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Course information

As a learner, you will develop your knowledge on soil health and related innovative farming practices, by linking the role of soil health to climate adaptation and mitigation towards better health and wellbeing. This Summer School will provide you with a toolkit to become effective innovators in the food system, including design thinking, business idea development, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, team building, pitching, among others. You will apply your knowledge of soil health and soil functionality and sustainable farming to innovate products or techniques that impact the food system.

Integrating entrepreneurship training with food production innovation will enable you to create solutions to global challenges such as climate change and health. The programme has been developed and will be delivered by an outstanding collaborative group composed of European universities, institutes, food industry companies, farmers, and agri-food startups. This unique programme features teaching by highly skilled mentors in entrepreneurship in the food system from Food4Sustainability (Portugal), University of Sevilla (Spain), BGI (Portugal), Idanha-a-Nova Municipality (Portugal), Castillo del Canena (Spain), and The Grand Farm (Austria).

This course welcomes undergraduates, MSc/PhD students, researchers, professionals, and aspiring entrepreneurs interested in innovating in the food system. We seek individuals from diverse backgrounds, including Food Science, Other Sciences, Engineering, Business/Marketing, Informatics and Computational Science, and more.
Only participants from RIS countries can apply: Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, French Guiana, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Réunion, Saint Martin, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine.
  • Level: Advance

  • Only participants from RIS countries can apply

  • Course duration: 3 weeks

  • Start date: 3/07/2023
    End date: 28/07/2023

  • Online and on-site

  • Language: English
  • Certificate of completion

What you learn?

You will learn the following competencies:

  • Food Systems:
    • Analyse the food system using a range of systems approaches to appraise current and future sustainability challenges.
    • Implement 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:
    • Analyse relevant aspects of the problem space to inform creative thought.
    • Use basic methods to generate new ideas and to assess their validity.
    • Contribute to co-creation processes to develop sustainable solutions.
  • Critical Thinking:
    • Collect, analyse, interpret and report information to develop sustainable solutions to current and future challenges.
    • Appraise unintended consequences of any course of action to devise ethical goals.
  • 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
  • Data management:
    • Appraise the efficacy of different digital tools and sensing methods to acquire, manage and manipulate data.
    • Devise effective data management protocols.
    • Design effective actions to mitigate key unintended consequences of the use of information technologies.
    • Implement adequate data security measures.
  • Technology management
    • Competently use appropriate technologies to contribute to food system innovations.
    • Appraise the relevance of emerging technologies in a particular work or study context.
    • Identify key unintended consequences of the use of emerging technologies.
    • Recognise the importance of IPR management.

Structure & Modules

Over a period of 3 weeks, the programme will provide a dynamic and supportive environment for you to develop your knowledge on soil health, sustainable agriculture and climate farming techniques and scientific basis. During the full programme, and especially in the third week, you will develop your entrepreneurial mindset and learn how you can transform your ideas into business propositions.
During the first and second weeks, the programme will take place online with a combination of asynchronous learning resources and live (synchronous) interactive virtual sessions:
  • Module 1: HealthSoil4Life Kick-off; Introduction to the challenges in soil health, sustainable agriculture and climate smart farming techniques.
  • Module 2: The Soil – importance, properties, interactions with plants and microorganisms, soil dynamics and best management practices
  • Module 3: How to assess soil health in practice? Techniques for precision climate change & soil conservation, overview of tools for soil health assessment, case studies from soil microbiome analysis and digital technologies (start-ups) for soil monitoring

During the third week, module 4 will be conducted:

  • Module 4: Eco-Week in the village of Penha Garcia (Portugal) in the GeoPark awarded by UNESCO.Introduction of the Entrepreneurial Week; Presentation of case studies and major challenges; Sustainable Business Models, Pitch design and training; On-site visits.

Participation Fees


Career Opportunities

Training in entrepreneurship and innovation in Soil Health can create career opportunities for you as a university student, early career researcher and young entrepreneur:
  • Through the creation of start-ups based on the ideas developed during the summer school programme
  • By boosting your chances of being employed by start-ups, SME´s and bigger companies across the sustainable food system.
  • By improving your chances of being employed in local, national and international activities in administration, teaching and training
  • By improving your chances of being employed by NGOs and media companies
  • The training of students on sustainable and smart farming can make a difference for the current and future generations that will have a reference to follow due to this capacitation. The creation of new businesses will provide a reduction of the current sectoral unemployment but also fill a gap of sectoral innovation.

In collaboration with

Programme Leaders

Elvira Domingo
Elvira Domingo
Regional Innovation Programme Manager at EIT Food
Cláudia Costa
Cláudia Costa
Coordinator of Food4Sustainability Academy

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