Tag Archives: Catalyze

Join The EU Farm To Fork Strategy Consortium

The EU has laid out the ambition to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, also referred to as the ‘European Green Deal’. A healthier and more sustainable EU food system is the cornerstone of this deal. Soon the EU will call for projects that will test, pilot and demonstrate innovative systemic solutions in the agrifood industry. Reach out to Catalyze if you want to apply for the ‘Farm to Fork Strategy  Call’ call and utilize part of the €72M budget that is made available.

Farm to Fork strategy: global standard for sustainability

In the Farm to Fork Strategy, the European Commission has outlined its ambition to transform European food systems into the global standard for sustainability. The formal strategy statement is as follows: ‘addressing the challenges and accelerating the transition to sustainable food systems, to ensure that the economic, social and environmental foundations of food and nutrition security are not compromised for current and future generations.’ To successfully achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and implement a sustainable food system, the EU has made available a total budget of €72 M to be invested in research proposals that address the following  six specific themes.

Six Themes

The European Commission will finance projects that will test, pilot and demonstrate innovative systemic solutions (TRL 5-7) in one of the following six food systems’ challenges:

  1. Achieving climate-neutral farms by reducing GHG emissions and by increasing farm-based carbon sequestration, and storage;
  2. Achieving climate-neutral food businesses by mitigating climate change, reducing energy use and increasing energy efficiency in processing, distribution, conservation, and preparation of food;
  3. Reducing the dependence on hazardous pesticides; reducing the use and increasing the efficiency of fertilizers; reducing the losses of nutrients from fertilizers, towards zero pollution of water, soil, and air;
  4. Reducing the dependence on the use of antimicrobials in animal production and aquaculture;
  5. Reducing food losses and waste at every stage of the food chain including consumption, while also avoiding unsustainable packaging;
  6. Shifting to sustainable healthy diets, sourced from land, inland water and sea, and accessible to all EU citizens, including the most deprived and vulnerable groups.

EU Farm to Fork Consortium: who and when?

Now, who can join? Project proposals can be submitted by consortia consisting of about 20-30 independent SMEs (including startups of course), large companies, and research institutes from minimal 3 different EU Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries.

At StartLife we strongly believe cooperation and partnerships are key to realize disruptive innovation. So it is of no surprise that we urge all interested parties to join the upcoming call for research and innovation projects that are aligned with at least one specific theme of  the Farm to Fork Strategy Call. The call is expected to open in September, and the expected deadline for submission is January 2021. No time to waste!

Support by Catalyze

You probably know that building a consortium and preparing a proposal can be a daunting task. Fortunately our partner Catalyze has a wide experience in building  large consortiums and a strong record of raising non-dilutive funding through grant writing. Over the last years, Catalyze has acquired over € 650 million in funding for its clients.  We suggest you reach out to Suzana Garcia (Suzana.garcia@catalyze-group.com) or Fosca Poltronieri (fosca.poltronieri@catalyze-group.com) for more information. Phone: +31 (6) 2433 6444.


p.s. You can also follow StartLife on LinkedinTwitter or stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scaleups and more via the StartLife newsletter.

Catalyze and StartLife Partner Up to Maximize Funding for Agrifood Startups

Neeltje Ramnaths of Catalyze and Jan Meiling of StartLife shake hands after signing strategic partnership

What if funding wasn’t a barrier to innovation? With this question in mind funding consultancy firm Catalyze and agrifood accelerator StartLife today announced they have entered into a strategic partnership. The partnership aims to help innovative agrifood startups establishing an optimal long-term non-dilutive funding strategy. By joining forces they expect to better enable game changing startups to realize their full potential.

Many potentially game changing innovations don’t reach their full potential as a result of lacking funds. Program director Loet Rammelsberg said: “It’s such a shame seeing high potential startups fail because they are short of funding. In Europe it is particularly difficult to attract early stage venture capital for startups with a high-risk profile. As a result, they are mostly reliant on non-dilutive funding. We truly believe that together with Catalyze we are better equipped helping agri-food startups succeed and also help prevent founders having sleepless nights over funding issues.”

The right mix

Neeltje Ramnath, manager Agri, Food and Bio-economy of Catalyze, feels the same way. “It is exciting to know that there are billions of Euro’s available for innovative companies. We fully understand the challenge in finding the right grants and being successful in applying.” Next to successfully winning subsidies and taking away the associated administrative burdens Catalyze helps companies secure their financing needs by establishing an optimal mix of financial instruments. This includes bank loans and venture capital but also fiscal arrangements.

Neeltje provides an interesting example of how founders of an early stage company can shoot themselves in the foot by paying themselves little or no wages. “Although we fully understand the rationale behind this, a subsidy can actually enable raising the founders’ wages with little impact on the startup’s finances.”

Moving mountains

StartLife is the first startup accelerator that Catalyze officially partners up with. Neeltje explains: “We found out that several startups that we already supported, were part of StartLife. They all spoke very enthusiastic about the StartLife Accelerate program, which lead us to get into contact with them.”

Loet quickly came to appreciate the in depth knowledge of the agrifood business of Catalyze as well as their entrepreneurial spirit. “They share our common purpose and drive to help startups succeed. Once committed they really go for it. I am convinced we can move mountains together and look forward doing so.”