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Tech commercialisation solutions to drive food system change

Last week the Seedbed team travelled to Lisbon, Portugal, as the co-sponsor for the ASTP conference attended by 345 people from 32 countries. We met with our TTO friends to find out how we can help encourage more scientists to commercialise innovations that can be applied to the agrifood sector.

26 May 2022
2 min reading time

Why is this so important?

Only 3.4% of all EU Startups are in the food industry! This figure needs to drastically change if we are to meet the UN’s sustainability goals by the year 2030.
At the event EIT Food also launched an Agrifood SIG, which is a forum for technology transfer professionals to navigate and overcome the challenges of commercialising research-based innovation across our global food supply chain.

From regenerative agriculture and aquaculture, urban farming and circular waste systems through to novel food and nutrition product development, sustainable packaging, distribution and digital traceability, the road to achieving the ultimate goal - viable, scalable spin-outs and startups - requires a multi-diverse approach.

During the conference sessions some key digital innovation challenges arose in conversation, such as:

  • How to increase open science and open source initiatives to encourage more startups and spin-offs? – good for science but a threat for commercialisation

  • Data Management & AI: valorising data sets for better quality data curation

  • The need to establish new incentives to build a more collaborative ecosystem: I.e. hybrid solutions for multiple stakeholder management (researcher, IT, legal, companies/organisations)

  • Innovation layering opportunities: Raw Open Innovations v Closed – innovating on raw innovations as add-ons

  • How to become more planet-driven when we are currently so market-driven: Which doesn’t necessarily prioritise the world’s biggest problems

  • New ideas for licensing, regulations, policymaking, patenting: More brainstorming required for this!

  • Team formation practices: When considering most tech/digital startups don’t come from universities now.

These are all areas we will now explore in our Agrifood SIG, along with how we can inspire more scientists and digital technologists to innovate in the agrifood sector. If you’d like to join this group, please sign up here

In summary, it was clear that Seedbed can offer TTO’s so much value to increase food tech commercialisation

At the early stages of startup formation it’s really important to be supported by fantastic, positive people to ensure the right mindset is developed for business growth. Being part of Seedbed, you cannot go wrong when you are in the hands of the lovely Stella Spanou leading the programme. Stella will take you on a wonderful market discovery journey!

Here are some highlights from our participation at the 2022 ASTP Conference:

Stella Spanou, EIT Food Seedbed Incubator

More Seedbed Incubator programme info found here.

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