EIT Food is a European Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), set up to foster sustainable change in the global food ecosystem. It runs three programmes for startups: the EIT Food Seedbed Incubator, the EIT Food Accelerator Network, and RisingFoodStars. Applications for all three are currently open but closing on Monday 28 February.
The EIT Food Seedbed Incubator is designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs and newly formed startups that need market validation. The EIT Food Accelerator Network is for pre-seed funded startups to help them achieve pilot scale and prepare for investment while RisingFoodStars is for startups that already have a solid customer base and are ready to expand globally.
Click here to register for one of the three programmes.
Six areas where innovation is needed
EIT Food has identified six key focus areas where innovation is needed most in order to transform our current agri-food system to a more sustainable model, and it is calling on all startups active in any of its six key focus areas to sign up to take part in its accelerator programme.
The six key focus areas, all of which contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are:
Alternative proteins that are sustainably produced, high quality, safe and healthy.
Targeted nutrition, including the latest advances in areas like nutrigenetics, gut microbiota and metabolomics. Such developments allow people to adapt what they eat to take account of both overall population traits as well as lifestyles, allergies, and intolerances, significantly improving health.
Digital traceability, including technologies such as blockchain, the internet of things, and food sensing technologies that can improve the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of food, thus increasing consumer trust.
Sustainable agriculture methods that can help increase crop and livestock productivity without increasing greenhouse gas emissions and negative environmental impacts.
Sustainable aquaculture and methods to improve global aquaculture practices, which are often inefficient and can have a significant impact on the environment.
Circular systems and solutions that provide viable alternatives to the current model of ‘make, use and dispose’, creating a circular food system where resources are used more efficiently and side and waste streams are valorised.
According to EIT Food, these six fields are the most promising areas where it, together with their startup community, can drive long-term positive change to make the food system more sustainable, healthy, and trusted.