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EIT FOOD Challenge Lab 2022: Southern Europe

EIT Food is launching the following challenge: The future of our roots: reimagining a sustainable Mediterranean food system. How can we provide end-consumers with affordable and high-quality local products?

Wed, April 24, 2024
Online Final Event

Why Challenge Labs?  

We want to tackle the big problems that are facing the food sector by bringing together diverse groups of people to find innovative solutions and conveying a set of skills and competencies contributing to enhance innovation capabilities. The activity will lead to developing by participant following skills under EIT Food competency framework: Entrepreneurship (launching ideas, customer identification), Problem solving (teamwork, design thinking, canvas models), Communication (presenting ideas, pitching to customers) and Food systems (sustainability of production, efficiency of delivery, sustainable packaging). 

Challenge Labs are an opportunity to spark co-founder relationships, lead to the creation of new businesses and build links between industry, academia, and start-ups around a pertinent and topical challenge.  

What is the challenge this year?  

The future of our roots: reimagining a sustainable Mediterranean food system

How can we provide end-consumers with affordable and high-quality local products?

  • Respond to market needs by combining quality, sustainability, and affordability.
  • Provide consumers with products that are high-quality (organic, fresh, nutritious) and affordable (within the same price range as their mass-produced, non-organic counterparts).
  • Encourage the sales of fresh and sustainable Mediterranean products with positive social and/or environmental impact.

Potential Use Cases

There’s no one right solution to this challenge! Get creative and be inspired by your experiences as a consumer. Here are some lines of action that we’ve developed with our partners to jumpstart your brainstorming.

  • Digitization: How can we incorporate integral digital solutions to monitor crops, map and register jobs, implement remote traceability and reduce the overall carbon footprint of food production?
  • Sustainable production: How can we improve production methods for all relevant Southern European actors, ranging from traditional big groups to small, local producers?
  • Mediterranean product value chain: How we can encourage the disintermediation of the value chain so that the end-consumer can buy the products at an affordable price without negatively impacting the producers?
  • Distribution and logistics: How can we modify reusable packaging for fruit and vegetables to further extend the packaging’s lifespan and promote sustainability?
  • Cross-country opportunities: How can we leverage the opportunities of each country’s unique agrifood ecosystem to devise a holistic model for Southern Europe?

When and where does the Challenge Lab 2022: Southern Europe take place? 

This year, the Challenge Lab 2022: Southern Europe will be a 100%-online event taking place on September 28th and 30th. The first day will include a keynote address, a crash course, and other dynamics to stimulate ideation and solution prioritization.  The second day will be for the presentation of the innovative projects (pitches). It is mandatory for the participants to be present in both days of the hackathon.  

Why should you participate in the Challenge Lab 2022: Southern Europe?

EIT Food Challenge Lab is the meeting of innovative spirits that aim to find solutions for the food industry. You will collaborate with passionate and engaged people during stimulating workshops, receive feedback and mentoring from experts in the industry and you will have the opportunity to win a prize of 4.000€. The candidates’ innovation solution will be evaluated on suitability for the challenge, innovation, scalability, communication and presentation, and team working.

Who are our partners for this event?

John Deere is the world’s leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, developing intelligent, connected machines and applications that are helping to revolutionize the agriculture industry.

Logifruit is a company that applies technology to logistics processes, focusing its activity on the rental of reusable sustainable packaging with high quality products and services.

Continente Producers Club (CPC) is a support structure for Portuguese livestock and agricultural production that promotes high quality and safety standards for national products.

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