The European Institute of Innovation and technology (EIT) announced the winning team selected to set up EIT Food, a new pan-European partnership bringing together leading businesses, universities and research organizations. Its mission: to boost innovation, growth and job creation and put Europe at the centre of a global revolution in food. EIT Food will deliver cutting-edge European skills to rebuild a healthy and sustainable food system in Europe and beyond based on the "knowledge triangle" of research, education and entrepreneurship.
EIT Food will engage consumers in the change process, improving nutrition and making the food system more resource-efficient, secure, transparent and trusted (sustainable end-to-end food supply chains). EIT Food has broad coverage in EU member states and associated countries (13 countries involved) and is a unique partnership of 50 leading companies, universities, and scientific partners covering the entire food value chain.
Over the next seven years, the partners will invest close to 1200 million Euro matched with up to 400 million Euro financed by the EIT.
EIT Food will set up 4 Innovation programmes targeting four societal challenges:
- personalized healthy food (FoodConnects Assistant),
- the digitalization of the food system (The Web of Food),
- consumer-driven supply chain development and new technology adoption in farming, processing & retail (Your Fork2Farm),
- resource-efficient processes, turning the food sector into the spearhead for transforming the currently linear “produce-use-dispose” model into a circular bio-economy (The Zero Waste Agenda).
The strategic objectives of the programmes will be achieved by developing new talents,delivering business creation and acceleration support and creating consumer-valued food for healthier nutrition.
This large-scale initiative headquartered in Belgium is leveraged by five so-called Co-Location Centres, which will stimulate innovation, talent development and consumer involvement at the regional level. They are based in Leuven (Belgium, France, Switzerland), Munich (Germany, Netherlands), Reading (United Kingdom, Iceland, Ireland), Warsaw (Poland, Finland) and Madrid (Spain, Italy, Israel). EIT Food works with a large group of network partners and will be very active in Central and Eastern European countries, including Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia.