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Course information

EIT Food Innovator Fellowship is designed to offer you a highly stimulating and creative six-months programme coupled with the acquisition of key skills and mentoring to translate an idea in business idea.

To attend this course, Post-Docs and Young Professionals must own the Doctoral Degree or have a Master and at least four years of full-time equivalent Research and Innovation experience, at the date of the call deadline.

  • Level: Professional

  • Course duration: 6 months

  • Online and on-location

  • Language: English
  • Certificate of completion

What you learn?

You will learn the following competencies:

  • Food Systems:
    • Develop strategies to address current and future sustainability challenges using systems approaches
    • Design innovative responses to address sustainability challenges in the food system
  • Entrepreneurship:
    • Create opportunities for value creation
    • Mobilise resources to create sustainable value for others
    • Design and implement effective actions to deliver impact
  • Problem Solving:
    • Critically appraise the problem space to analyse the strategic implications of future choices
    • Mobilise effective co-creation methodologies to generate original and sustainable solutions that include relevant voices
  • Critical Thinking:
    • Critically analyse, interpret and report data and information to inform ethical decision making
    • Challenge existing practices and knowledge to develop sustainable alternatives
  • Leadership:
    • Appraise different strategies to deliver a food system innovation
    • Demonstrate leadership towards the implementation of a food system innovation
  • Communication:
    • Devise effective communications methods that support organisational strategies
    • Engage in two-way communication with stakeholders about their concerns
    • Adjust messaging for different audiences

Structure & Modules

After an evaluation step aiming to select the best talents/ideas, the talents will be invited to the programme and will participate in a series of training sessions aiming to form teams and to develop a business idea.
The talent selection will be communicated with an invitation letter on June 10 2022.

By June 20 2022, the programme commitment fee shall be paid. The invitation letter will give the details of the payment to the selected participants.

Step 1 – COLLABORATE2INNOVATE – June 23 and 24 – 2022 | ONLINE |
To move from individuals to a community, it is essential to connect on a personal level before you make commitments, form teams, and work together. People who complement, challenge, and support one another make fantastic teams. In this training, we form a community so you can make informed choices about who enables you to truly innovate.

Step 2 – FOODATHON– from July 22 to July 23 – 2022 – | ONLINE |
The Foodathon: an immersive, competitive, and stimulating experience where you will co-create and further develop the best ideas proposed by you in a multi/interdisciplinary setting, with one-to-one mentoring. The newly created teams should demonstrate complementarities and synergy. The best teams will be selected at the Foodathon after pitching their initial business proposition in front of an evaluation committee for the next step of the journey.

Step3. The winning teams will gain high-level complementary skills training led by the partner organisations. The training will be tailor-made, unique and business-driven, delivered by highly-specialised experts. During the training, expert mentors will be assigned to each team for personalized support along with the duration of the programme. The training will cover areas designed to enable the selected teams to acquire entrepreneurial skills and specific transversal skills to further develop and implement their ideas. Participants will have the opportunity to broaden their horizons and deepen their competencies, learning how to analyse their idea from different angles to have a viable, sustainable and impactful project/product or service impacting the Agri-Food system. Scheduled workshops will be accompanied by structured mentoring to advance the team’s original project via a real working viability frame. Moreover, the teams will fine-tune their initial idea into a mature proposal to further expand opportunities for financial support.

First Training
– Business Planning September 9 and 10.
– Business Model & Design Thinking September 16 and 17.

Second Training
– Intellectual Property Rights & Leadership and Organisational SkillsOctober 14 and 15 | ONLINE |.
– Communication and Pitch Skills October 22 to 23 | IN PRESENCE | (location to be confirmed).
Per Diem support is foreseen for travel and subsistence.

Compliance with COVID-19 national rules of the country hosting the training will apply!!!
In case of pandemic status worsening, the ONLINE delivery will be adopted.

Step 4. Final Pitch Event – December 16 – 2022 duration 4 hours | ONLINE |
The final event is where the teams will present the fully developed business idea in front of experts and venture capitalists. Winners of this programme will have access to services for prototyping and/or market analysis and fine-tuning business planning.

Please read carefully the following document describing the F.A.Q: Frequently Asked Questions – Innovator Fellowship 2022

Participation Fees

The full course fees (application deadline to be confirmed):

RIS country* citizens fee – 850 Euros
Non-RIS/Global citizens – 1,250 Euros

Early Bird Discounts (For applications submitted before the 31st of May 2023):

RIS country citizens early bird fee – 195 Euros
Non-RIS/Global citizens early bird fee – 425 Euros

*All prices are excluding applicable taxes.

Career Opportunities

As well as the personal development you will gain from the WE Lead Food programme, the benefits do not stop there.

Our WE Lead Food community is global, with members from Mexico to Singapore, and Demark to South Africa and programme alumni get automatic access to this community. Being part of this community of supportive, inspiring women leaders provides a range of collaboration and career opportunities, from employment to co-creation of new projects and ventures, collaboration on grant applications, pitching for funding, and more.


As researchers, our final question is how we can place our research on the market: every Postdoc can learn how to be an entrepreneur, so go for it!

Matthias Stier, Coordinator of Interfacial Processes, University of Stuttgart

I’d say “Know your numbers”, and i didn’t know mine. There were so many aspects of my business plan that I hadn’t thought about, and now they make so much sense. The trainings help you understand your business so much better.

Niki Alexi, Postdoctoral Researcher at AArthus University Leibnitz

It was a great experience meeting other colleagues from Europe and working with them. The atmosphere created by all the participants was outstanding and the energy of the mentors was vibrant!

Teodora Emilia Coldea, Dep. of Food Engineering Cluj-Napoca University

I appreciated the high level of the speeches and the support of different mentors, they gave us multiple perspectives to analyse our idea, and a great motivation not to give up and to develop a real, viable project.

Line Mielby, Dep. of Food Science, Food Quality Perception & Society Aarhus University

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