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Recognising the food entrepreneurs transforming the food system

04 September 2019 News, Startup News As part of EIT Food’s mission to transform the food system, it is important to recognise and reward the change-makers that are helping tackle society’s greatest challenges. Now in its 5th year, the EIT Awards 2019 are helping to promote the most successful startups, innovative projects and young entrepreneurial talent in Europe, drawn exclusively from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Community.

Recognising the food entrepreneurs transforming the food system

For 2019, 3 EIT Food nominees from a total of 19 top innovators will compete for a cash prize of up to 20 000 Euro for 1st place in the individual category, and for up to 50 000 Euro in the team categories, with additional cash prizes for 2nd & 3rd place. The winners will be announced at an award’s ceremony in Budapest on 15 October during the EIT’s annual Innovation Forum, INNOVEIT. The nominees will be competing in four categories: Change, Innovators, Venture and Woman awards.

Showcasing the innovators of the future

Each nominee for the EIT Awards has been selected for tackling global challenges with ground-breaking innovations in the fields of food, climate, energy, digitalisation, health and raw materials. Their products and services are driving Europe’s ability to innovate and creating jobs and growth across the region.

Helping to showcase the impact of EIT Food, our agrifood innovation community will be well represented by our nominees Lynette Kucsma from Natural Machines, Rudolf Sollacher from Siemens, and Piotr Wnukowski from NapiFeryn BioTech.

Lynette Kucsma: demonstrating the outstanding achievements of women entrepreneurs

Lynette Kucsma Cofounder Natural Machines
Lynette Kucsma, Natural Machines

Lynette Kucsma is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Natural Machines and has been nominated in the EIT Women category. Natural machines produces a full range of innovative kitchen solutions that improve the quality and enjoyment of food, enable greater control of food and drive a positive environmental impact by lessening food waste.

If you’d like to vote for Lynette to support her nomination for the 2019 EIT Woman Award, please vote on the EIT website.

Foodini in kitchen with white tiles
Natural Machine’s first released product is Foodini: a 3D food printing kitchen appliance.

Rudolf Sollacher and the Digital Twin Management Project: developing high-impact products and services for a sustainable future and a trusted food system


Rudolf Sollacher, Siemens

Rudolf Sollacher is a Senior Research Scientist from Siemens and also the lead for the EIT Food Digital Twin Management project, which has been nominated for the EIT Innovators Award. The project team are aiming to make food production more transparent and more sustainable by creating a digital platform giving an overview of production and logistic processes. Consumers are then able to gain more insights into the content and production of a food product.

If you’d like to vote for Rudolf and the Digital Twin management Project to support the nomination for the 2019 EIT Innovators Award, please vote on the EIT website.

Group photo Digital Twin management project team
The Digital Twin management Project Team is made up EIT Food partners from Siemens, Givaudan, Fraunhofer, Strauss and the Technische Universität München

Piotr Wnukowski: recognising successful startups and scaleups supported by EITs Innovation Communities


Piotr Wnukowski, NapiFeryn BioTech

Piotr Wnukowski is the Co-Founder of NapiFeryn BioTech, a startup that has been nominated for the EIT Venture Award. His company provides a technology that extracts, purifies and isolates functional proteins derived from oilseeds, that can then be used in food. These new edible plant proteins aim to ease the global demand for food.

If you’d like to vote for Piotr to support his nomination for the 2019 EIT Venture Award, please vote on the EIT website.


Based on edible plat proteins, NapiFeryn BioTech products aim to reduce global food demand

Dedicated to driving positive change: the benefits of the EIT Awards

Not only will the winners of the EIT Awards receive a cash award for their achievements, but they will also benefit from training and coaching to help them through the award process. This support will include:

  • Professional pitch training at the headquarters of EIT Food in Budapest
  • Online social and traditional media training sessions via webinars
  • An initiation to join the 2019 EIT CONNECT alumni CONNECT dinner
  • Opportunities for additional visibility through the EIT Community activities

Isobel Hoffman, the winner of the 2018 EIT Woman Award, explains the benefits of taking part in the Awards:

“[Even] if you do not win, do not worry, because the experience alone is great and this is a great opportunity to connect to our EIT Community. Today, I am good friends with many of the nominees and we support each other. I absolutely have the best memories about the week in September and then the few days in October. Thank you all for organising these great awards.”

Isabel Hoffman, Founder of Tellspec and winner of the 2018 EIT Woman Award

Vote for the changemakers of the food system

Our nominees will go through to a final selection for the awards, with the winners announced at the EIT Awards ceremony in Budapest on 15 October. Voting for the awards opened on 2 September and will close on 15 October during the Innoveit ceremony. To cast your vote please go to: https://eit.europa.eu/innoveit/awards.

About the Author: Matt Eastland is the Writer and Content Manager for EIT Food. He holds a degree in Politics and Masters in Renewables. He is passionate about the connections between food, sustainability and innovation.

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