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EIT Food announces open funding call for collaborative agrifood innovation

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Modern greenhouse for growing Strawberry with irrigation system

A new funding call has been launched by EIT Food to support initiatives using innovative agri-food tech solutions to tackle problems in the industry.

The Open Innovation Call for Proposals 2023 will financially support collaborative projects by bringing new products to the market and introducing new and improved commercial processes and services.

Prospective applicants should focus on the following three themes within their projects: healthier lives though food, a fully transparent, fair and resilient food system, and a net zero food system.

Participants must also tailor their ideas to six innovation focus areas, which include protein diversification, circular food systems, digital traceability, sustainable agriculture, sustainable aquaculture and targeted nutrition.

Applications are open to suitable European organisations in Member States of the European Union and Horizon Europe Associate Countries.

Current members of the EIT Food partnership are welcome to apply, as are external groups working in agrifood including businesses, SMEs, universities, and start-ups.

Proposals must be submitted by a consortium of three or more organisations which come from two different eligible countries. Applicants also need to have a working background in two areas of the EIT Knowledge Triangle: education/academia; research; and business/industry.

Successful projects from previous funding calls include AGAPE – an AI supported platform for graduates and jobseekers to fill the skills gap in the fisheries industry, as well as EThichain, which is developing authenticity verification systems for communities who have ethical or religious dietary requirements.  

EIT Food can provide funds of up to 70% of the project costs. Participants must be able to demonstrate their ability to fund 30% of their project expenses from other sources.

Groups must also commit to paying a percentage of the original grant back to the organisation if their proposals are successful.

Paola Giavedoni, Director of Innovation at EIT Food said: “Through this Open Innovation Call, EIT Food will support bold new innovations that promise to transform the way we address agrifood challenges.

“Whether through new products, technology or business practices, we want to hear from organisations with ideas that will help us secure a fairer, more transparent and resilient food system for all.”

Successful proposals are predicted to start bringing commercially viable products and services to market from 2024 onwards.

This year marks the fifth year of the Open Innovation Call, which has helped to accelerate the development of a range of impactful projects that are changing the agrifood industry for the better, says the organisation.

EIT Food is supported by the European Union body, European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

There are two submission windows for the latest funding call. This first submission deadline closes on 14 October 2022, and the second on 13 April 2023. Full details on how to apply can be found on the EIT Food website.

Spain is the fourth largest player in the European agrifood sector. Find out how its growing as a leading light in the area in this Food Matters Live Podcast episode:

How Spain is staking its claim as a global agtech leader

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