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EIT Food partnerships

EIT Food is a network of organisations that are complementary, demonstrate excellence in their domain and show commitment to the objectives of EIT Food.

Our partnership model is evolving.

To maximise our impact and to truly make the food system future-fit, we need to create a strong, diverse partnership which engages in systems challenges aligned to our three missions:

  • Healthier lives through food
  • A net zero food system
  • Managing risk for a fair and resilient food system

This will help us to focus on the strength of our portfolio rather than measuring success on individual project basis.

We also want to ensure we are recognising and meeting the needs of our partners, who want to drive change in the agrifood sector in different ways. To do this, we are evolving our partnership model into a broader, more diverse partnership which focusses on impact at scale. We believe we are stronger and can have more impact when we collaborate together around our missions which address the key challenges our food system is currently facing.

To support evolution to this new partnership model, EIT Food will be investing more in our relationships with our partners, in accessing new funding opportunities, and in public affairs.

Our new partnership model includes three categories. These are based on the type of role that individual organisations want to play in the EIT Food community and are aligned to the services that we are delivering as a Knowledge Innovation Community (KIC).

Our 3 partnership categories

We believe in the value of diversity within our partnership. The size of your organisation does not determine the categories open to you, and our fee structure also reflects this. We want to encourage a range of organisations from across the agrifood sector to join each of our three different partnership categories - from startups, right through to large global corporates, universities and research organisations.

Choose the best path for your organisation.

Strategic partner

Strategic partners are organisations who want to be involved in setting the strategic direction of EIT Food and have a strong influential voice at sector and policy levels both in the EU and beyond.

Delivery partner

Delivery partners are organisations that really want to focus on delivery of excellent impact through projects and programmes.

Community member

Community members are organisations interested in the value of being part of a dynamic network and to connect with and support our strategic and delivery partners.

Next Steps

If you are an existing EIT Food Partner, you should have received the new partnership contract and supporting documentation. To make the transition to the new partnership you simply need to sign the partnership contract and the declaration of size, both of which are done electronically through Adobe Sign. More information on the new partnership approach and all of the relevant documentation is available here on FoodHIVE (Documents | EIT FoodHIVE). Please do take a look, if you have any questions please email or drop your regional contact an email.

If you are an organisation looking to join the partnership, please reach out to your regional contact, or complete the partnership application in the section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the partnership model changing?

The reasons we are evolving our partnership model are both a combination of strategic choice and necessity from our funders.

The EIT Food partnership was first formed in 2018 with the purpose of delivering a set of innovation programmes funded by EIT, and much has changed since then. We have achieved a lot together, and now in order to maximise our impact and to truly make the food system future-fit, we need to approach things differently. We want to fully embrace a missions-led approach, increase diversity within our partnership community and ensure our partners are able to engage in ways which best suit their organisational needs.

The evolution of the partnership model is also prompted by changes to Horizon Europe legislation, and the EIT regulations, which require us to both open up the partnership and decouple the payment of fees by partners from access to funding.

In our new partnership model, there is no link between being a partner and receiving funding for a project. This means you can be a partner and choose not to apply for any funding or engage in any projects, but still access the other benefits of being an active part of the EIT Food community; or you can be a non-partner organisation that chooses to participate in an EIT Food funded project through one of our open funding calls.

The new partnership model will enable us to become more financially independent and have more impact.

When will this happen?

The new partnership model will come into effect from 01 January 2023. The transition to this new model has already begun, and we are working with new and existing partners to help choose the best partnership category for their organisation. If you are already a partner of EIT Food, you should have received the new partnership contract. If not, please email If you are interested in joining, please reach out to your regional representative, or complete the partnership application here (or in the section above).

Will current partners get automatically assigned to one of the new categories?

Our partners are not going to automatically get assigned to a new category. The three categories of partnership have been created to provide three options for our partners to choose from depending on what their needs are.

If you are a partner that is really interested and engaged in the strategy for the agrifood sector, for either a specific region or within a focus area, then Strategic partner is probably the category for you.

If, on the other hand, your focus is really on project delivery and you want support to build a network, build consortia and put strong bids in, then we can help you do that as a Delivery partner.

And if what you want is to benefit from engagement with a really strong community of organisations and people and in the agrifood sector, then join us as a Community member.

There is no straight mapping from where a partner is today to where they are within the new model, it’s all about what services are best for you as an organisation.