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Inspire Programme

Boost your skills, drive change and do business in the agrifood sector!


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: 

  1. Healthier lives through food 
  2. A net zero food system 
  3. Reducing Risk for a Fair & Resilient Food System

Welcome to Inspire Programmes - Where Your Entrepreneurial Journey Begins!

Do you have a spark of innovation and a passion for transforming the world of food? Here's your chance to turn your ideas into reality and win exciting cash prizes!

Building upon your foundational entrepreneurial knowledge, our Inspire Programmes are designed to empower you with the skills and mindset needed to excel in the realm of innovation and entrepreneurship within the food systems.

Join us on a transformative journey aimed at revolutionizing the Global Food System. Picture the ripple effect of your ideas resonating across the globe, making a tangible impact on the future of food. We invite you to unleash your entrepreneurial spirit and cultivate fresh perspectives with us.

Our Inspire Programme isn't just about winning prizes; it's about driving real change towards building a sustainable and resilient food system. Cash rewards await the most impactful entries, and your idea could be the catalyst for positive transformation.

Are you ready to embark on this exciting journey of innovation and entrepreneurship? Join us and let's shape the future of food together!

Our offer

Inspire Programmes 2024

Exciting news! The Inspire Programmes for 2024 are finally decided. Below is a short description of the six programmes available this year.

Inspire Programme:

  • 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, until the 31st of December 2024.
  • Explore. Compete. - Build on your basic entrepreneurial knowledge, share your idea to win a cash prize (up to 2000€) and embark on your entrepreneurial journey with Inspire Programmes! If you've completed our Inspire Explore course, you're already on the right path. Now, it's time to take the next step.

    This course is available from 1.10 - 30.11. 2024 for you to be a part of the competition, get your certificate and win prizes!

  • Impact - Right after the Inspire Schools ends participants will have the opportunity to join the Inspire Impact competition, continue their learning, earn an additional certificate and compete for cash prizes (up to €4000). It is designed to be the final stage of your entrepreneurial journal under Inspire Programmes, focusing on its mission-led approach to address the pressing issues of our food systems. It is free of charge for candidates who have satisfactorily completed any Inspire School. Find more information by clicking on the link below.

To enrol in the Inspire Impact course, candidates must have attended one of the Inspire Schools.
Application open in July 2024.

  • Restorative Aquaculture - This Inspire Course focusing on Aquaculture will be a 3-week intensive programme which provides training and theory in seaweed farming, finfish, shellfish and algae biology, culturing, growth and molecular and metabolite analysis. The programme will also outline the complex set of economic, environmental, technical, welfare, social, political and market issues which impact the aquaculture sector, from a stakeholder’s perspective; and moreover, it will encourage students to develop innovative solutions to increase the sector's productivity and profitability. This programme will happen from the 23rd September until the 25th October 2024.

Applications are open!

  • Digital Technologies in the 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, the participants will navigate the complex landscape of data analytics and AI and unlock digital innovation. The participants will also receive entrepreneurship and innovation training to develop a solutions to challenges faced by the industry. This programme will happen from the 1st November until the 2nd December 2024.

Applications are open!

  • 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 23rd of August and the 6th of September (online edition) and the 23rd and the 27th of September of 2024 (In person in Portugal).

Applications are open!

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. This programme will happen from the 1st until the 12th of July 2024 (online), and from the 29th of July until the 1st of August 2024 (presential, invitation only).

Applications are open!

  • Deep Tech in Regenerative Agriculture - This course is designed to empower participants to become leaders in regenerative agriculture, merging it seamlessly with deep technology to foster a sustainable agricultural evolution. Participants will gain comprehensive insights into the principles, practices, and innovative technologies shaping the future of regenerative agriculture. The programme unfolds over three weeks per session, culminating in a three-day pitch competition that showcases participants' projects. Detailed modules will equip participants with the necessary tools to excel in regenerative agriculture and technology management. This programme will happen from the 7th until the 25th of October 2024.

Applications are open!

  • Sustainable Food Production and Consumption: The Summer School programme is structured with a student-centered vision and a project-based approach that will encourage you to use the tools provided by highly qualified experts to co-develop your own innovative and entrepreneurial idea for healthier living through food. This programme will happen from the 16th of September until the 4th of October 2024.

Get ready!

Stay tuned to have the latest information about the Inspire Programme!

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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.
  • Commercial organisations interested in building links with a pool of talented food and nutrition researchers, innovators and students 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.

Project lead

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Dario Peirone

Inspire Activity Lead (Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management, Università degli Studi di Torino)

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Begum Mutus

Partnerships Lead (Global Public Affairs General Manager, Ambassador of Yıldız Holding Women Platform)

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Elvira Domingo EIT Food South

Regional Impact Portfolio Manager

Mariana Fazenda

EIT Food Education - Programme Manager

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Magdalena Marczewska

Teaching Lead (Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Management, University of Warsaw)

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