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Innovation Prizes

Innovation Prizes

Do you have an idea that could transform the agriculture, fisheries and food sector?
Apply for an Innovation Prize and receive up to €10,000 of equity-free funding. 

The Innovation Prizes competition is one of Europe’s largest startup competitions in the agrifood sector. Prizes are awarded to entrepreneurs and early-stage startups to support the development of new products and services which can help transform our food system; making it healthier, more sustainable and more trusted. 

This year, the Innovation Prizes are open to entrepreneurs and startups from across the whole of Europe. Additional prizes are available for entrepreneurs based in Eastern and Southern Europe, through the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS). 

In each of the seventeen live finals, there will be a €10,000 and €5,000 prize available. There are fifteen live Demo Day finals for applicants from RIS countries (one per country listed below); and general live Demo Day finals for all other applicants. 

In addition to the cash prizes, participating startups will benefit from access to investors, high-quality training and our community of mentors and experts.

Eligibility Requirements

We welcome applications from those who meet the following eligibility criteria: 

  • Any resident, citizen or legal entity based in an EU Member State or associated countries;
  • To be considered eligible for the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) competition, the applicant must be a citizen and/or resident of Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Italy or Greece.

The proposed products or services must align with one or more of our strategic objectives: 

  • Making the food system better for people’s health;
  • Making the food system better for the environment;
  • Making the food system more trusted and transparent.

Competition Process

Applications open 1 April – 12 May 2019 midnight CET via F6S website 

Evaluations 13 May – 24 May 2019. The finalists will be announced shortly afterwards.  

17 live finals will be held between June and September 2019 as follows: 

  • General Innovation Prize Demo Days  
    • Stuttgart, Germany: 26 June 2019   
    • Aarhus, Denmark: 6 September 2019  
  • Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) Demo Days 
    • Croatia: 13th of June, Osijek
    • Czech Republic: 18/19th of June, Prague
    • Estonia: 26th of August, Tallin
    • Greece: 7-11 September, Thessaloniki
    • Hungary: 27th of June, Budapest
    • Italy: 19th of July, Bari
    • Latvia: 5th of September, Riga
    • Lithuania: 18th of June, Kaunas
    • Poland: 24th of June, Warsaw
    • Portugal: 17-18 July, Lisbon
    • Romania: 12th of September
    • Slovenia: 20th of June, Ljubljana
    • Slovakia: 17th of September,Nitra
    • Spain: 3rd October,Bilbao
    • Turkey: 18-19 September, Istanbul

Please refer to the competition Terms and Conditions for full details about the competition process and eligibility.


Q: What is RIS? 

A: RIS stands for Regional Innovation Scheme, which is a special funding scheme to support entrepreneurs and startups located in Eastern and Southern Europe. It is only available for residents and/or citizens of one of the following countries: Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Greece. 

Q: I applied and became a finalist of the EIT Food RIS Innovation Grants/Entrepreneurship Prizes in 2018. Can I still apply for the Innovation Prizes? 

A: Yes, you can! However, winners of 2018 edition of EIT Food RIS Innovation Grants/Entrepreneurship Prizes will be considered ineligible, please read the complete eligibility criteria in the Terms and Conditions.

Q: When and where will the Demo Days happen? 

A: Demo Days dates and locations are listed above and will also be updated at 

Q: Do I have to take part in the Demo Day? 

A: Yes, you do. A minimum of one member of your team must participate in the Demo Day and accompanying training. However, the more, the merrier! 

Q: Which of the 17 live demo day locations should I apply for? 

A: Applicants based in RIS countries should apply for the scheme taking place in their country of residence. All other applicants can choose to participate in the demo day taking place in either Germany or Denmark. 

Q: What does the training that accompanies the Demo Day consist of? 

A: The training will be tailored to the needs of the startups participating. However, likely topics include pitch training, building strong relationships with investors, effective communication, funding sources and marketing. 

Q: What stage of idea/startups is this competition for? 

A: There is no exact formula for this. However, startups should note that this programme is aimed at early-stage entrepreneurs and startups. If you have raised large amounts of investment (i.e. more than €100,000) or have large revenue streams (i.e. more than €50,000), this Prize is probably not for you. In fact, one of the criteria that your application will be judged upon is whether the Innovation Prize will be ‘catalytic’ in your startup's success. If you wish to discuss the individual situation of your startup, please contact us. 

Project team

Joseph Gridley
Project Role

RIS Business Development Manager


EIT Food

Contact details

Adriana Balazy
Project Role

RIS Business Development Manager


EIT Food

Contact details

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