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Food Scanner - € 1 Million


Given the increase in food-related health problems, the challenge set for this €1 million prize was to develop an affordable and non-invasive mobile solution that enables users to measure and analyse their food intake.

This €1 million prize has been split into three awards: € 800 000 went to the winner, Spectral Engines, and € 100 000 each to the two runners-up, SCiOscan and Tellspec.


Why this Prize?

Food-related health problems such as food allergies, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease have grown to epidemic proportions and are taking a heavy toll on our society and our health systems.

Some figures:

  • According to the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology about 17 million Europeans suffer from food allergies, with 3.5 million of them less than 25 years of age
  • Globally about 35 % of adults are overweight, with half a billion of them obese. Obesity is affecting people at ever younger ages: today 43 million preschool children or nearly 7 % of all under-fives are overweight
  • The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimated that in Europe 35 million adults had diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) in 2011. This is projected to increase by 23%, to 43 million in 2030
  • According to the WHO, cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes more than half of all deaths across the European Region; CVD causes 46 times the number of deaths and 11 times the disease burden caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined in Europe; 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable and diabetes is a major risk factor and trigger for cardiovascular disease. Healthier food intake could reduce these numbers



The Horizon Prize for a food scanner awarded a mobile solution that analyses precisely, quickly and efficiently food composition, nutrition facts and potentially harmful ingredients such as allergens. The challenge was also be able to provide feedback to users regarding their health and lifestyle.



Submissions closed on 9 March 2016.

The rules of contest are available online.