Agrofood BIC S.r.l. (Business Innovation Center), an open multi-company innovation hub which has operated at national and international level since January 2019 to identify and take advantage of valuable business opportunities, promotes its first international Agrofood BIC Call for Ideas (value of up to €500,000) to support 5 teams, spin-offs or start-ups in the nutrition and health and new sustainable packaging sectors.
The goal of the call is to transform the high innovative potential of youths, students and researchers who believe they have a winning idea into genuine ventures. Agrofood BIC S.r.l. will support youths and promising start-ups in turning their ideas into concrete business initiatives, helping them to deal with all organisational, operational and strategic difficulties; it will promote relationships between new businesses, the working world and investors, combining incubation/acceleration services with specific skills aimed at launching the business concept on the market; it will support the initial development of spin-offs and start-ups by providing them with pilot facilities, R&D support, business development services, marketing and accounting assistance, mentoring from professionals and consultants, access to networks in the business and credit world, as well as dedicated offices, shared spaces and IT equipment.
The call is focused on two areas and sectors:
- Nutrition and Health to respond to the growing demand among consumers for nourishing and tasty food that fulfils specific health requirements, with special focus on organic and functional foods, also DNA-based, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and alternatives to sugar.
- Innovative Packaging Solutions, with a focus on smart packaging, which provide valuable information, guaranteeing better quality food with longer shelf lives, particularly on long journeys, and sustainable packaging solutions which take account of important parameters like recyclability, reuse and biodegradability.
Applications can be submitted via the online system at www.agrofoodbic.it. The closing date for submissions is 27 September 2020. An initial selection made by a committee consisting of all of the founding companies of Agrofood BIC (Granarolo, Camst, Conserve Italia, Eurovo, Ima, Gellify) will be followed by a direct examination of the project.
The list of selected projects which will be the subject of investments and business programmes will be published by December 2020. “Despite this difficult period for the business world, we have decided to proceed with the Agrofood BIC Call for Ideas. In this way we aim to send out a strong message to young adults, underlining the importance we attach to promoting genuine progress founded on the values of cooperation, merit and sustainability, and also inspired by the recent European Green Deal,” commented Gianpiero Calzolari, Chairman of Agrofood Bic.
“Foodtech and Agtech are two fast-developing markets with the more traditional food value chains undergoing significant changes due to technology – changes that have also been accelerated by the impacts of COVID-19. The goals of the call reflect this state of flux, focusing on the key elements of the product and the consumer experience. Both digital technology directly and the start-up approach to innovation have shown that they can generate value very quickly with regard to these aspects, and even more so when implemented together with companies already present in the sector, like those represented by Agrofood BIC. We are looking forward to working with the Italian and international teams that submit their ideas and giving increasing impetus to these initiatives,” commented Michele Giordani, Managing Partner and founder of GELLIFY.
“Research into food and nutrition is fundamental to the development of Camst, a business active in all collective and commercial catering sectors. In order to meet the dietary needs of consumers with increasing accuracy, we believe it is essential to invest in innovation in this sector which is evolving very rapidly and, in our opinion, must find the right resources among Agrofood businesses and new growing companies with which to face the changes in the market,” commented Francesco Malaguti, Chairman of Camst.
“Conserve Italia has been investing in innovation along the agrifood supply chain for years in order to offer consumers increasingly wholesome and healthy products which are attentive to the new demands of the market. We are playing a frontline role in meeting this major challenge and are also committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products, beginning with the introduction of sustainable packaging. Ideas and contributions for development projects in this area can be very useful and we are confident of receiving many from the Agrofood BIC Call for Ideas,” explained Pier Paolo Rosetti, General Manager of the food consortium that owns the Valfrutta, Yoga, Cirio and Derby Blue brands.
“At Eurovo we firmly believe that innovation is the key factor in the development and competitiveness of the agrifood sector. Just as we believe that true innovation often stems from the creativity of talented youngsters. Investing in their futures and taking a punt on their talent is essential nowadays if we are to unearth the creative flair that the sector needs and, at the same time, offer young adults concrete professional opportunities. Eurovo boasts over 60 years of experience because in all these years it has never stopped looking forward, innovating in all areas, from the farm to the supply chain, from the creation of new products to the quality of our ingredients, also placing its trust in the enterprise and positivity of the new generations,” commented Siro Lionello, Chairman of the Eurovo Group.