A well-recognised entrepreneur competition rewarded winning sustainable ideas at the yearly Food Festival in Aarhus.
Sugar with no calories, vegan DIY cheese, and biodegradable food packaging are just a few of nine healthy and sustainable startup ideas which were presented when EIT Food – a European Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) set up to transform our food ecosystem – visited Denmark for the first time for the EIT Food Innovation Prizes. The event was hosted by Aarhus University and Danish Food Cluster in close collaboration with Danish Food Innovation, Agro Business Park, and VIFU.
A startup called Cellugy took the prize of €10,000. According to the jury they won due to their fully circular approach to a relevant issue:
“Plastic is the eighth continent in the world – and it is killing our planet. Cellugy has invented a smart way to transform food waste into a packaging that is totally biodegradable. This solution will reduce our need to consume plastic,” said Nadav Berger from PeakBridge Partners.
Other jury members included Wilhelmina Jewel Sparks from BiTHOUSE GROUP, Jason Voogt from Ferrero, Michelle Williams from Aarhus University, and Thomas van den Boezem from StartLife.
The EIT Innovation Grant is very valuable to the next step for Cellugy.
“We are working on a patent application that is essential to our business base. Patent applications are very expensive and therefore the EIT award will be a great help in completing the application process,” said Isabel Alvarez-Martos, co-founder and CEO, Cellugy.
Ziv Zwighaft from the startup Low2No came second in the competition – for a cash prize of €5000 – with their low calorie alternative to sugar.
EIT Food Innovation Prizes is one of Europe’s largest entrepreneurial competitions within agri-food, and EIT Food sees the startups as an important element in the innovation of the industry:
”EIT supports innovative food startups in their growth because we are convinced that the transformation of our food system cannot be achieved without the disruptive innovations brought to the market by these great entrepreneurs. More than ever, they are an essential component in our ecosystem and we are very proud to support them in their growth,” said Benoit Buntinx, Director of Business Creation, EIT Food.
The EIT Food Innovation Prize took place at this year’s Food Festival in Aarhus – the largest Food Festival in the North.
It is the first time for Europe’s large food initiative to take place in Denmark. The CEO of Danish Food Cluster, Lone Ryg Olsen, added as a final note:
“It is important for Denmark that EIT Food recognises the Danish food cluster – a place in which a lot of players within the industry are gathered to secure a leading position for Denmark within food innovation. That is why this is a milestone. And Aarhus University has had a great deal in directing it with their new membership in EIT.”
Besides Aarhus in Denmark, the EIT Food Innovation Prize event also takes place in 16 other European countries throughout the year.