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A new cohort of impactful startups join EIT Food entrepreneurship programmes and the EIT Food North-West community

EIT Food North-West is delighted to announce 15 innovative agrifood startups that have joined EIT Food’s 3 flagship entrepreneurship programmes to launch, accelerate and scale their businesses, and its regional community. EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

14 Jul 2022
EIT Food North-West

These startups have joined EIT Food’s growing entrepreneurship community which aims to empower startups to create impact in the agrifood industry. By joining Europe’s largest agrifood network, startups are able to connect with world-leading industry, investors and research organisations that are transforming our global food system.

Introducing EIT Food’s entrepreneurship programmes

EIT Food’s 3 entrepreneurship programmes are the Seedbed Incubator, EIT Food Accelerator Network and RisingFoodStars association. Teams that join one of these programmes have a solution that addresses one of EIT Food’s innovation focus areas: sustainable agriculture, digital traceability, protein diversification, sustainable aquaculture, targeted nutrition or circular food systems.

Seedbed Incubator

The EIT Food Seedbed Incubator is a 6-month programme that aims to transform science and technology-based innovations into market-validated businesses. Teams that join this programme receive support such as equity-free grant funding and lifetime access to our network to facilitate market testing with target stakeholders.

This year’s Seedbed Incubator cohort welcomes 40 new teams to participate in the programme. Teams join one of 5 hubs across Europe. Queen’s University Belfast leads the hub for the EIT Food North-West region, and this year it will support 8 teams. Explore these teams below:

  • Allergy Act (UK): is a platform that supports catering establishments to become allergy-friendly and helps individuals with specific dietary requirements to locate allergy-friendly catering establishments.
  • BFF (Ireland): finds traits that will add value to live fermented products, such as health-promoting metabolites, flavour production, and screening for undesirable components.
  • EyeQ (Ireland): uses data to predict the remaining shelf-life of fresh produce. They empower stakeholders to adopt a biologic-based food supply chain that makes the system more agile, responsive, and efficient.
  • Food Futures (UK): is a farm system platform that uses sustainability metrics to capture, credit and drive positive behavioural change, that will make agrifood production more sustainable.
  • Icesupp (UK): is a frozen meal supplement offering people a convenient way to consume calories, especially for those suffering from nutrition-impact symptoms, and cancer patients.
  • OPTIcut (UK): uses artificial intelligence and 3D image processing algorithms to provide cutting strategies and fruit profiles tailored to individual farms, to avoid unnecessary wastage of food produce.
  • PlayWel (UK): uses environmental enrichment for intensively reared poultry to help improve animal welfare. They address challenges such as chicken leg health problems, increased mortality, and reduced profits.
  • SyMO3 (Ireland): uses proprietary technology to produce LC Omega-3s de novo from microalgae. SyMO3 oils are suitable for inclusion in a range of food products to ensure adequate Omega-3 for all.

“We have joined the EIT Food Seedbed Programme to develop the route to market for Food Futures. We will use the excellent resources within Seedbed to strengthen our value proposition and to create the vital link with industry, particularly retail. Seedbed will allow Food Futures to become the unique tool of measuring and evidencing on-farm sustainability for consumers and retailers at both the local (UK), pan-European and global levels.”

- Ryan McGuire, Research Fellow at Queen's University Belfast, Institute for Global Food Security

EIT Food Accelerator Network

The EIT Food Accelerator Network (EIT FAN) is a four-month equity-free grant funded programme. It connects impactful agrifood startups with industry-leading corporate and research partners, to pilot innovative technology and to achieve a successful market adoption.

This year’s EIT FAN cohort welcomes 61 teams to participate in the programme. Teams join on of 6 hubs across Europe. The University of Reading and University of Cambridge hub will support 10 of these teams which are from the EIT Food North West region. Explore these teams below:

  • Bright Biotech (UK): has developed a technology which uses chloroplasts to express high amounts of high-value proteins in plants, to produce high quality recombinant proteins for the agrifood industry.
  • Deep Crop Growbotics (UK): has developed a prototype that uses machine learning based 3D camera system and a 3-axis robot with cutting end effector to locate, harvest and grade broccoli.
  • Des Solutio (Portugal): has developed a 100% natural solution that can significantly extend the life span of antioxidants without using artificial preservatives.
  • Economad Solutions (UK): BioNomad™ is an innovative, modular and scalable waste-to-energy platform that can be easily installed in small livestock farms or anywhere where manure or slurry is regularly collected.
  • Greentech Innovators (Norway): uses biotechnology to improve utilization of carbohydrates and production of a growth media for fermentation to single cell protein and algae to be used as feed in aquaculture.
  • INSPRO (UK): uses insects, Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL), to bio convert food waste / by-products into animal feed.
  • Little Inca (UK): is a smart baby food brand that uses quinoa and other plant-based ingredients in their products, to support gut health in babies and infants.
  • Magic Broth (Lithuania): is a 100% natural source of collagen proteins that is rich in nutritional value and is produced by combining an ancient tradition with today’s innovation.
  • Microbe Plus (Poland): has developed an innovative, microbiological technology (probiotic for plants) that reduces the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Niskus Biotec (Ireland): has developed bespoke fermentation processes and food grade fungal strains that enable the rapid scalable production of myco-products.

RisingFoodStars

The EIT Food RisingFoodStars association supports early scaleups that are ready for significant global expansion. Startups that join the association receive individual support to scale up, raise investment, and tackle typical startup growing pain points.

Ace Aquatec (UK) has joined the latest RisingFoodStars cohort from the EIT Food North-West region. The startup partners with world leading experts in different scientific fields to apply their breakthrough technology developments to aquaculture and marine industries.

The RisingFoodStars Association has renewed the memberships of 32 startups who are existing or former members of the cohort. This includes Analytics Engines, Deep Planet, DryGro and Mimica, SafetyNet Technologies and Thor Ice from the EIT Food North-West community.

Startups join the EIT Food North-West community

Startups based in UK, Ireland and Iceland that join EIT Food’s entrepreneurship programmes also join the EIT Food North-West community. This enables startups to connect with EIT Food North-West partners across academia, research and the agrifood industry to form new strategic partnerships.

EIT Food North-West welcomes new agrifood startups to its region to help to strengthen the innovation potential in food systems across the region and beyond.

Further Information

  • Learn more about the EIT Food entrepreneurship community here
  • Learn more about EIT Food North-West here
  • Subscribe to the EIT Food North-West newsletter to receive latest news and stories across our region here.

About EIT Food

EIT Food is the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community. We accelerate innovation to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all. ​    

Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, we invest in projects, organisations and individuals that share our goals for a healthy and sustainable food system. We unlock innovation potential in businesses and universities, and create and scale agrifood startups to bring new technologies and products to market. We equip entrepreneurs and professionals with the skills needed to transform the food system and put consumers at the heart of our work, helping build trust by reconnecting them to the origins of their food.     

We are one of nine innovation communities established by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.     

Find out more at www.eitfood.eu or follow us via social media: Twitter,  Facebook,  LinkedIn,  YouTube and Instagram.

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