EIT Food Challenge Lab
Impact Hub Siracusa hosts the only Italian stage of the European Union’s EIT Food Challenge Lab
An event dedicated to innovation and to supporting Sicilian farmers.
From 15 to 17 November 2019 Impact Hub Siracusa, hosts and promotes the only Italian stage of the Challenge Lab EIT Food, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and an independent body created by the European Union to strengthen the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of the ‘Europe. Speakers include the lecturer Jean-Louis Rastoin, professor emeritus and expert in territorialized circular bioeconomy, Paolo Costa, farmer, member of the Le galline Felici consortium, co-producer of avocados, and Michele Russo of the Caudarella farm, agronomist and permaculture.
The challenge that involved the participants, linked in various ways to agriculture and food, was aimed at solving two problems of our time: how can we help Sicilian farmers to increase soil health and protect them from decreasing yields, from the climate change, water scarcity and growing regulation of chemical fertilizers? And how can we help Sicilian farmers increase their incomes by strengthening relations between different producers and between producers and consumers?
Those who participated in the challenge by registering for free in the event in the previous weeks, are companies, consortia, research institutes, professionals, farmers, founders of innovative startups, academics, trainers, investors, but also conscious consumers. Together, they formed five working groups with five different ideas to structure as a response to the problems posed by the challenge.
The team of professionals and facilitators of Impact Hub Siracusa, guided the work groups following a model that combines the approach aimed at creating companies, together with the vision of high impact projects, with a look towards the analysis of customers, partners and external factors. The result was a 48 h in which the ideas of the participants became projects with real and measurable solutions. A choral work in which starting from the problem and passing through the solutions we have arrived at the planning of actions.
The jury, composed of Rosario Sapienza, founding president of Impact Hub Siracusa, Iuri Peri professor of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Catania, Antonio Perdichizzi CEO of Tree, Giovanni Cafeo deputy of the ARS and Joseph Gridley manager of Eit Food, awarded the “A Fera Bio” and “Sinapis” projects. Respectively, a peasant fair in the city to connect farmers, producers and artisans with their consumer network, and a project that sees biodiversity as a key to sustainable consumption, through the use of ancient wild plants to promote soil health.
The winners were awarded the prizes offered by EIT Food and ENISIE, a cross-border cooperation project funded under the Interreg V-A Italy-Malta program of which Impact Hub is a partner; it is a “business clinic” by Impact Hub Siracusa, a matching with cross-border realities of interest in the Mediterranean, six months of coworking and six months of Impact Hub membership, six months of Hub Passport to spend at the Impact Hub in the world. EIT Food will offer business support programs and services (training, mentoring, networking) including possible financial support.
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