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COVID-19 Bridge Fund

The COVID-19 Bridge Fund supported European agrifood startups that were affected by coronavirus, as part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative.

2020

The COVID-19 Bridge Fund has been supporting European agrifood startups that have been affected by coronavirus.

As part of the EIT’s Crisis Response Initiative, this activity directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Startups with high impact and growth potential have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Many innovation activities needed for ventures to bring their solution to market have been delayed and disrupted, customer adoption has slowed down and raising capital from external investors is proving more challenging.

As announced in August 2020, EIT Food invested €5.4 million in 13 high-impact agrifood startups to help them adapt to COVID-19, to continue critical innovation to transform our food systems and to bridge the gap towards their next investment round. A total of €4.088M came from the EIT’s Crisis Response Initiative, and €1.3M of additional funds were provided by EIT Food to give much-needed extra support to ventures throughout the pandemic.

This funding has helped to enable a range of business-critical activities including: IP and certification applications, market research, infrastructure, R&D and pilot projects, and securing further investment.

The startups supported cover a range of sectors with vast potential to create positive change, addressing the following focus areas: Alternative proteins, Targeted Nutrition, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Aquaculture, Digital transformation of traceability, and Circular food systems.   

COVID-19 Bridge Fund recipients

  • Agritask (€500K, IL) helps farmers and agribusiness consolidate data and make better decisions for more efficient and sustainable farming. Used already in 30+ countries and on 50+ crops.

Agritask used the funding to support R&D and ITS infrastructure projects.

  • Alberts (€360K, BE) is a food robotic company with a unique 1m2 smoothie & soup station that uses AI for personalised healthy food solutions.

Alberts used the funding to support R&D, pilot testing and CE certification.

  • Antofénol (€476.3K, FR) is a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of a sustainable, low cost, chemical-free solution that preserves the shelf life and quality of fruit and vegetables. It replaces toxic chemicals and is made from agricultural waste from vineyards. Antofénol used the funding to support pilot testing and development.
  • Consentio (€340K, ES) is an end-to-end food supply chain transaction platform. Their marketplace aims at improving ordering efficiency for all the players of the food supply chain - producers, cooperatives, whole sellers and supermarkets - meaning less food waste and greater levels of transparency.

    Consentio used to funding to support ongoing product development.
  • Eatch (€500K, NL) is developing the world's first fully automated kitchen, including the complete cooking process from loose ingredients to the final product, enabling healthier, more personalised ready-to-eat meals.

    Eatch used the funding to support R&D, pilot testing and market research.
  • Epinutra (€212.5K, NL) develops natural nutraceutical solutions. Their first product is Benesco TM, which acts directly on the root cause of heartburn pain.
  • Feltwood (€391.5K, ES) produces low-cost, biodegradable, mouldable, recyclable and compostable alternatives to plastic materials and products, developed from vegetal waste.
  • Foodpairing (€499.9K, BE) is using AI to develop digital flavour models for smart recipes. This will help consumer packaged goods companies improve product development and flavour development and encourage innovation.

    Foodpairing used the funding to support pilot testing and development.
  • Food Sourcing Specialists (€400K, ES) create compostable packaging for long-life semi-liquids and healthy sports nutrition.
  • Mimica (€404.5K, UK) develops Mimica Touch, a temperature-sensitive indicator cap or label for food freshness. It helps reduce food waste by taking the guesswork out of food expiry labels.

    Mimica used the funding to support consumer acceptability testing and development.
  • NapiFeryn BioTech (€466.2K, PL) extracts protein from rapeseed oil production waste streams for functional, nutritional and cost-effective protein isolates and concentrates. These ingredients are a sustainable alternative to animal-derived proteins, are nutritional, and can be used in a wide variety of applications.

    NapiFeryn used the funding to support IP activities.
  • Phytolon (€393.6K, IL) uses an environmentally friendly fermentation-based technology to produce natural food colours that are GMO-free, high-quality and sustainable.

    Phytolon used the funding to support scale-up activities, including R&D.
  • Sencrop (€469.3K, FR) designs and sells connected weather forecast solutions for farmers to measure rain, hygrometry and wind speed. The sensors are cheap, robust, movable and easy to use, making more efficient and sustainable farming possible.

    Sencrop used the funding to support R&D and prototype development.
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