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Inspire Programme

Promoting entrepreneurship in the agrifood sector


Why join the Inspire Programme?

  • Are you eager to tackle food system challenges and enhance your knowledge and skills by doing so?
  • Do you want to learn how to develop a business idea, which will create a positive impact on the world?
  • Are you keen to bring entrepreneurial skills to your work and boost your future career?

Then have a look at the EIT Food Inspire Programmes!

The Inspire Programmes aim to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators that is equipped to shape a new kind of food system that is innovative, resilient, and sustainable.

You, as talented individuals will become entrepreneurial as Inspire 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.

You will be guided and coached by EIT Food renowned experts in entrepreneurship, innovation, and food systems as well as seasoned industry experts and start-up entrepreneurs.

You will have the opportunity to engage with our leading trainers and mentors on our online, fully interactive learning platform. By learning online with us, you will have a much greater flexibility and the comfort to learn at times and from locations that suit you and from your own home or workplace.

You will not only have access to Inspire excellent resources but also become part of the inspiring EIT Food community.


What will I learn?

The Inspire Programmes are a suite of entrepreneurship programmes in the food system. Distinct individual programmes are offered to participants worldwide, such as Sustainable Aquaculture and Targeted Nutrition.

Sustainable Aquaculture: Inspire Sustainable Aquaculture is a 3-week intensive programme which provides introductory training and theory in finfish, shellfish and algae biology, culturing, growth and molecular and metabolite analysis, under laboratory and small to large scale growth facilities. The programme will also outline the complex set of economic, environmental, technical, welfare, political and market issues which impact the aquaculture sector, from a stakeholder's perspective; and encourage participants to develop innovative solutions to increase the sectors productivity and profitability. This programme is open to the participants from around the globe.

Targeted Nutrition: Inspire Targeted Nutrition is focusing on transforming the food system to fight non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by improving diets and lifestyles. During the 3-week programme, you will learn about consumers with specific nutritional needs. You will get familiar with targeted nutrition for pre-pregnancy and pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adolescents, middle age, and older adults. In addition, you will get to understand how to develop food products - from the consumer understanding and ingredients to food processing, food safety and packaging, as well understanding the UK and EU's policy landscape. The Inspire Targeted Nutrition programme is open to the participants from around the globe.

Sustainable Agriculture for Biodiversity: The Sustainable Agriculture for Biodiversity Inspire Programme aims to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators that is equipped to shape a new kind of food system that is innovative, resilient, and sustainable. You, as talented individuals will become entrepreneurial as Inspire 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.

Details for individual programmes will be available shortly – bookmark this page to check updates!

But there is more!

Working in complementarity with the above Inspire programmes, EIT Food has designed a series of RIS Inspire capacity building programmes that support the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity across of countries and regions in Europe that belong to the groups of so-called ‘modest and moderate’ innovators (RIS countries).

The RIS Inspire programmes have been specifically designed for participants coming from these eligible countries and are focused on challenges across the agrifood sector particularly relevant for the targeted countries. You will acquire not only scientific, and managerial skills, but you will do so by gathering a deep understanding of the local issues that these countries are facing s, and a better knowledge on the innovation priorities defined by the Smart Specialisation Strategies in each of them, while promoting entrepreneurship as a possible career path.

Farm to Fork: sustainable production & consumption in public canteens (RIS)

This three-week programme is focused on Southern and Eastern European countries with the aim of addressing sustainable consumption and major nutritional challenges within the framework of the European Farm-to-Fork strategy. It will provide you with an insight into sustainable production and consumption towards healthier diets, helping to tackle the current obesity levels across RIS countries and increasing the adherence to healthier diet and more sustainable consumption. By participating in this programme, you will gain knowledge on the local dimension of this challenge and the Farm-to-Fork dynamics implementation, thanks to the focus on urban farming and to a hand-to-hand approach. Experiencing a journey through the value chain, from the production of local, organic products and the use of diversified sources of proteins to the co-development and co-design of more sustainable and healthier menus. You will also be able to design and pitch your developed manifesto for public canteens. By the end of the programme, you will be ready to develop concrete strategies with an entrepreneurial mindset that can support the promotion of healthier and more sustainable lifestyles and reduce the number of dependent adults.

Innovative Food Production for a Healthy Planet (RIS)

There is only one planet Earth, yet by 2050, the world will be consuming as if there were three. At the same, the European Commission acknowledges that 2/3 of our soils are degraded, while the adoption of technology and disruptive innovation in a highly traditional environment as the agrifood sector, has been one of the main barriers towards a more sustainable agrifood system, especially across Southern and Eastern countries in Europe. All of this, under a scenario of climate change. This programme offers a unique and intensive immersion to state of the art methodologies and tools to develop sustainable agriculture, with a focus on the importance of digital transformation and the implementation of smart farming technologies, while linking the role of soil health to target nutrition towards a better health and wellbeing. Guided by an entrepreneurial mindset, you will think of innovative solutions to address challenges on how to reduce the use of chemical inputs, enhance biodiversity and assist soil carbon sequestration. With the support of real examples on systemic and digitally enabled solutions for a more sustainable use of resources, management of food waste or water needs. You will have the opportunity to ideate around how innovation in sustainable agriculture can improve nutrition and being introduced to the world of traceable food value chains to achieve more safety in the food systems.

New technologies to manage food ecosystems (RIS)

Most jobs of the very near future will require a basic understanding of math and sciences applied to new technologies development. This trend highlights the need for development of Innovation and entrepreneurship within RIS countries. Through this programme you will become a critical thinker, with an increased science literacy, and will be prepared as the next generation of innovators across RIS countries, better enabled and positioned to reach high value jobs and accelerate startups, retaining local talent. This strategy is especially crucial within the Southern and Central Eastern regions to tackle the brain-drain that we nowadays face.

As a future entrepreneur you will gather knowledge in the use of new generation computer tools (digital twins) for the management, control and maintenance of food ecosystems. Having direct experience with real case studies from RIS regions, this programme will enable you to understand how digital technologies can be applied in your own local ecosystems with a Pan-European vision. You will also be able to see how the choices of geographical positioning of food ecosystems are influenced by the strategic logic of supply chains in respect of the Kilometre Zero tendency for a better and more sustainable environment.

By end of each of these programmes, you will be able to:

  • Identify a problem focusing on one of the food system topics, that can be addressed by a sustainable solution.
  • Mobilise resources to develop a sustainable solution to a food system problem.
  • Evaluate a target market to assess the potential for a product innovation.
  • Assess alternative product concepts.
  • Iteratively design a prototype using MVP (minimum viable product) principles.
  • Explore technologies and tools to deliver an innovative product.
  • Develop knowledge and technical skills to be able to work on agri-food and scientific sectors for those professionals that do not have necessarily a background on STEM environments
  • Acquire the knowledge and capacities to be able to tackle the digitalisation challenges that currently face the countries within the RIS regions.


The Inspire programmes are open to the participants from around the world. They are available to Bachelor, MSc and PhD students, post-docs, researchers, young professionals, and entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds (ranging from agriculture, sciences, engineering, social sciences to economics, business, marketing, etc).

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.


  • The programmes are designed as weekly modules, thus allowing you to accelerate your learning process through diverse learning activities, including group exercises, coaching activities.
  • Through our learning platform you will get access to download online training material.
  • The project-based learning approach supported by lecturers and experts from local and global industrial partners.
  • You will be part ofinterdisciplinary teams and learn methodological skills in ideation, business creation, and product development to create idea concepts.
  • You will investigate rich, real-world case studies.
  • You can apply what you learn each week to quizzes and ongoing project submissions, culminating in a personal plan for change to drive sustainable value creation in your business.
  • You will get connections with a wide Pan-European network within the agrifood sector.
  • RIS Inspire students will have hands-on experience (I.e. field visits) meant to facilitate a deep understanding of the local agrifood problematics of RIS regions.


The programmes consist of three-week courses, available 24/7 online. You are expected to spend about 60 hours of learning, with time for self-directed work.

The programmes will be delivered in a blended format through synchronous (live online sessions) and asynchronous online learning (learn on your own schedule at any time during the three-week period).

Week 1 will focus on:

  • Introduction to Challenge and Entrepreneurship
  • Intensive live online Entrepreneurship Modules
  • Asynchronous Entrepreneurship and Food System Modules

Week 2 & 3 will focus on:

  • Blended online live and asynchronous Entrepreneurship and Food System Modules
  • Assessment
  • Intensive Bootcamp
  • Final Pitch and Awards

The Entrepreneurship skills developed will be primarily those that underpin entrepreneurship competences:

  • Valuing ideas (determine multiple forms of value created)
  • Assessing consequences of ideas (social, environmental, and economic impact)
  • Identifying individual and group strengths and weaknesses
  • Mobilising resources/making the most of limited resources
  • Planning and management
  • Basic financial literacy
  • Taking decisions when the result is uncertain
  • Handling fast-moving situations
  • Working remotely using contemporary digital tools
  • Pitching and effective communications (written and verbal)


Targeted Nutrition: The programme will start on the 13th June 2022. Details will be available shortly – bookmark this page to check updates!

Sustainable Aquaculture: The programme will take place in Nov 2022. Details will be available shortly – bookmark this page to check updates!

Innovative Food Production for a Healthy Planet (RIS programme): The programme will start on the 4th July 2022 and finish on the 22nd July.

New technologies to manage food ecosystems (RIS programme): The programme will start on the 4th July and finishes on the 22nd July 2022.

Farm to Fork: sustainable production & consumption in public canteens (RIS programme): The programme will start on the 5th September 2022 and will finish on the 23rd September.

Upon successful completion of a programme, you will receive a certificate of attendance awarded by the EIT Food Education.


The full cost of an individual Inspire programme is 800 EUR (VAT excl.), however, only a small portion of the total cost of the programme will be charged as a participation fee. The early bird fee for the Inspire programmes will be 250 EUR (VAT excl.) for Horizon Europe associated countries + UK. Full price after the early bird deadline: 350 EUR (VAT excl.)

Candidates with a RIS country citizenship are free of charge in RIS Inspire programmes

Stay tuned - registrations will open soon!


The registrations will open soon, so stay connected with us!

We encourage you to submit your Express of Interest now and get a discount to pay 250 EUR (VAT excl.) - available up to 10 days prior to the start of a programme. Full price after the early bird: 350 EUR (VAT excl.).

Are you interested to apply? Please submit your Express of Interest for the Inspire programmes to and for the RIS Inspire programmes to

Leading food system transformation

The Inspire Programmes are also designed to practically demonstrate the benefits of EIT Food Knowledge Triangle integration through collaboration between bright minds from higher education, entrepreneurs, professionals, and industrial companies and start-ups. The vision of the programmes, therefore, is to equip individuals with the ability to recognise, develop and act on entrepreneurial opportunities in a range of organisational settings. This novel approach taps into investment in education and skills, thereby generating individuals who dare to think outside the box and empowers them in the job market. Investing in education and growing bright minds is essential to boost economic growth and to intensify Europe’s knowledge-based economy.

Project lead


Dr Karen Miller

Activity Leader
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Dario Peirone

RIS Activity Leader

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