructure to help drive the transportation cost down and make better food available to more people.

"From the prospect of public service, the government should also promote the better eating habits and the better food choices," she said.

The government also plays an important role in promoting and deploying food technologies, Ng added.

Her company has been an organizer for Food Future Summit for two years in Hong Kong, which drew innovators and experts to join efforts toward "changing our global food destiny," she said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Du Mingming)

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