EIT Food picks Finnish, Swedish teams for Helsinki programme

By Tarmo Virki | agritech food | June 26, 2021

Ten startups, most from Finland and Sweden, were picked for a four-month acceleration programme at the FAN Nordic Hub led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Helsinki-based FAN Nordic Hub is one of six accelerators in the European EIT Food Accelerator Network (FAN) created by VTT with its partner the University of Helsinki to promote a sustainable food system.

The FAN Nordic Hub received more than 80 applications from 20 countries and picked the following ten teams:

  • Grönovation (Sustainable agriculture): High-tech automated indoor growing facility where plants will be grown with precision, without any pesticides and with a guaranteed yield of highly nutritious greens.
  • Hooked Foods (Alternative proteins):  Leading the transition to a healthier seafood ecosystem by delivering delicious and nutritious plant-based seafood (Toonish & Salmoonish) to restaurants and grocery stores
  • Kamupak (Digital traceability): General platform for third parties that enables the reuse of packages and products through a deposit scheme. Currently providing packages as a service to restaurants, events and grocery stores.
  • NORBITE (Alternative proteins): We transform plastic waste into sustainable goods by means of an insect-based biorefinery.  Developed a patented technology to enable insects to perform at an industrial scale, received an LOI.
  • Planticus (Sustainable agriculture): Artificial Intelligence solution to detect pests and diseases on food crops incorporated in a mobile application.
  • Revo Foods (Alternative proteins): We develop plant-based seafoods with 3D Food Printing.
  • Tracegrow (Sustainable agriculture): We provide micronutrient fertilizers from suitable trace nutrients recycled from nutrient-rich industrial waste streams and aim to develop a recovery process for their recycling and reuse.
  • Volare (Circular food systems): Our technology solves the challenge of large-scale protein and lipid ingredient production from food industry side streams. The protein ingredient has unique features, including extremely high digestibility, high protein content, and balanced amino acids.
  • Whywaste (Circular food systems): Reduce food waste at your store through data driven solutions
  • Yield Systems (Sustainable agriculture): AI company with a strong science background. We develop advanced machine learning and video analytics for digital phenotyping and for the agri-food value chain.

Four teams are from Finland and four from Sweden, one from Austria and one from Belgium.

The University of Helsinki is the main partner in the programme, together with the local partners Valio, HKScan, Pauling-PINC, Tetra Pack, Nordic Foodtech VC and Business Tampere. Altogether, the whole EIT FAN network has more than 40 partners including Nestlé and PepsiCo.

“When talking about food products, ‘only those who are eaten will survive’. It is great to be a part of such a rapid change that is going on in this sector right now. If last year was dominated by novel protein producers, this year I’m happy to notice the importance of artificial intelligence in the competencies of the teams.”.

Osmo Mattila, Researcher and Project Coordinator at the University of Helsinki

In addition to Helsinki, the network has accelerators in Munich, Haifa, Lausanne, Cambridge and Bilbao, each of which offers an acceleration programme for ten teams.