EIT Food launches open Proof of Concepts Call to test public engagement projects for societal impact
Up to €400,000 is available for innovative public engagement project ideas in the agrifood sector.
- Opportunity for successful applicants to spend time testing and validating their approach to establish potential for societal impact
- Organisations have until 18 August 2023 to apply
EIT Food has announced its latest application window for the Proof of Concepts Call, which aims to create positive societal impact through public engagement initiatives which enhance consumer trust, improve health outcomes and reduce the environmental impacts of the food system. EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.
Applications are now open, with a total of up to €400,000 available for projects that propose to bring about a positive impact on society, including:
- Equipping individuals to make more informed choices, related to health and/or sustainability
- Increasing transparency and engagement in the food system
- Enabling consumer involvement in shaping the future food system
The EIT Food Proof of Concepts Call seeks to test whether relevant ideas, concepts and approaches would bring about positive societal impact by enabling organisations to spend sufficient time on testing and demonstrating the relevance of a proposed approach. Organisations can apply for up to €50,000 each to enable them to test out their idea. As well as funding, successful applicants will be able to access EIT Food’s expert community, including potential collaborators.
13 concepts were selected be tested in 2021, including a behaviour-change initiative to reduce childhood obesity, a proposal to increase capabilities of diabetic people in deprived areas, and a guide for the sustainable disposal of food packaging. Seven Proof of Concepts selected in 2022 are currently in the testing phase.
The funding provided by EIT Food has enabled us to work with people who have specific expertise on areas we want to develop, and to dedicate funding to outreach to our local community. This means we are able to learn more about the real needs of the sector on Ibiza – an island that has lost over 50% of its agricultural land in the last 20 years.
Being able to present the project to the agrifood sector on the island is permitting us to gain feedback on where the project is succeeding and failing. It has enabled us to monitor broader island-wide social changes, including the growing number of residents working in the food economy and what infrastructure is needed on the island to increase food sovereignty while facilitating a transition to regenerative agriculture.
We are excited to be opening up a new round of applications to welcome innovative public engagement proposals that have the potential to transform the food system.
Engaging with consumers is critical to delivering an inclusive agrifood sector that produces healthy, sustainable food and empowers all people to participate and benefit. We look forward to supporting a new cohort of organisations to test and validate ideas that enhance consumer trust and involvement in our future food system.
Successful applicants will use the Proof of Concepts phase to build a scaleup model for a multi-year project. If the project is proven to have potential for societal impact during the testing phase, the activity leader is expected to submit a full proposal for continuation.
EIT Food has allowed us to set up a unique learning network with the five key retailers in Belgium (Carrefour, Aldi, Lidl, Delhaize & Colruyt) in which, together with civil society actors, universities and the government, we analyse and discuss on how we can jointly accelerate and upscale systemic change in the food system.
Each action taken within the SUCCESS project is scientifically underpinned by scientific research and experiments with citizens and supermarkets – also enabled by EIT Food. The Proof of Concepts has allowed to upscale internally and nationally tested strategies within an international consortium, including in lesser-known regions such as Poland.
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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.