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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 summer schools: 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 summer 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 summer school 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 summer 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 summer 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 summer school 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, blockchain, 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 foodsystem, and to change the system after Covid-19 towards more digitalisation within the food chain APPLY NOW to summer school Digitalization for Circular Food Systems - Digit4Circularity!

APPLICATION DEADLINE: August 9, 2021

APPLY NOW for Digit4Circularity

 

 

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 neighboring 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

The summer school will be delivered fully ONLINE.

 

COURSE TIMELINE

Week 1: 6th – 10th September: Introduction, team building and basics on entrepreneurship for developing ideas (Asynchronous)

Week 2: 13th – 17th September: Bootcamp, which will commit students only in the morning (Synchronous)

 

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS?

This summer school 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. Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 200.

 

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 intregrated 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 alernative protein based food products. APPLY NOW for the Protein for Future summer school!

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday 26th July 2021

APPLY NOW for Protein for Future

 

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

The summer school 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 summer school will be delivered fully ONLINE.

 

COURSE TIMELINE

16th - 27th August: mixture of asynchronous and syncronous learning

30th August - 3rd September: Bootcamp

 

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS?

This summer school 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. Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 250.

 

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 entrepreneur’s 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 Sustainable Aquaculture summer 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 Sustainable Aquaculture summer school!

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday 18th July 2021

APPLY NOW for Sustainable Aquaculture

 

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

The Summer School 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 summer school will be delivered fully ONLINE.

 

COURSE TIMELINE

A cohort of motivated participants from across Europe will join our Sustainable Aquaculture Inspire Summer School, commencing on 16th August. Over a period of 4 weeks, the summer school will provide a dynamic and supportive environment for you to explore sustainable aquaculture, develop your entrepreneurial mindset and learn how you can transform your ideas into business propositions.

The Sustainable Aquaculture Summer School will take place online with a combination of online learning resources; and live interactive sessions:

Monday 16th August: Access to online learning resources
Friday 20th August: Virtual Kick-off Event
Friday 27th August: Aquaculture Production Systems – Live Event
Wed 1st - Monday 6th Septemeber: Live Aquaculture Industry Showcase & Make-a-thon
Friday 10th September: Live Aquaculture Pitch Event with Prizes

 

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS?

The aquaculture summer school 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 small portion of the total cost of the program is charged as a participation fee. Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 250.

 

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 REPAK summer school!

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: July 1st, 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 summer school. At the end of the first period (day 6 of the summer 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 summer school 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.

19th July - 6th August: 3 weeks of on line learning (Engaging teams during the online asynchronous weeks)
9th August - 13th August: Bootcamp with final pitch on Friday 13/08

 

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. Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 250.

 

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? APPLY NOW for the summer school Targeted Nutrition!

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!

Applications are open until 16th August 2021.

APPLY NOW for Targeted Nutrition

 

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

In the summer school, 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.

The summer school will be delivered fully ONLINE.

 

COURSE TIMELINE

The summer school will initially run online asynchronously from 30th August for three weeks until the 18th of September. During this time, you can work on it flexibly in your own time. In each week there will be one weekly live session (hosted online) and all other learning and activities can be completed at a time that suits you. This learning will include short screencasts and videos, quizzes, discussion forums and problem-solving activities.

From the 20th-24th September an intensive one-week Bootcamp will run. You will be required to work closely with other learners throughout the week to develop innovative and creative nutritionally balanced food concepts which will be pitched to food industry representatives, entrepreneurship experts and your mentors and peers on the final day of the Bootcamp. The best food concepts will represent the Targeted Nutrition summer school and at overall Inspire competition and showcase.

30th August - 18th September: Asynchronously
20th - 24th September: Bootcamp  & Final pitch event with prizes (Synchronously)

The schedule for the Bootcamp will be:
•    Monday AM,
•    Tuesday all day including a cooking and culinary experience,
•    Wednesday AM
•    Thursday AM
•    Friday AM for the Food Concept Pitch

 

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS?

The course 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. Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 250.

 

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 Summer School Structure

The Inspire Programme consists of five different individual thematic Summer Schools focusing on key innovation areas of food & agriculture. In addition to specific thematic trainings related to the content of the individual summer school, 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 Summer School´s 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: Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 250.

Sustainable Aquaculture: Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 250.

Targeted Nutrition: Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 250.

Sustainable Food Packaging – REPAK: Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 250.

Digitalization for Circular Food Systems - Digit4Circularity: Course fees for 2021-entry will be EUR 200.

Partners

The following partners are involved in the project

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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