The present article reviews selected key challenges regarding food security from both an academic and policy-oriented angle. In the analysis of the main constraints to achieve food access and availability in low and high-income societies, a detailed distinction is made between technological and institutional aspects. In the case of low-income economies, the emphasis is placed on the socio-economic situation and performance of small-scale farmers while in high-income economies the focus is shifted towards issues of price volatility, market stability and food waste. In both scenarios, productivity and efficiency in the use of resources are also considered. The objective of this assessment is to identify the type of policy support which would be most suitable to fulfil the increasing food demand. Innovation programmes and policies which integrate institutional coordination and technical support are put forward as strategic tools in the achievement of food security goals at regional and global level.