New Methods to Identify Illegal Seafood

$15,000 USD

Challenge overview


NEOM is building a global community with food at its heart. NEOM Food Sector’s mission is to harness innovation to nourish people and the planet, and guarantee food security for generations to come. A key part in realizing this vision is taking responsibility for the commercialization of local food production, overseeing the importation of food into NEOM and ensuring the ethical integration of environmental, social and governance practices across the Food Sector. By the end of 2022, NEOM Food Sector aims to start importing food items into the region, focusing initially on fruits, vegetables, and seafood. However, seafood has been historically prone to mislabeling, fraud, and economically motivated adulteration. The Seeker desires solutions that verify and authenticate the species of a given seafood item during or after the importation process, thereby eliminating any room for falsifications. This is an important problem to solve, as global fish consumption is forecast to increase by 16.3% to reaching 180 million tons by 2029.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.



Species substitution is the most frequent fraudulent action facing the seafood industry. Mislabeling can happen at various points in the supply chain, from point of catch, through the processing and distribution process, ultimately affecting the consumer adversely. Globally speaking, combating fish fraud is difficult as no individual authority is responsible for regulating and tracking the entire process. To help protect the reputation and value of seafood products, NEOM is looking for an authentication solution that can be integrated from customs inspection to the consumer’s plate. Solutions that also capture information related to safety, quality, point of origin and catch/farming methods are an additional bonus.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award. The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $2,000.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker. Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on May 31, 2022. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers who submit a proposal will be notified about the status of their submissions; however, no evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.



NEOM is a new vision of what the future could be. It’s an attempt to do something that’s never been done before, and it’s coming at a time when the world needs fresh thinking and new solutions. Put simply, NEOM will not only be a destination, but a home for people who dream big and who want to be part of building a new model for sustainable living. For more information, visit


What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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