Innovation Prizes

Innovation Prizes

  • Professionals

EIT Food is on a mission to transform Europe’s food system – making it better for people and the planet.  Working with entrepreneurs, innovators and the wider community, EIT Food is changing the way we produce, process, distribute and consume food.

EIT Food Innovation Prizes (Innovation Grants Scheme)


Do you have an idea that could transform the agriculture, fisheries and food sector? Apply for an Innovation Prize and receive up to €10,000 of equity-free funding.

The Innovation Prizes competition is one of Europe’s largest startup competitions in the agrifood vertical. The Innovation Prizes are awarded to entrepreneurs and early-stage startups to support the development of new products and services which can help transform our food system; making it healthier, more sustainable and more trusted.

This year, the Innovation Prizes are open to entrepreneurs and startups from across the whole of Europe. Excitingly though, there are additional prizes available for entrepreneurs based in Eastern and Southern Europe, through the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS).

In the seventeen live finals, there is a €10,000 and €5000 prize available. There are fifteen live finals for applicants from RIS countries (one per country listed below); and general live finals for all other applicants.

In addition to the cash prizes, participating startups will benefit from access to investors, high-quality training and our community of mentors and experts. 

Eligibility Requirements:

We welcome applications from those who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • any resident, citizen or legal entity based in an EU Member State or associated countries
  • to be considered eligible for the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) competition, the applicant must be a citizen and/or residents of Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Greece
  • The proposed products or services must align with one or more of EIT Food’s strategic objectives:
    • Making the food system better for people’s health
    • Making the food system better for the environment
    • Making the food system more trusted and transparent

Competition Process:

1. Application process: Applications can be accessed and completed online via  F6S from 1st of April - 5th of May until midnight CET
2. Evaluation process: 6th - 19th of May 2019.  The finalists will be announced shortly afterwards. 
3. Demo Day:  17 different live finals will be held between June and September 2019.  Please see FAQ below and F6S portal for details of dates and location, which will be updated regularly.  

Please refer to the competition Term and Conditions for more details about the competition process. 


Frequently Asked Questions:

We strongly recommend that you read the full Terms and Conditions to understand the rules of the Innovation Prizes competition; however, a few simple Q and As are below.

Q: What is RIS?

RIS stands for Regional Innovation Scheme, which is a special funding scheme to support entrepreneurs and startups in countries in Eastern and Southern Europe. It is only available for residents and/or citizens of one of the following countries: Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Greece.

Q: I have applied and became a finalist of the EIT Food RIS Innovation Grants/Entrepreneurship Prizes in 2018. Can I still apply for the Innovation Prizes?

Yes, you can! However, winners of 2018 edition of EIT Food RIS Innovation Grants/Entrepreneurship Prizes will be considered ineligible, please read complete eligibility criteria in the Terms and Conditions 

Q: When and where will the Demo Days happen?

General Innovation Prize Finals:
Germany: 26th of June, Stuttgart
Denmark: 6th of Sept, Aarhus 

Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) Finals 
Croatia - TBC
The Czech Republic - TBC
Estonia: 26th of August, Tallinn
Greece - week of 9-13 of September, Thessaloniki
Hungary: 27th of June, Budapest
Italy: 8-9 of July, Bari
Latvia- TBC
Lithuania: 18th of June, Kaunas
Poland: 24th of June, Warsaw
Portugal: 17-18 July, Lisbon
Romania: 12th of September 
Slovenia: 27th of June, Ljubljana
Slovakia - TBC
Spain: 2-3 of October, Bilbao
Turkey: 18-19 September, Istanbul

Q: Do I have to take part in the Demo Day?

Yes – you do.  A minimum of one member of your team must participate in the Demo Day and accompanying training. However, the more, the merrier.

Q: Which of the 17 live demo day locations should I apply for?

A: Applicants based in RIS countries, should apply for the scheme taking place in their country of residence.  All other applicants can choose to participate in the demo day taking place in either Germany or Denmark.

Q: What does the training that accompanies the Demo Day consist of?

The training will be tailored to the needs of the startups participating. However, likely topics include pitch training, building strong relationships with investors, effective communication, funding sources and marketing.

Q: What stage of idea/startups is this competition for?

There is no exact formula for this. However, startups should note that this programme is for early-stage entrepreneurs and startups. If you have raised large amounts of investment (i.e. more than 100.000 euro) or have large revenue streams (i.e. more than 50.000 euro), this Prize is probably not for you. In fact, one of the criteria that your application will be judged upon is whether the Innovation Prize will be ‘catalytic’ in your startup's success. If you wish to discuss the individual situation of your startup, please contact us.

Project Leadership

  • Name: Lukxmi Balathasan
  • Organisation: EIT Food
  • Name: Adriana Balazy
  • Organisation: EIT Food
  • Name: Joseph Gridley
  • Organisation: EIT Food