Bühler, ID Capital and Alibaba Cloud to Co-Organise AI Contest to Address Food Safety Challenges

The first global AI competition for food safety aims to attract leading experts to create innovative and intelligent solutions to discover and auto-summarize food-safety-related events. Winners of the competition will present at the Future Food Asia 2019 event.


February 28, 2019 4:00 PM Singapore Time

UZWIL, Switzerland, SINGAPORE and HANGZHOU, China – Bühler and ID Capital, together with Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, today announced at a press conference in Singapore the launch of their co-organised Food Safety Challenge. AI experts from around the world will be invited to compete through Tianchi, Alibaba Cloud’s global big data crowd intelligence platform, to develop solutions to food-safety related events such as product recalls, foodborne outbreaks or fraudulent activity.

Home to a half of the world’s population, Asia has the highest health burden from foodborne diseases. In the South-East Asia region alone, foodborne diseases are responsible for 150 million illnesses and 175,000 deaths annually. [Source: WHO].

In order to protect consumer health and lower the risk of foodborne incidents, Bühler has recently launched the freemium service safefood.ai to create additional intelligence on food-safety related events such as product recalls, foodborne outbreaks or fraudulent activity. The service continuously monitors thousands of sources, including official databases, social media, news and others, and alerts users about any evidence related to foodborne outbreaks, product recalls or food fraud.

The contestants will be challenged to create algorithms that can generate automated summaries of discovered food safety incidents at both high relevancy and great precision. Contestants’ models will have to analyze large sets of data provided by Bühler which have been aggregated from dozens of sources.  As the competition will be progressing, participants will be able to test their algorithms on new data and optimize their models to reach better accuracy at spotting relevant food safety events.

The team adjudged as the best solution will win a First Prize of US$ 10,000 from Bühler. There will also be two Second Prizes of US$2,500 as well as three Third Prizes which are internship opportunities at Bühler Singapore.

“Food safety is one of the major challenges faced by our industry today. Bühler is stepping up to gather the best talents and leverage the most advanced technologies to detect, understand and act on all possible threats along the value chain. Data is the central piece of this strategy. With this collaborative A.I challenge, we want to draw new data specialists to think about food industry challenges and ultimately join forces to create practical tools to improve human lives.” said Stuart Bashford, Digital Officer of Bühler.

“Asia is bound to become the world’s A.I. powerhouse. In the past editions of Future Food Asia we have seen a growing number of regional agrifoodtech startups leveraging this technology. Going one step further it is our great pleasure to collaborate with leaders in their respective fields and demonstrate in the most concrete manner that innovation increasingly lies at the crossroads of multiple disciplines. Future Food Asia aims at encouraging a wider pool of talents to apply their capabilities to one of the most meaningful challenges of our times, the Future of Food.” said Isabelle Decitre, Founder & CEO, ID Capital.

“Alibaba Cloud shares a vision to develop solutions that can solve real-life problems of global interest. This contest be the first Alibaba Cloud’s Tianchi competition hosted in Asia outside China, and the first worldwide catering to the agrifood sector. Within the current Tianchi community, there are more than 270,000 developers and scientists from 93 countries and regions. Through competitions, Tianchi pools the wisdom of experts from around the world and leverages the expertise of the Alibaba Cloud Intelligence solutions to help entities in different sectors address real-world challenges.” said Leon Chen, Country Manager Singapore, Alibaba Cloud.

The contest is open for registration until 10 April 2019. For more information, please visit the Tianchi website.


About Bühler

Billions of people come into contact with Bühler technologies to cover their basic needs for food and mobility every day. Two billion people each day enjoy foods produced on Bühler equipment; and one billion people travel in vehicles manufactured with parts produced with our machinery. Countless people wear eye glasses, use smart phones, and read newspapers and magazines, all of which depend on Bühler process technologies and solutions. Having this global relevance, we are in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable business. We want every human being to have access to healthy food. We want to do our part to protect the climate with energy-efficient cars, buildings, and machinery. Our motto is creating “innovations for a better world.”

Bühler invests up to 5% of turnover into research and development. In 2018, over 13,000 employees generated a turnover of CHF 3.3 billion. As a Swiss family-owned company, Bühler is active in in 140 countries around the world and operates a global network of 30 production sites.

For further enquiries:


Burkhard Böndel, Head of Corporate Communications,

Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Schweiz

Phone: +41 71 955 33 99

Mobile: +41 79 515 91 57

E-mail: [email protected]


Markus Reber, Media Relations Manager,

Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland

Phone: +41 71 955 12 44

Mobile: +41 79 864 29 41

E-mail: [email protected]


Vianney d’Hostel, Regional Marketing Manager Southeast Asia

Bühler (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand

Mobile: +66 81 830 1678

E-mail: [email protected]


About ID Capital

ID Capital is an investment company headquartered in Singapore specialized in the domain of AgriTech and FoodTech in the Asia-Pacific region. ID Capital is a pioneer in the agrifood sector in Asia-Pacific and has contributed effort and capital in also catalyzing the ecosystem in the region through its Future Food Asia platform launched in 2016. Its thesis is built on the fact that in this growing vertical, Asia-Pacific is the nexus between high growth and high stakes. ID Capital is also an Appointed Partner for Startup SG Equity for the AgriFood sector.

For further enquiries please write to [email protected]


About Alibaba Cloud

Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud (www.alibabacloud.com), the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, is among the world’s top three IaaS providers, according to Gartner, and the largest provider of public cloud services in China, according to IDC. Alibaba Cloud provides a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services to businesses worldwide, including merchants doing business on Alibaba Group marketplaces, start-ups, corporations and government organizations. Alibaba Cloud is the official Cloud Services Partner of the International Olympic Committee.

Media Contacts

Flann Gao

+65 8798 9419

[email protected]


Carmen Zhang

+86 18601250967

[email protected]