European entrepreneurship is committed to innovation and collaboration to promote the agri-food sector.
The fourth edition of FUN&FAN, the annual event on agri-food innovation, brings together leading startups, large companies and investment funds in the sector at a European level in Bilbao. Begoña Pérez-Villarreal, director of EIT Food for southern Europe, has announced the launch of the Corporate Venturing Community, “a benchmark meeting point for leaders of corporate innovation in agri-food in southern Europe”, she explained.
Technological innovation, business collaboration and commitment to sustainability in the agri-food sector have been the focus of the fourth edition of ‘FUN&FAN’, the annual event organized by the European consortium EIT Food to connect innovative startups from all over Europe. This Wednesday, October 6, the San Mamés stadium in Bilbao has brought together investors, large companies and other professionals, who have shared experiences and success stories, and have had the opportunity to learn about the most cutting-edge trends in innovation in the sector.
Henrik Stamm, CEO and founder of Blendhub, has been in charge of starting the day with a presentation focused on food technology and innovation in the agri-food sector. From its experience in the deployment of a local network of food centers in different countries such as India, Colombia or Mexico, Stamm has highlighted the importance of “empowering the local population and strengthening its economy with the creation of local teams, with the goal of feeding all people everywhere, sustainably.” The value of technology was another of the key points of his presentation, since, as he stated, “the future of food lies in digitization”.
Entrepreneurship in the food sector was the subject of the first round table in which Marta Rufino, Global Innovation Director at Sigma, participated; Marisol Menendez, CEO & Founder in Bilakatu; and Giacomo Fanin, Group Business Development Manager at Cereal Docks. The three have agreed on the importance of collaboration between companies and moving towards “open intersectoral innovation” to “create value together”, they have said. During the debate, the business strategy aimed at the transformation of agricultural products to provide more added value and differentiation in international markets was also taken into account.
Precisely, the dynamics of the market and the new developments in the sector have focused the intervention of Alessio D’Antino, Founder & CEO at Forward Fooding. In this sense, D’Antino has highlighted how entrepreneurship, collaboration and investment models can be used to create a more sustainable future of food. Technological innovation as a “necessity”, but also as an “opportunity” when it comes to attracting investors, was the main conclusion of the round table dedicated to analyzing investment trends in 2022. Alberto Criado (Cardumen Capital), Alberto Díaz (BeAble Capital) and Can Attayk (Alethina Impact Investments) who have left a clear message: “Entrepreneurs and investors in the agri-food sector expect more innovation driven by technology in the coming years”, because “without technology there are no investments”.
Carolina Najar (Neiker) and Iker Bilbao, accompanied by Asier Alea (Basque Culinary Center) have highlighted the role of technology centers in promoting innovation in technology centres. In addition, the attendees have been able to learn first-hand about success stories such as those of the startups Aitana Spirulina, Bosque Foods or AgroGRIn Tech. These are companies that have promoted innovative solutions that, in addition, help promote the Development Goals Sustainable and contribute to building a better planet.
EIT Food Corporate Venturing Community is born
During the day, Begoña Pérez-Villarreal, director of EIT Food for southern Europe, announced the launch of the EIT Food Corporate Venturing Community, “a space of trust that aims to be the benchmark meeting point for innovation leaders agri-food company in southern Europe, where the leaders of agri-food companies can collaborate and learn together and share the best corporate venturing practices”, he explained.
About EIT Food
EIT Food is the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community. We accelerate innovation to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all.
With the support of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, we invest in projects, organizations and people who share our goals of a healthy and sustainable food system. We unlock the potential for innovation in companies and universities, and create and scale agri-food start-ups to bring new technologies and products to market. We equip entrepreneurs and professionals with the necessary skills to transform the food system and put consumers at the center of our work, helping them build trust by reconnecting them with the origins of their food. We are one of nine innovation communities created by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an independent EU body created in 2008 to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.
More information in www.eitfood.eu or on social networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.
The headquarters for Southern Europe is established in Spain (in Madrid and Bilbao) and has specific partners such as: Acesur, Angulas Aguinaga, AZTI, Caviro, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, CSIC, Federación Española de Nutrición (FEN), Grupo AN , Hub Innovazione Trentino, Inalca, Mondragon Corporation, PeakBridge, Strauss, Technion, UAM, UNITO and UNIBO.
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