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RIS Central and Eastern Europe CEE Open Innovation Call

Applications for Applications for CEE Open Innovation Call are now open!

Accelerating innovation to create positive change in the food system. 


Purpose of the call

We seek to tackle the significant issues of the agrifood supply chain in the CEE region, namely:

  • Pressure on the supply chain

The Russian invasion of Ukraine further destabilised the agrifood sector in Europe, already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. Due to the war´s proximity, the whole CEE region has been negatively impacted. Missing links in the food supply chain have caused increasing disruption and damage to the food system.

  • Low investment in intellectual property

The CEE agri-food sector has gone through radical changes over last 3 decades. However, it is still characterized by low investments in intellectual property. Companies do not invest enough in RDI and collaboration with the innovators (including academia, research, startups) is not sufficient. The lack of communication and cooperation between researchers who work on innovations and businesses who use, implement, or commercialize them, is a significant barrier of progress.

  • Lack of intra- and inter- sectoral cooperation

The CEE agrifood sector is characterized by a low vertical and horizontal integration. Instead of working in a collaborative way, companies are working individually and do not share information.

  • Need for investment in sustainability

The EU Green Deal and Bioeconomy are the most important and integrative concepts for the agrifood ecosystem at this moment. Digitalisation and technological advancement can and should be used to mitigate the agrifood sector´s climate impact.

By means of this Call for Proposals, EIT Food CLC NE wants to begin easing pressure on the food supply chain in the CEE region.

What are we looking for?

We seek activities:

  • implemented by consortia, that will bridge different sectors and enhance intersectoral collaborations.
  • which can be applied universally and significantly impact the food supply chain within selected industry/industries.
  • encompassing open standards, protocols, tools, and technologies to promote collaboration and the potential for innovative solutions. We prefer to support solutions with open access; however, it is not obligatory.
  • that will put new products on the market, introduce new and improved commercial processes and services.
  • that help achieve EIT Food´s Missions:
    • Healthier Lives Through Food
    • A Net Zero Food System
    • A Fully Transparent, Fair and Resilient Food System
  • that align with one or more EIT Focus Areas:

Who can apply?

Funding for this call is available to all organisations, both EIT Food partners and new applicants, from the following eligible EU Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Horizon Europe Associated Countries: Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine.

How to apply?

To begin an EIT Food proposal submission, applicants must register in Plaza, EIT Food´s proposal submission platform. Please note:

  • Please register at least 5 working days before the call closes to ensure there is time to check your registration information and approve your registration request.
  • Once approved, you will receive a one-time password for you to log in and begin your proposal.


Each participating organisation must:

  • Be a legally incorporated entity in one of the EU or Horizon Europe eligible country listed above for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Have at least 3 years’ published accounts showing business Activity.
  • Provide a PIC Number:

To be eligible consortia must:

  • Have at least 3 eligible organisations committed to collaborating between 2 different eligible countries, representing at least two sides of the knowledge triangle, with at least one industry organisation
  • Each of the three organisations must be active participants in the consortium, showing a role, commiserate with the level of budget, and should not fall under the same ownership
  • At least one Exploiting Party/Parties responsible for commercial exploitation resulting from the Activity

To be eligible proposals must:

  • Be complete, with all mandatory supporting documents uploaded.
  • Be submitted on time via our submission template, in English.
  • Proposals must be committed to delivering one or more near-to-market, commercially viable innovative technology solutions (goods, services, processes, or products).
  • Contribute to the EIT Food Missions
  • Align with one or more EIT Focus Areas
  • Have an innovation with a minimum Technology Readiness Level 5 (TRL)

How does the funding work?

The maximum support for each recipient is 750 000 EUR.
Activity duration is variable according to the nature and maturity of the proposed innovation. However, proposals may not request more than 24 months of funding.

  1. During the Activity

    As long as you can demonstrate your ability to fund 30% of your project costs from other sources, we can reimburse up to 70% of your project costs for Innovation Challenge Activities. There are rules around which costs are allowed and how you can claim them./
  2. After the Activity

    In line with the EIT Food Financial Sustainability Strategy and EIT requirements, all innovation Activities selected for funding are required to commit to giving a financial return to EIT Food based on the following:
    A 20% fixed return within 15 months after the agreed end date of the project, as submitted in the original proposal (the completion date)
    In the event that the project was not successful, and the return is not paid, EIT Food will initiate an IP recovery process in collaboration with the exploiting party(ies), and will look for alternative commercialisation opportunities.

Mandatory Documents

  1. Implementation Schedule
  2. Business Model Canvas – template can be downloaded below
  3. Criticality Map – template can be downloaded below
  4. Proof of TRL 5
  5. Deliverables
  6. Commercialisation Strategy – template can be downloaded below

    All items mentioned below shall be uploaded as one single pdf document:
  • Serviceable Obtainable Market: documentation explaining which expected SOM and market share your quantification is based on. This might include draft/expected offtake agreements, letters of intent to customers, market research reports, competitor analysis etc.).
  • Market introduction / distribution channels: a Business Plan that includes the description of the sales/distribution channels for the described SOM.
  • Product Readiness Level: Please provide evidence documenting the status of the activities required to launch the innovation in the market. Roadmap Go To Market And Scale Up Milestones For KERs: evidence documenting the status of the activities required to launch the innovation in the market (product readiness level).


Please find below the materials:

Key Dates

  • Call Opens: 3rd April 2023
  • Informational Webinar for applicants: 4th April 2023 at 3:00 PM CEST
  • Matchmaking online event: 25th April 202310:00 AM - 5:00 PM CEST
  • Application Deadline: 19th June 2023 at 11:59 AM CEST

CEE RIS Guidelines Template

More specific information can be found in CEE RIS Guidelines Template.