This programme will boost innovation and market competitiveness in Southern RIS countries, by opening the path to place new added-value products in the market.
RIS Straight to Market (S2M) is an EIT Food programme developed under the RIS scheme which seeks to help start-ups, small or medium-sized companies across Southern RIS countries to bring to mainstream markets and supermarkets their new or significantly improved healthy/sustainable food products. This is done through a cooperative, participatory process set up jointly by the selected start-ups and retailers.
The strong market-oriented aim of this programme is combined with the engagement with consumers, through co-creation activities designed to listen to consumer needs and demands throughout in the process of developing and testing the new products.
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The RIS S2M improves the innovation capacity local ecosystems by supporting start-ups/scale-ups across Southern RIS countries to improve the production capacity, technology, ingredients, features, packaging, nutritional profile and labelling information, innovative features.
On one other hand, we aim at reducing the distance and fostering a closer relationship between producer and retailer. By providing the opportunity to build close collaborations, producers can be supported in the market research and product development and commercialization, and retailers can gain a deeper understanding of the new products to be launched. On the other hand, it enhances consumer options when going to supermarket, by introducing new or highly improved healthy food products.
Boosting the competitiveness & innovation value through the development of new products in the food sector can be a very important vector for the creation and maintenance of quality, stable jobs in our communities. A vibrant, innovative food sector will significantly contribute to increase the overall competitiveness of the EU.
How it works
The RIS S2M programme connects start-ups and retailers to work together in the developement and launching of a new product.
The selection process is implemented as an open call, using clear and transparent selection criteria. Two different open calls are launched: one for retailers and one for start-ups/scale-ups.
EIT Food provides the selected retailers with a pool of start-ups applying for the programme. Each retailer will choose a maximum of 4 startups. Retailers and startups then form an informal consortium to jointly work on the preparation and implementation of the activities.
Both organizations commit to work together and side by side in the design of the co-creation activities with consumers, the media dissemination of the project as well as the commercialization strategy and plan for market introduction of the new product.
- Grant for action. EIT Food facilitates the execution of innovation projects by providing liquidity to a company. 70% of the EIT Funding is required to be returned or paid back only when there is a stable growth / success. Is all about ensuring returns from investments in successful innovation projects;
- Additional funding opportunities for upcoming projects;
- Opportunity to market innovative food product based on retailer’s segmentation;
- EIT Food takes care of the contract and agreements with other participants of the programme;
- EIT Food covers all regulatory aspects that are related to the project;
- Project dissemination / visibility / promotion to increase market penetration;
- Support market testing and improve access to consumers / end-customers and facilitated co-creation;
- Connect new food product developers with high-profile (multinational) food companies;
- Shaping/influencing market access regulation or market incentives through lobbying/agenda setting;
- Facilitate networking amongst industry players
- Improve visibility for innovations and upcoming companies/organizations;
- Stamp of trust/excellence; may help consumer acceptance, open doors, gather scale-up financing.
- Access to agile funding mechanism to support product development (see section below);
- Facilitated access to market and develop relationship with retailers;
- Opportunity to test product with consumers and have realistic feedback;
- Ability to benefit from the association with EIT Food and the EIT community and the brands of EIT Food and the EIT;
- Rights to participate in thematic project meetings, organized by EIT Food and its partners (no membership fees will be required from subcontractors; EIT Food will not cover travel costs to attend internal meetings, but organisations selected can use their assigned budgets to cover these costs);
- Rights to promote the association with EIT Food project, commercialise the product(s) developed as outcomes of the S2M process and introduce them to the market;
- Opportunities for networking with EIT Food partners, including opportunities for joint project ideation and involvement in other EIT Food projects;
- Knowledge and organisational support of EIT Food, its CLCs and partners in implementation of the activities planned for each organization of the project.
EIT Food support
Each consortium established by one start-up and one retailer will be named “project”.
EIT Food funds the RIS S2M activities as follows:
Retailers: Each retailer receives a net funding of 70% of total eligible costs, up to a maximum net funding of 180.000 EUR for the period 2023-2025.
Start-ups: Each start-up/scale-up receives a net funding of up to 30.000 EUR to cover the eligible costs of the project.