Start-ups: new, innovative activity
In the past year, two round table meetings were organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and the Top Sectors Agri & Food, Horticulture & Starting Materials and High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) together with stakeholders of businesses, knowledge institutions, financiers, governments and StartupDelta. It was agreed that extra attention for encouraging innovative start-ups is necessary, in order to strengthen innovation in the Top Sectors Agri & Food and Horticulture & Starting Materials. Furthermore, to specifically make better use of opportunities in the overlapping areas with the Top Sector HTSM and ICT. Besides this, Top Team Agri & Food has the intention of adding encouraging start-ups as a separate working area. In order to form a closer bond, alignment and joining of forces, discussions with several organisations and initiatives, such as StartLife, FA-Next, FoodNexus and StartupDelta are being held.
European FoodNexus Startup Challenge
One of the activities that was initiated with the support of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate was the “European Agri & Food Startup of the Year Challenge”, which was organised for the first time in 2017. The Netherlands hosted the European final. Europe’s best agrifood startups, which won the prior national preliminary rounds, competed against one another in the challenge to an audience of investors and renowned agri & food companies. The international competition is considered an innovation booster and is meant to rapidly introduce new opportunities for sustainable and efficient food production onto the market.
The event is organised under the flag of FoodNexus, an international consortium of innovative agricultural & food entrepreneurs, multinationals and knowledge institutions. The Netherlands positions itself as an international greentech and startup country by offering a starting investment of € 200,000 and by organising the first European Agri&Food Startup of the Year Challenge in cooperation with FoodNexus. The event is hosted by a different country each year and will come back to The Netherlands in a few years’ time.