Food Safety Game Changers Challenge

Heads up, problem solvers! SQFI is seeking innovative game-changing ideas that tackle and solve food safety challenges faced by professionals in the food industry. In this competition, selected participants will get the opportunity to share their pioneering research, innovative idea or newly implemented practice or program that will/has overcome a challenge and improve(d) food safety. Selected participants will present their idea at the SQF Conference in San Antonio, Texas, November 5-7 for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2020 conference in Orlando, Florida. 


  • Interested parties should submit their ideas in the required format to the SQF Institute prior to the deadline of June 1, 2019.
  • SQFI staff will review the submissions and select 4 finalists.
  • Selected finalists will have a maximum of 5 minutes to pitch their idea. This will be followed by 5 minutes of questions from the audience.
  • Audience members will vote in 3 categories:
  • Quality of the Idea
  • Originality of the idea
  • Potential for practical application
  • Votes will be tallied and the presenter with the most votes will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2020 SQF Conference in Orlando, Florida


  • The competition is open to all residents of North America (U.S., Mexico, Canada)
  • Only individuals may present the pitch; however, participants may represent any entity (retailer, supplier, service provider, academia, etc.)
  • Service providers may apply; however, the idea should not be a sales pitch for a product, service or brand. Proposals that are deemed to have the potential for commercialization will not be considered.


One (1) winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2020 SQF Conference to include:

  • Registration fee for 1 person
  • Economy domestic roundtrip airfare (up to $800) for 1 person
  • Ground transportation (up to $200) for 1 person
  • 3 nights of accommodation (room and tax only) at the host hotel for 1 person


  • Pitches must be no longer than 5 minutes in length.
  • PowerPoint slides are allowed (no more than 6 including cover slide)
  • Pitches should focus on solutions. No products, services or brands may be pitched. 

Application Process

Submissions should provide a thorough description of the innovation, an explanation of benefit or impact, how the innovation is used or applied, and perspective or context that explains its significance of this innovation. All submissions must be sent to no later than June 1, 2019 using the official submission form which can be downloaded here. Submissions must include:

  1. Name, title, company (if applicable) of the presenter
  2. Contact information of the presenter (telephone and email)
  3. Short bio (150 words or less)
  4. The problem/challenge you are addressing and why it is important to food safety
  5. Your solution and how it will impact the food industry (250 words or less)

Submissions will be reviewed by the SQF Institute and finalists will be notified no later than August 1, 2019.