EIT Food has announced the successful start-ups to join its 2021 Food Accelerator Network (FAN) which spans across 6 innovation hubs throughout Europe. The initiative functions to attract start-ups to working towards a more sustainable and future-proof food sector, and EIT have chosen 60 high-impact agrifood start-ups that they believe to be doing just this. Each start-up will benefit from networking opportunities across the sector with both corporates and research partners, bespoke development programmes and crucial business resources to grow their business and strengthen their impact.
Within the agrifood sector, the start-ups address the varied challenges facing the European food system. 47% on sustainable agriculture, 17% on alternative protein development, 13% on targeted nutrition, 7% on circular food systems, 7% on digitalised traceability, 5% on sustainable aquaculture and 5% on other sustainability solutions.
It was announced on EIT Food’s website that 2021 was the most competitive year to date with over 600 start-up applications being submitted. From this pool, 120 start-ups were selected to go through to the second round by over 130 experts in the agrifood sector. Following this, a final short-list was drawn up and selected start-ups were invited to present their business solution to a panel of adjudicators.
Dr Christoph Mandl, Programme Manager of the EIT FAN said on the company website about the 60 successful start-ups: “We are thrilled to welcome the fourth cohort of 60 outstanding agrifood startups into the EIT Food Accelerator Network. These startups have gone through a rigorous and comprehensive review process to assess their innovative potential, commercial viability, and positive impact on our food system.
“Thus, we are extremely grateful not only to the startups for trusting us with their application but also for the tremendous effort of our EIT FAN community who supported us throughout the selection process.”
The 60 selected start-ups for this year’s intake will be spread across EIT’s six innovation hubs in Europe: Germany, Israel, Switzerland, Spain, Finland and the UK. Successful start-ups include B’ZEOS, a sustainable packaging company offering home compostable and bio-digestible packaging solutions made from seaweed extracts, and Digifarm, a agri-tech service detecting the world’s most accurate field boundaries to power precision.
Benoit Buntinx, Director of Business Creation at EIT Food commented: “I’m very excited to hear that each year more and more startups and industry partners alike express their interest in the EIT FAN programme. The programme is well on track to further establish itself as Europe’s number one accelerator in the agrifood space.” .