The Inspire Programmes aim to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators equipped to shape a new kind of innovative, resilient, and sustainable food system.
Inspire is driven by the three missions of EIT Food:
- Healthier lives through food
- A net zero food system
- Reducing Risk for a Fair & Resilient Food System
Inspire Programmes 2023
Exciting news! The Inspire Programmes for 2023 are finally decided. Below is a short description of the six programmes available this year.
- Explore - You will be equipped with the essential knowledge you need to build your set of innovation and entrepreneurship skills. Our four informative modules will guide you through the journey of developing a new venture: from identifying the problem you want to solve to funding your start-up. The course is designed to be flexible to your needs; you can join the course with a problem or solution already in mind or be inspired by the Food System challenges in the 6 Focus Areas of EIT Food to use when working through the material. Take the course at your pace, fitting around your current commitments, but hurry!
This course is available all year long.
- Restorative Aquaculture - The Inspire Restorative Aquaculture Course will create a dynamic and supportive environment where participants can create innovative solutions and business propositions, which increase the productivity and profitability of the aquaculture sector. The course will provide training and theory in seaweed farming, shellfish, algae biology, culturing, growth, molecular and metabolite analysis; present the barriers and opportunities within the aquaculture sector from a stakeholders perspective; deliver entrepreneurial content and support to develop innovative solutions and business propositions for the aquaculture sector; and a final pitch event with prizes up for grabs! The courses are led by the new SAMS Seaweed Academy based on the West Coast of Scotland, being blend of in-person training at SAMS and online content with world-class delivery from academic and entrepreneurial leaders at the Polish Academy of Science and the University of Cambridge. This programme will happen from the 6th of November until the 1st of December.
Applications are closed for this year's edition.
- Digital Technologies in the Food System - Could you develop innovative digital technologies to transform our food system?
The agri-food sector is facing increasing pressure as it tries to feed and nourish a growing population by 2050 in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. The sector faces challenges around achieving targets on net zero greenhouse gas emissions; improving environmental performance; tackling food loss and food waste; increasing resiliency; increasing transparency, trust, and fairness from farm to fork; and achieving healthier lives through food.
Innovations in technology and data science are forecasted to play an important role in transforming our food system. The Inspire Digital Technologies course will showcase the challenges in the Food System course and the future landscapes of technology development in agriculture and the food industry. It will focus on digital technologies and provide training on applying cyber security, wireless connectivity, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning approaches to address local, national, and global challenges within the agri-food industry.
Over the course of 3 weeks, participants will navigate the complex landscape of data analytics and AI and unlock digital innovation. Participants will also receive entrepreneurship and innovation training to develop solutions to industry challenges.
This programme will happen from the 1st of November until the 1st of December.
Applications are closed for this year's edition.
- Circular AgriFood - Discover EIT Food CircularAgriFood: A Sustainable Agrifood Circular Economy Program. Gain practical skills and knowledge in circularity, sustainability, and innovation in the agrifood sector. Join us to drive positive change in food systems through hands-on learning and cutting-edge technologies. Enhance your career and contribute to a resilient and efficient agrifood industry.
This programme will happen between the 25th of September and the 19th of October, with a week's gap in between.
Applications are closed for this year's edition.
RIS Inspire Programme:
- HealthySoil4Life Summer School - The school aims to provide a strong entrepreneurship background and develop ideas related to soil health and climate farming. The participants will be exposed to entrepreneurial methods to develop new ventures. In addition, students will be introduced to state-of-the-art methodologies and tools related to food system challenges and create innovation to promote sustainable farming that would improve value, guarantee safety and quality and improve consumer trust in the food system.
- Deep Tech in Regenerative Agriculture - This course will empower you to become a knowledgeable and skilled practitioner in regenerative agriculture and deep tech applications, equipping you with the competencies needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving agricultural landscape. The RIS Inspire – Deep Tech and Regenerative Agriculture course is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of regenerative farming practices and the integration of advanced technologies to enhance sustainability, productivity, and resilience in agriculture.
What you learn?
You, as talented individuals will become entrepreneurial as Inspire Programmes will provide you with knowledge on design thinking, business idea development, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, team building, market research, risk analysis, negotiation, pitching and much more, all embedded in the context of food systems with the view to solve its challenges.
You will have the opportunity to learn on your terms and choose between synchronous, asynchronous, online and onsite learning possibilities (including hands-on experience, i.e. field visits). By learning with us, you will have a much greater flexibility and the comfort to learn at times and from locations that suit you best. The Inspire Programme are firmly rooted in EIT Food’s unique Competency Framework and quality standards, which provide the backbone of the programmes. They integrate excellent entrepreneurship education, provided by a common spine, such as leadership, communication skills, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking, with key technical skills.
You will be guided and coached by EIT Food renowned experts in entrepreneurship, innovation, and food systems as well as industry experts and start-up entrepreneurs. Joining Inspire Programmes allows you to access our excellent resources and become part of the unique and inspiring pan-European EIT Food community.
But there is more!
The programmes will supplement each other by taking into consideration the market needs in its corresponding regions. Deep Tech fields (such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, blockchain, robotics, sustainable energy, geosensing) will be featured in the Inspire programmes whilst still covering the six EIT Food focus areas (alternative protein, sustainable agriculture, targeted nutrition, circular foo systems, digital traceability and sustainable agriculture).
Inspire also encompasses programmes focusing on challenges across the agrifood sector in targeted countries (RIS countries), driven by the innovation priorities defined by the Smart specialisation Strategies in each of them, while promoting entrepreneurship as a possible career path.
Details for individual programmes will be available shortly – join our community to receive updates!
Who is it for?
The Inspire Programmes are open to the participants from around the world at different career levels (students, young professionals, food retailers, aspiring entrepreneurs, established employees and entrepreneurs). Thanks to the flexibility of our programmes everyone can choose the learning path that suits their needs best. Multidisciplinary backgrounds (e.g. Food Science, Other Sciences, Engineering, Business/ Marketing, Informatics and Computational Science) are welcome and encouraged.
We are looking for:
- Students and researchers researching on the topic with multidisciplinary backgrounds and looking for a new career opportunity
- Aspiring entrepreneurs interested in innovating in the food system and in improving the wellbeing of the population by providing them with safer and healthier products and looking for a coaching experience by EIT Food renowned experts in entrepreneurship, innovation, and food systems.
- Young professionals and industry participants from the agri-food chain who wish to incorporate sustainability in their activities and looking to learn from industry experts and start-up entrepreneurs.
- Farmers and practitioners aiming to understand what the transition to sustainable farming entails and looking to connect with a pan-European network
- Food retailers and other industry staff for a broader perspective of the value chain and looking and looking to connect with a pan-European network
- Commercial organisations interested in building links with a pool of talented food and nutrition researchers, innovators and professionals and aiming to shape the new generation of talent in the food system we are looking for sponsorship opportunities; get in touch!
For RIS INSPIRE PROGRAMME activities, all candidates must additionally hold a RIS citizenship from the following countries or regions:
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).
*These third countries, which are all listed in the European Innovation Scoreboard, will be fully eligible for the EIT RIS, following the successful conclusion of individual Horizon Europe Association Agreements.
Take a look at the Post-Harvest School 2022 promotional video.