Cologne: 04.–08.10.2025 #anuga

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EIT FOOD Conference in partnership with Anuga HORIZON

Healthy food and sustainable production: success stories from industry and start-ups EIT Food: The world's largest agri-food ecosystem drives innovation and entrepreneurship - conference program for Anuga HORIZON

Innovation in the agri-food sector is worth more than €200 billion in Europe, yet less than 4% of all start-ups in the EU innovate in the agri-food sector. This figure needs to change quickly and radically if we are all to meet the United Nations goals of feeding a growing population in the next decade. A targeted and collaborative sector-wide approach is an absolute must.

As a creation of the European Union, EIT Food is uniquely positioned to bring entrepreneurs together with Europe's leading agri-food companies, universities, and research institutions. Start-ups need funding and collaborations to scale up, companies need agility and innovation to stay relevant, and investors need companies and teams with high revenue potential to make a global impact.

To this end, EIT Food is building a powerful ecosystem that enables training programs, world-class networks, high-impact pilots, and a community to support entrepreneurs at all stages of their development. EIT Food invests in projects, individuals and organizations that share our goals to create positive and sustainable change quickly and at scale. We bring together stakeholders from across the food system to drive change through collective learning, problem solving and invention.

To get a glimpse of the world's largest innovation hub, EIT Food showcased award-winning start-ups from its programs that had found their path to success with new ideas from the niche: in collaboration with the food industry and the help of our network. What were the "learnings" for the industry? What opportunities did the food industry have to network with the right start-ups? What did the young founders and what did science have to say about it?

Our conference program aimed to provide answers, impulses, and approaches to new cooperations so that innovations in the food sector could happen faster and more sustainably.

Four lectures and a concluding panel discussion on 10.10. in the Anuga HORIZON conference program entitled: "Innovation: from niche to success with start-ups" invited you to join us.

Date: 10.10.2023

Time: 10:30 am – 12:45 am

Location: Congress-Centre North, Konrad-Adenauer-Saal

Conference language: English

Participation: No registration was necessary, admission for every trade fair visitor

Frank Horlbeck, Press Officer for Germany, Austria and the Netherlands
EIT Food Central

10:30 am - The Innovator's Toolbox: How Customer Insights Lead to Food Innovations

The Innovator's Toolbox: How Customer Insights Lead to Food Innovations


Prof. Carsten Demming, DHBW Heilbronn

Joachim Haag, isi GmbH

10:45 am - Together out of the niche: the 3 success factors of Crafting Future

Together out of the niche: the 3 success factors of Crafting Future


Lennart Heyner, founder of Crafting Future

Jan Patzer, founder and CEO of Crafting Future

11:00 am - "Mushlabs - Using biotechnology to build a more resilient food system."

Mushlabs - Using biotechnology to build a more resilient food system


Dr. Mazen Rizk, founder of mushlab on the project with Bitburger

11:15 am - EIT Food accelerates innovation for a sustainable food system

EIT Food accelerates innovation for a sustainable food system


Dr. Georg Schirrmacher, Director EIT Food Region West

11:30 am - Panel discussion with all speakers on new pragmatic approaches and "learnings"

Panel discussion with all speakers on new pragmatic approaches and "learnings" from the area of conflict between industry and start-ups as well as insights into the possibilities of using the Europe-wide network of EIT Food, moderated by Frank Horlbeck, Head of Communications EIT Food Central

12:00 – 12:45 am - Meet the experts

EIT Food will bring together numerous recognized experts from the food sector, industry and science, as well as from EIT Food itself. With short time slots like in speed dating, as many interested parties and trade fair visitors as possible should be given the opportunity to ask questions about new developments and trends in production, about the change in the food system towards a sustainable and healthier nutrition, about the right touch points for business cooperation in this area, about possible networks to get to know the ideas of food start-ups in Europe, and even about special concerns such as funding programs for young founders and start-ups to get first answers and the right contacts.

Among the experts are, for example, the Director of Innovations of EIT Food, Dr. Adam M. Adamek, for the contacts to industry of the European network, the Head of Corporate Venturing, Dr. Christoph Mandel. An overview of the EU bodies in Brussels will be given by Flavio Antonelli from Public Affairs at EIT Food, but scientists and industry representatives from EIT Food's European network will also be present. Registration for the Konrad Adenauer Room in the Congress Center is not necessary.

EIT Food is the largest innovation network in Europe on the topic of food, nutrition, and agriculture. EIT Food is funded by the EU and aims to make the food and agriculture sector more transparent and sustainable.

"At EIT Food, we strongly believe in the transformative potential of young companies. We look forward to supporting start-ups with quick access to agri-food businesses. Especially in the cooperation between innovative start-ups and established companies as well as with the networking of all actors that focus on transformation in the food sector, we see a key to positive change and overcoming current challenges in the agri-food industry. In doing so, we bring together everyone from large-scale industry to SMEs, from universities to associations, with the innovators successfully and quickly. So that consumers finally get more sustainable products on their tables," says Dr Georg Schirrmacher, Director Region West of EIT Food.

"In a time of disruptive change that is having a lasting impact on the global market, together with the exhibiting companies and leading institutions as well as experts, we offer the opportunity for an intensive exchange of ideas and solutions at Anuga. Our aim is to provide a holistic and international overview of approaches for a sustainable food system", says Jan Philipp Hartmann, Director of Anuga.

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