Great impressions at the EIT Food’s Annual Event

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The EIT Food’s Annual Event took place in Brussels last October 17th & 18th. An event that brought together community of EIT Food partners and external agri-food stakeholders, all united in the willingness to accelerate the revolution in food to create healthy food systems that sustain our society and our planet.

The 4th edition of the Annual Event was opened by Andy Zynga (CEO of EIT Food) who highlighted the importance of effective collaboration to ensure no one is left behind in our food system. During all the event, there was a special attention to the 3 missions that EIT Food is currently facing:

  • A Net Zero Food system
  • Healthier lives through food
  • Transparent, fair, and resilient food systems

Each mission had breakout sessions with panelists from the agrifood industry. Panelists discussed opportunities for growth, gaining consumer trust, improving personal health and how we can achieve the missions.

At Bioazul, we are involved with the first of these, we firmly believe that the transition to a sustainable agrifood system is the key to achieving the long-term sustainability of agriculture and the food chain. And this is the message that our colleague Ángela Magno had the honor of sharing as a panelist in the Net Zero Food System session. She remarked the use of reclaimed water as a key challenge to achieve this sustainable system, as the use of reclaimed water gives circularity not only to the water resource but also to the embedded nutrients in the urban wastewater, contributing to the preservation of natural resources and natural capital.

We want to point out how for the first time it was discussed important issue of diversity and inclusion in the agrifood sector. The session was organized by Aleksandra Niżyńska who invited us to share our work on gender equality. And we want to share the summary that she herself made of this interesting session:

Women empowerment and leadership will be reinforced on the EIT – European Institute of Innovation and Technology agenda, as it was mentioned in the New European Innovation Agenda. Gender Equality Plans and gender mainstreaming within the organization will not be viable without monitoring mechanisms put in place (stated by Angela Magno from Bioazul ) nor accountability processes (real-life example from the University of Warsaw – thanks to Karolina Łudzińska and Anna Grędzińska). Promoting gender equality does not limit to internal workplace policies, but can go beyond e.g. to outreach programmes as is Corteva Agriscience doing in different parts of the world by engaging women farmers, including those who are bravely still operating in Ukraine! Powerful message by Anna Babich. To be able to really put gender mainstreaming into action, the principles of gender equality need to be understood by the teams – this requires excellent communication skills by HR person or the D&I person as well as openness on the employees side (Anu Seisto and Peppi Härme from VTT). Last, but not least, the importance of certification and measurement was highlighted by Tinna Brá Sigurðardóttir the case of Equal Pay Certification in Matís Iceland. Excellent example of how important it is to have standardized measures.

Furthermore, the winners from the Prize-based Challenge ‘Personalised Nutrition for All’ were announced. This is a Call to Action to find innovative solutions to reduce obesity and malnutrition in Europe. The six winning initiatives were presented with an award prize of 30.000 euros to support the development of the proposed solution.Congratulations to EKTAH, Nutrinomics & Ligue Cardio, L3M Technologies Ltd t/a Salus Optima, Aigecko Technologies SL, Roche Diagnostics and Verdify.

ABOUT EIT FOOD

EIT Food is the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community. They accelerate innovation to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all.

Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, they invest in projects, organisations and individuals that share our goals for a healthy and sustainable food system. They unlock innovation potential in businesses and universities, and create and scale agrifood startups to bring new technologies and products to market. They equip entrepreneurs and professionals with the skills needed to transform the food system and put consumers at the heart of our work, helping build trust by reconnecting them to the origins of their food.

They are one of nine innovation communities established by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.

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