Call for expressions of interest to become EIT Food Hubs in 2019-2020

Submitted by Alina Danieles… on 01 January 2019

Deadline: 14 January 2019

EIT Food is looking for 13 organisations that would assume the role of EIT Food Hubs in 13 countries, targeted by EIT Food’s Regional Innovation SchemeCroatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. 

EIT Food is one of the largest and most impactful food-related initiatives worldwide. As a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), EIT Food connects partners from leading businesses, universities and research centres across Europe.EIT Food has six strategic objectives:

  • Overcome low consumer trust: support Europeans in the transition towards a smart food system that is inclusive and trusted;
  • Create consumer valued food for healthier nutrition: enable individuals to make informed and affordable personal nutrition choices;
  • Build a consumer-centric connected food system: develop a digital food supply network with consumers and industry as equal partners;
  • Enhance sustainability: develop solutions to transform the traditional ‘produce-use-dispose’ model into a circular bio-economy;
  • Educate to engage, innovate and advance: Provide ‘food system’ skills for more than 10,000 students, entrepreneurs and professionals through advanced training programmes;
  • Catalyse food entrepreneurship and innovation: foster innovation at all stages of business creation.

EIT Food boosts the skills and entrepreneurial spirit in the sector and unlocks the potential of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which in turn will accelerate innovation, create jobs, benefit businesses and increase Europe’s competitiveness.

The present call is launched by EIT Food to select organisation (individual organisation having the status of legal persons, not consortia or networks) that would be designated as EIT Food Hub in targeted EIT RIS countries. The selection process is implemented as an open call managed by EIT Food, Co-Location Centre North-East and South, in accordance with the EIT RIS Guidance Note, using clear and transparent selection criteria, and the selection will be carried out with the help of external, independent experts. The candidate organisations will be recognized as important players in the local innovation eco-systems with strong regional outreach, experienced in supporting entrepreneurs and capable of organising local events. In 2019 and 2020, EIT Food Hub will benefit from funding to implement the contractual obligations towards EIT Food and acquire complementary, regional or national funding for future activities. EIT Food Hub will have precisely defined workplan, requiring them to regularly update contact lists of relevant stakeholders, maintain relations with selected regional players, engage in the exploration of the local start-up community, organise stakeholder events, workshops for RIS Fellowship candidates, entrepreneurship incubation workshops Demo Days, and promote EIT Food portfolio of instruments in their target countries. The performance of EIT Food Hub will be evaluated by the end of 2019 and the end of 2020. The evaluation conducted by the end of 2019 will influence the decisions about the future composition of the network of EIT Food Hubs in 2020. EIT Food Hub will be expected to develop by mid-2019 their own plans of future activities for 2019 and 2020 and approaches to leveraging local funding options to accelerate the implementation of Knowledge Triangle Integration and complement the initial EIT funding. Their success in acquiring the local funding will be considered in annual evaluations of EIT Food Hub.

Scope of expected activities of EIT Food Hubs

  • Support for a two-way interaction between local players from EIT RIS country and EIT Food partners, by engaging stakeholders from a designated country in EIT Food activities;
  • Sharing and transferring good practices of EIT Food, including the Knowledge Triangle Integration model, to widen participation in EIT-funded activities, enhance the innovation capacity of EIT RIS country and help EIT RIS stakeholders become future EIT Food partners;
  • Promoting the innovation agenda of EIT Food among relevant government authorities, regulators and opinion leaders in EIT RIS country ;
  • Creating active communities of agri-food R&D professionals and entrepreneurs in EIT RIS country to support networking and embed EIT RIS actors into innovation activities of EIT Food;
  • Contributing to job creation and economic development of EIT RIS regions by shaping entrepreneurial mind-sets of local stakeholders, including entrepreneurial talents, start-ups and primary producers;
  • Proposing, actively inspiring and customizing EIT Food activities to local circumstances and opportunities, especially by ensuring a reciprocal alignment between EIT Food activities and national or regional Smart Specialisation Strategies and by establishing synergies with local, regional, national and European sources of project funding

Detailed information on the call, eligibility, benefits for organisations selected as EIT Food Hubs as well as application process are available here.

Published on 19/12/2018 on EIT website. © EIT 2019

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