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Inspire Programme
Inspire Programme

Inspire Programme

Promoting entrepreneurship in the agrifood sector

Leading food system transformation

The Inspire Programme will raise awareness on global food challenges and provide trainings on the latest innovations in Food & Agriculture. Entrepreneurial capacity and business creation skills will be taught like design thinking, business idea development, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, team building, market and risk analysis. The programme will offer 5 different individual courses: Digitalization for Circular Food Systems - Digit4Circularity, Protein for Future, Sustainable Aquaculture, Sustainable Food Packaging – REPAK, and Targeted Nutrition. 

Choose one of the 5 topics of your interest, each of the 5 courses have different start dates and application buttons:

Digitalization for Circular Food Systems - Digit4Circularity: In this autumn school, the topic will be formed around establishing solutions that allow to open up new paths in the food value chains and thus to allow for a better valorization and more efficient use of resources. For more information and to apply click on tab Digitalization for Circular Food Systems - Digit4Circularity.

Protein for Future: A course for sustainable, climate friendly alternative protein solutions. For more information and to apply click on tab Protein for Future.

Sustainable Aquaculture: The aim of this autumn school is to provide an overview of aquaculture production in Europe, showcase the worldwide opportunities, outline the current barriers and facilitators to production, and encourage talented recruits and aspiring entrepreneurs into the sector and to create innovative solutions to address the challenges to production. To find out more and to apply click on tab Sustainable Aquaculture.

Sustainable Food Packaging – REPAK: The purpose of the autumn school is to analyse the latest developments in sustainable food packaging, appraise the efficacy of existing emerging technologies, and train talent with a more holistic approach to food packaging business entrepreneurship. For more information and to apply click on tab Sustainable Food Packaging – REPAK.

Targeted Nutrition: This course will take a targeted approach to developing healthy innovative food products for consumers with specific nutritional and consumer needs, these could include infants, children, adolescents, or older adults. To find out more and to apply click on tab Targeted Nutrition.

 

 

By bundling higher education, research and businesses across Europe, the Inspire Programme is catalysing innovation and accelerating entrepreneurship to deliver solutions to the grand societal challenges. Coupling together education, research and businesses fosters dynamic and systemic interaction between different actors in the food system and students and establishes close-knit relationships. Such interaction forges the knowledge triangle and offers students an opportunity to learn from industry experts and startups active in the agri-food sector. This novel approach taps into investment in education and skills, thereby generating state of mind of young generations who dare to think out side of the box and empowers talents already active on the job market.

 

 

 

Digitalization for Circular Food Systems - Digit4Circularity

The circular economy, in which growth is gradually decoupled from the consumption of finite resources, offers a response to the grand challenges of the Food Systems. Its principles are to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. Research has shown that in Europe the transition to the circular economy can create a net benefit of EUR 1.8 trillion by 2030, while addressing mounting resource-related challenges, creating jobs, spurring innovation, and generating substantial environmental benefits. Digital technologies – for example, track & tracing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, edge computing, novel sensors, block chain, etc. – are key enabling technologies for upscaling Food circularity as they allow to create and process data and information required for circular business models and the complex demands of circular supply chains.

Creating a circular food system requires fundamental changes throughout the food value chain, from product design and technology to new business models, new ways of preserving natural resources, and turning waste into a resource (recycling), new modes of consumer behaviour, new norms and practices, and, on top of that, new skills and education paths to prepare the young generations for innovative future jobs.

To understand the fundamentals of the circular economy, to learn more about the application of existing technologies (from AI to IoT), to improve products in our food system, and to change the system after Covid-19 towards more digitalisation within the food chain APPLY NOW to Inspire Autumn School Digitalization for Circular Food Systems - Digit4Circularity!

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 19 Oct, 2021

APPLY NOW for Digit4Circularity

 

 

PROGRAMME

Download here the AGENDA of Digitalization for Circular Food Systems

 

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

Digital solutions will be taught through case studies and successful examples related to circular business models based on connectivity and data gathering, sharing and analysis, with the aim of maximising Food system value and producing better products and services. It will be explained what digitalisation means in the context of a circular economy, including the scope of possibilities in using data and digitally enabled solutions to support the transition to a circular economy, while also considering the related obstacles, challenges, and risks, with a greater focus on building a sustainable food system where the growing, eating, and disposal of food creates robust benefits for people, the economy, and the environment. 

At the same time, we will examine the role of the New EU circular economy Action Plan, regional roadmaps, measurement frameworks, and initiatives in steering a (digital) transition towards a (digital) circular economy. The industry partners (from multinationals to innovative start-ups) will provide insights into market requirements and will drive the entrepreneurial spirit forward.

After successfully attending Digit4Circularity, students will be able to:
●    Understand the guiding principles of the circular economy and relate it to neighbouring concepts
●    Investigate what it takes to create products that are easy to repair, refurbish, remanufacture, repurpose, recycle, or recover, using as enabler the main digital technologies available (e.g. from IoT to AI)
●    Explain drivers and barriers for businesses to implement circular business models and digital platforms to cooperate and share data towards a circular approach
●    Gauge the macro-systemic effects of the transition towards a circular economy
●    Critically reflect upon the circular economy impact on the economic, environmental, and social side

Digit4Circularity will be delivered fully ONLINE.

 

COURSE TIMELINE

In total, the course will run for 3 weeks. There will be 2 weeks of online learning combined with 5 days of intensive bootcamp (online). This approach will give the participants time to update on the state of the art, and generate ideas to be then tested during the week long bootcamp.

25th October – 5th November: 2 weeks of online learning mixture of asynchronous (A), synchronous (S) learning, and homework (H).

8th November – 12th November: Bootcamp with final pitch on Friday 12/11

The estimated workload will be structured as follows: Week 1: 6/12/8 (S/A/H), Week 2: 6/12/8 (S/A/H), Week 3: 25/0/20 (S/A/H)

 

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS?

This course is open to Bachelor students, MSc students, PhD students and young professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

 

COURSE FEES

A small portion of the total cost of the program is charged as a participation fee. Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 14 Oct). From 15 Oct full price to pay EUR 300.

 

PARTNERS

CONTACT

Peter Braun, Swiss Food Research, Peter.braun@swissfoodresearch.ch

Protein for Future

Students will be taught how new and alternative proteins, like plant, cell and insect based proteins, can be integrated in our food systems. You will work and be coached in teams on entrepreneurial capacity training. You will end up in new business ideas that will be pitched in front of professional jury. Critical questions on how to develop a sustainable future food system will be addressed. How can new and alternative food proteins be integrated in our food systems? What are the technological obstacles, and what are the regulatory and consumer/market related  barriers?  How do we design and develop alternative proteins and how can we develop and formulate alternative protein based food products.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 9th November 2021

Apply today!

COURSE STRUCTURE

Protein for Future course will be delivered fully ONLINE.

This course will be taught with a flipped classroom approach, with online material prepared to "level the plane field" and create a "burning platform for change".

The course is divided into 4 modules.

Module 1. Kick off day
With information on the structure of the program. Information on students, mentors. Team building.

Module 2. Entrepreneurship training

Asynchronous videos/recordings on
- Entrepreneurship in a world of crisis; Championing change; Unpacking value; Being smart about intellectual property; Who is your customer? (Week 1).

- Idea-ating, prototyping; Is technology good; Design think of sustainability; Sustainability and carbon intelligence; Plugging into your start up ecosystem; IP trademarks and copyright; Shaping great ideas (Week 2)
.
- Business modelling; Building a business; Business model canvas; Pitching and communicating (Week 3).

- Introductory videos on students assignment: Problem tree; Problem solution fit followed by synchronous assessments ( Week 1 and 2). This is integrated with the content/activities in module 3.

- Evaluation: Multiple choice questions (Week 3).

Module 3. Protein for future information

Asynchronous recordings ( 20 minutes each) on

- Introducing alternative proteins; Alternative protein nutritional value; Alternative proteins safety, Claims. Labelling. Regulations (Week 1).

- Value chains of alternative proteins; Consumers and markets; What is needed to produce alternative proteins (Week 2).

- Introductory video on students assignment: Go buy experience. Followed by evaluation and feedback ( Week 1 and 2).

- Evaluation: Multiple choice questions (Week 2).

Module 4. Bootcamp

Five days synchronous activities on creation new business ideas on alternative proteins
.
- With 4 days of idea labs with team working alone in breakout rooms. Starts with teams pitching ideas and matchmaking with mentors.

- Inspirational talk from Rising Food Stars and other companies. Overview talk and discussions on alternative protein. Presenting projects on Nextgen proteins and proteins from grass.

- On final day a talk on What is next? The journey of an entrepreneur. Pitching in from of jury of experts. Feedback. Closing ceremony. Handing out certificates/prices.

Estimated hours

Synchronous & Asynchronous learning & Homework

Week 1 (8h, 8h, 8h, 24h), Week 2 (6h, 12h, 16h, 34h), Week 3 (20h, 2h, 20h, 42h)

Total: 34h, 22h, 44h, 100h

 

COURSE TIMELINE

Week 1: Nov 12th – 19th
Week 2: Nov 22nd – 26th
Week 3: Nov 29th – 3rd Dec (final event)

 

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS?

The course is open to MSc students, PhD students, and young professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

 

COURSE FEES

A small portion of the total cost of the program is charged as a participation fee. Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 4th Nov). From 5th Nov full price to pay EUR 300.

 

PARTNERS

 

CONTACT

Gudjon Thorkelsson, Matis, gudjont@matis.is

Sustainable Aquaculture

Aquaculture is an important source of aquatic food and sector for food security as many wild fisheries around the globe are over exploited or reaching their maximum sustainable potential. As a result, aquaculture has become one of the world’s largest growing food production technologies. Algal biomass production is a rapidly growing field with huge opportunities for entrepreneurs in food production and nutraceuticals. Whilst, shellfish and finfish cultivation and fish feed production present further opportunities. In order to maximise these worldwide opportunities for business creation in the aquaculture sector, knowledge of related technology and its application is vital.

The Inspire Sustainable Aquaculture Autumn School encourages talented recruits to create innovative solutions, which increase the productivity and profitability of the aquaculture sector. The course will provide training and theory in finfish, shellfish, algae biology, culturing, growth, molecular and metabolite analysis; access to key stakeholders within the sector; and a final pitch event with prizes up for grabs! APPLY NOW to Inspire Autumn School Sustainable Aquaculture!

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 26th October 2021

APPLY NOW for Sustainable Aquaculture

 

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

This course will include a mixture of online learning materials, guest speakers and activities related to food security and sustainable aquaculture production:

  • Food security; challenges in the food system; and the role of aquaculture in taking pressure off over-exploited and wild fisheries and feeding a growing population
  • Finfish and shellfish culturing methods - introductory training and theory
  • Algal biotechnology – incorporating both micro and macro algae and how they are involved in the sustainable aquaculture pipeline
  • Aquaculture governance and society, covering governance in aquaculture and marine management legal and regulatory frameworks; public perception, social license and behaviour; and engagement, communication and marketing
  • Barriers and facilitators to aquaculture production, from a stakeholder’s perspective – economic, environmental, technical, political, welfare and market factors
  • Entrepreneurship content to facilitate the development of innovative solutions to increase the productivity and profitability of the

The Inspire Sustainable Aquaculture will be delivered fully ONLINE.

 

COURSE TIMELINE

A cohort of motivated participants from across Europe will join our Aquaculture Inspire Course. Over a period of 4 weeks, the course will provide a dynamic and supportive environment for you to explore sustainable aquaculture, develop your entrepreneurial mind-set and learn how you can transform your ideas into business propositions.

The Sustainable Aquaculture Inspire Course will take place online with a combination of online learning resources; and live interactive virtual sessions:

• Monday 1st November: Access to online learning resources
• Friday 5th November: Live Virtual Kick-off Event
• Friday 12th November: Aquaculture Production Systems Live Event
• Wed 17th – Monday 22nd November: 4-day Live Aquaculture Industry Showcase & Make-a-thon
• Friday 26th November: Live Aquaculture Pitch Event with Prizes

All of our live events will take place from 10:00-15:30 CET. They have been designed to avoid online fatigue whilst ensuring you have an opportunity to meet a range of stakeholders involved in the food system and aquaculture sector.

Our online learning resources are available for you to complete in your own time. We have spread them into key topics areas of approximately 2-4 hours worth of content each:

• Food Systems
• Finfish and shellfish production systems
• Algae biotechnology
• Barriers and opportunities for the aquaculture sector
• Entrepreneurial content

 

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS?

The aquaculture course is designed for individuals that are passionate to transform our food system into a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system for all. In particular, we are looking for aspiring entrepreneurs with a keen interest in the aquaculture and the marine sector, who would love to come up with innovative potential business ideas to revolutionise the industry.

Ideally, we are seeking Undergraduates, Masters students, PhD students, Posts-Docs, young professionals or aspiring entrepreneurs interested in aquaculture. We are interested in individuals from multidisciplinary backgrounds to work in teams to come up with innovative ideas e.g. Marine Biology, Aquaculture, Food Sciences, Engineering, Business / Marketing, Informatics and Computational Science, among others.

 

COURSE FEES

A minor portion of the total cost of the program is charged as a participation fee. Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 20 Oct). From 21 Oct full price to pay EUR 300.

 

PARTNERS

CONTACT

Dr. Michaela Fox, Queen’s University, Belfast, M.Fox@qub.ac.uk

Sustainable Food Packaging – REPAK

We have an urgent need to deliver innovative food packaging solutions that will be more sustainable. All food processing companies, all the way to retailers, are looking for it. We train the participants from different background in creative thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship, with the final objective of translating their findings into real-world business solutions in sustainable food packaging. Successful participation will strengthen students’ ability to organize cross-functional teams and effectively communicate with industry, municipalities and across different disciplines. The training will be delivered by a mix of academic partners, but most importantly world renown experts and industry leaders in Corporate social responsibility. The trainees will spend the last week in the bootcamp identifying the gaps and provide business focused solutions on how to advance the packaging sustainability agenda. Final pitch event will be organised and prizes by the industrial jury will be awarded! APPLY NOW to Inspire Autumn School REPAK!

A Certificate of attendance with ranking will be issued at participants that complete the training. At the end of the school, the trainees will be able to propose a packaging solution that is sustainable and includes business aspects.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 26 Oct 2021

APPLY NOW for REPAK

COURSE STRUCTURE

The course will mix teamwork with self-study time to keep engaging students on the learning content. It will last three weeks online (asynchronous period) and one week in the online bootcamp.
Students will be able to join a team for the first period of the autumn school. At the end of the first period (day 6 of the autumn school), the teams will be formed around innovative ideas proposed by the students participating in the school, and they will compete toward the final pitch in front of an industrial jury.

The topics studied during the course include entrepreneurship and the issue of the sustainability of food packaging challenges that a large company must face to design a new sustainable packaging:

  • Entrepreneurship aspects
  • Sustainable Food Packaging
  • Plastics and their environmental impact
  • Bioplastics
  • EU food packaging rules
  • Choosing the right packaging for each food item
  • EU symbols for sustainability communication
  • Packaging in a Circular economy - LCA
  • Food packaging for sustainability communication
  • Sustainable food packaging design

COURSE TIMELINE

The course will have 3 weeks of online learning combined with 5 days of intensive bootcamp (on line). This approach will give the participants time to update on the state of the art, and generate ideas to be then tested during the week long bootcamp.

Studies will commence on Nov 1, 2021. An intensive bootcamp will be delivered between 15th Nov-19th Nov 2021.

Detailed information about the course timeline will be shared soon. Stay tuned!

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS?

REPAK summer school is for talented Bachelor, Master, and PhD students from different backgrounds, interested in bulding new sustainable packagingn solutions for food.

 

COURSE FEES

A small portion of the total cost of the program is charged as a participation fee. Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 20 Oct). From 21 Oct full price to pay EUR 300.

 

PARTNERS

CONTACT

prof. Remigio Berruto, University of Torino, Remigio.berruto@unito.it

Targeted Nutrition

Do you want to learn how to create and market a food product? One that aims to meet the needs of a specific consumer group?

You will learn how to develop healthy innovative food products for consumers with specific nutritional needs. Get to know the problem: Understand the target groups with specific nutritional needs or where nutrients are currently lacking in a particular population group. Understand how to develop food products; from the consumer understanding and ingredients, through to food processing, food safety and packaging, as well understanding the UK and EU's policy landscape. Collaborate with other learners to design and assess existing product formulation processes and learn how to communicate with various stakeholders to become the future of food entrepreneurship!

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 1st March 2022

APPLY NOW

COURSE STRUCTURE

The learners will be challenged in groups to develop healthy food products for specificed target group. Groups will be inspired through flipped classroom learning on the focused needs of each group, including market gaps and business opportunities, nutritional requirements and policy, and technological innovation. They will then be challenged to prepare a defined product specification, evaluate, and construct the progression of a new food product from the development stage to commercial production, considering product lifecycle and environmental impact. The projects will be supported by food industry representatives allowing students to experience creative thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Key learnings include:

  • Learners will develop their knowledge about the nutritional needs of these populations and how they differ to the general population. These will include infants, children, adolescents, or older adults. These group will be targeted as they are most at risk of nutritional deficiency or overnutrition, which can have implications for the development of non-communicable diseases and life-long ill health.
  • Learner will apply their nutrition knowledge to devise a new product for a specific target group.
  • Learners will be challenged to synthesis a defined product specification, evaluate, and construct the progression of a new food product from the development stage to commercial production.
  • Leaners will analyse the product lifecycle and evaluate the environmental impact.
  • Learners will be supported by food industry representatives allowing students to develop creative thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Targeted Nutrition will be delivered fully ONLINE.

 

COURSE TIMELINE

A cohort of motivated participants from across Europe will join our Targeted Nutrition Inspire Course. Over a period of 4 weeks, the course will provide a dynamic and supportive environment for you to explore the development of  food products for targeted consumer groups, develop your entrepreneurial mindset and learn how you can transform your ideas into business propositions.

The Targeted Nutrition Inspire Course will take place online with a combination of online learning resources; and live interactive virtual sessions:

  • Monday 14th March: Access to online learning resources
  • Tuesday 15th March: Live Virtual Kick-off Event last 1.5 hours
  • Monday 14th March: Monday 4th April: Online learning activities to be completed asynchronously in your own time and at your own pace
  • Monday 4th April: Thursday 7th April: 4-day Live Target Nutrition Bootcamp where you will design and prototype your own Targeted Nutrition Food products
  • Friday 8th April: Live Targeted Nutrition Pitch Event with Prizes

The bootcamp will take place between 10am-2pm (CET) with regular breaks, except for on Tuesday 5th April where an evening cookery demonstration and show case from Basques Culinary School will take place from 6-8pm (CET). Learners will need to be able to work on tasks outside of these hours also.

 

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS?

Targeted Nutrition is open to Bachelor, MSc and PhD students as well as graduates and professionals interesting in nutrition or food. The course would also suit aspiring entrepreneurs or professionals wishing to move into this sector.

English is a necessity.

 

COURSE FEES

A small portion of the total cost of the program is charged as a participation fee. Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 24 Feb). From 25 Feb full price to pay EUR 300.

 

PARTNERS

CONTACT

Dr. Miriam Clegg

University of Reading

m.e.clegg@reading.ac.uk

Dr. Maria Jose Oruna-Concha

University of Reading

m.j.oruna-concha@reading.ac.uk

Dr. Stella Lignou

University of Reading

s.lignou@reading.ac.uk

Inspire Programme Structure

The Inspire Programme consists of five different individual thematic courses focusing on key innovation areas of food & agriculture. In addition to specific thematic trainings related to the content of the individual course, trainings with a focus on entrepreneurship will also be provided. The latter will be delivered by following EIT Food partners: University of Cambridge, University of Aarhus, Technion, and Technical University of Munich.
With such thoroughly designed structure, the programme fosters the entrepreneurial growth of talented individuals and boosts key competences such as leadership, critical thinking, problem solving, business skills and communication affinity.

The programme aims to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs, specialists and innovators, which will be equipped to shape a new kind of food system that is innovative, resilient, and sustainable.

Online Learning

  • Introduction to the challenges of the food system with a focus on course specific topic
  • Knowledge & skills on how to launch a business

Interactive learning & Hands-on work

Generate business ideas in food space & work on viable solutions, to turn food and agriculture into a sustainable, healthy and trusted sytem for all.

- Leading academic and industry partners of EIT Food will contribute with important insights and mentoring.

- Receive seminars, workshops, professional guidance, networking events and more.

- Immersion into key innovation ecosystem in Europe.

- Final pitch competition to select Inspire winners 2021

Eligibility

Students, entrepreneurs, researchers, and professionals interested in creating a business idea around our food system's most significant issues.

Fees

A small portion of the total cost of the program is charged as a participation fee.

Protein for Future: Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 4th Nov). From 5th Nov full price to pay EUR 300.

Sustainable Aquaculture: Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 20 Oct). From 21 Oct full price to pay EUR 300.

Targeted Nutrition: Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 24 Feb). From 25 Feb full price to pay EUR 300.

Sustainable Food Packaging – REPAK: Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 20 Oct). From 21 Oct full price to pay EUR 300.

Digitalization for Circular Food Systems - Digit4Circularity: Early Bird Fee for 2021 entry is EUR 250 (applicable by 14 Oct). From 15 Oct full price to pay EUR 300.

Partners

Aarhus University
Queen’s University of Belfast
Technical University of Munich
University of Cambridge
University of Reading
University of Turin
Swiss Food Research
RisingFoodStars
Matís
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology
FRAUNHOFER
Grupo AN S.Coop
IARFR PAS
Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna (UNIBO)

Project Lead

Chryssa Dimaki
Institution

Technische Universität München

Role

Activity Leader

Contact details

dimaki@zv.tum.de

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