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Challenge Labs

Creative workshops designed to find solutions to current and future challenges in the food and agriculture system


Join us in shaping the future of Ukraine's agrifood sector! EIT Food CLC North-East is inviting Ukrainian companies, incubators, accelerators, universities, research institutes, and non-governmental organisations to participate in the Request for Proposal for Challenge Labs Ukraine Activity in 2024 and 2025.

Apply NOW!

EIT Food Challenge Labs are designed to tackle the big problems faced by the agrifood sector by bringing together diverse groups of people: graduate and postgraduate students, technologists and scientists, experienced professionals, consumers and companies. Challenge Labs builds also capacity among the participants to develop entrepreneurial skills.

Through ideation and design thinking methodologies, the Challenge Labs will spark co-founder relationships, lead to the creation of new businesses and build links between industry, academia and startups. The core of the activity seeks to fully understand the perspective of the problem-holder, understand their needs, get to know their challenges and check whether the designed solution (service, product, system, process) really meets these needs. EIT Food has successfully carried out +20 Challenge Labs at the national level in Europe in the past three years with +600 participants.

*Challenge Labs is developed under Regional Innovation Scheme - RIS. You can read more about the scheme here.

Why should you join the programme?

Who can apply?

  • Workshop participants: alumni or PhD students, startup founders, entrepreneurs, MBAs and professionals from areas of food technology, nutrition, biotechnology, marketing, business administration, psychology and other areas with possible application in agrifood sector.
  • Experts/mentors: experienced professionals having at least 5 years of experience in the agrifood sector in different roles such as R&D, Business Development, Innovation, Strategy, Sales etc.

Who is eliglible?

Citizens from RIS countries (EU Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain; Horizon Europe Associated Countries: Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey; Ukraine, Outermost Regions: Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte and Saint-Martin (France), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal), and the Canary Islands (Spain)) speaking local languages on advanced level.

Note: According to EU policies and measures, Russian and Belarusian citizens will not be authorised to participate in any new grant under the EU Research and Innovation programmes.

How we work?

Challenge identification – We work with agrifood companies to identify a meaningful and real challenge or problem they are facing.

Interdisciplinary teams – We select the best participants ensuring the best mix of expertise and skills in building the teams, if you are applying as a team you are welcome to keep on working together.

Challenge solving – The problem can be approached from different perspectives by people with engineering, science, business, nutrition and logistics backgrounds and interests.

Experts support – We partner with leading innovation and creativity experts to guide you in identifying and developing an opportunity and with we bring our sector experts from key companies to help your ideas to respond to a real problem.

Industry connection – Our challenges respond to specific needs and problems of agrifood companies, this gives participants the opportunity to interact with key executives and innovation staff and validate the viability of the solution.

Universities – We actively seek engaging universities and young and talented innovators. Some of the most knowledgeable universities in disciplines relevant to agrifood bring their talents to the challenge. The challenge is a great means to put together talent and large companies.


EIT Food | Challenge Labs 2021 Poland

EIT Food | Challenge Lab 2021

EIT Food | Challenge Labs 2022 Poland

Challenge Labs Central Eastern Europe 2022

Challenge Labs Ukraine 2023

Project lead

Amparo San Jose02
Amparo de San José EIT Food South

Regional Business Creation Portfolio Manager

Vira Voievodina EIT Food North & East

Intern in Finance and Administration

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