Ga verder naar de inhoud

RIS Central and Eastern Europe CEE Open Innovation Call

EIT Food North-East
Deadline: 05 June 2023
one day left!

EIT RIS activities seek to improve knowledge triangle integration and the innovation capacity of local ecosystems in the countries and regions with modest and moderate innovation performance.

We seek to tackle the significant issues of the agrifood supply chain in the CEE region, namely:

Pressure on the supply chain.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine further destabilised the agrifood sector in Europe, already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. Due to the war´s proximity, the whole CEE region has been negatively impacted.

Missing links in the food supply chain have caused increasing disruption and damage to the food system. Moreover, the war has accelerated a pre-existing, significant price surge, including high input costs (fertilizers, energy from fossil fuels, animal feed).

What is more, foreign investors and multi-national companies have become more cautious about investing in the CEE region. And the agrifood industry itself is focused on solving current pressing issues, rather than working on long term strategies like investment in RDI.

Low investment in intellectual property.

The CEE agri-food sector has gone through radical changes over last 3 decades. However, it is still characterized by low investments in intellectual property. Companies do not invest enough in RDI and collaboration with the innovators (including academia, research, startups) is not sufficient.

In some cases, the problem can be food producers´ risk aversion and a lack of openness to embed work on innovations in their business model. Some are keen to learn from experiences of other companies but do not have time or money to implement these best practices. As a result, startups and the research sector have limited access to industry to verify and deploy their innovations on the market.

At the same time, investors looking for quick and high ROI, seek investment opportunities in other sectors that require less resources (money and time) to implement innovations.

The lack of communication and cooperation between researchers who work on innovations and businesses who use, implement, or commercialize them, is a significant barrier of progress. Better information flow from and to the industry could spark innovations.

Lack of intra- and inter- sectoral cooperation.

The CEE agrifood sector is characterized by a low vertical and horizontal integration. Instead of working in a collaborative way, companies are working individually and do not share information.

Moreover, the vertical collaboration within supply chains is not sufficient and the links are not strong enough, making the supply chain more volatile and prone to risks. As a result, innovations applied by individual companies do not spill-over to the sector at large.

The region is characterized by a trust gap between RDI and agri-food companies. There is also strong untapped potential for inter-sectoral collaboration (e.g., EE, RE, circular economy, digitalization, traceability, fintech).

Need for investment in sustainability.

The EU Green Deal and Bioeconomy are the most important and integrative concepts for the agrifood ecosystem at this moment.

While negatively impacted by climate change, the food system also contributes to it, generating one third of GHG emissions and causing water depletion and biodiversity loss. Agrifood emissions in the CEE region are not decreasing and in some countries are even increasing.

“Business as usual” is not an option anymore, since companies need to comply with a range of requirements related to climate change, water, soil, biodiversity, public health, and plant and animal health and welfare.

Digitalisation and technological advancement can and should be used to mitigate the agrifood sector´s climate impact.

More information can be found in the guidelines and at the website.

more close

More Open Calls

open call
EIT Food Public Engagement invites applications from public engagement experts to join our database of independent evaluators for our various calls. The deadline for your application is 8 June 2023 and the first assignment would be in…
open call
We are looking for candidates that have first-hand knowledge and experience (entrepreneurs, businessmen or consultants) in building a business, and can provide valuable advice and support, guiding the Seedbed startups.
open call
EIT Food is seeking implementing participants to implement training activities about food systems for Inspire & RIS Inspire programmes, which are designed with an overarching Entrepreneurship Spine and with technical skills about Food…