DRG4FOOD looks for data-driven food system companies

The EU-funded Horizon project DRG4FOOD, an accelerator for advancing sustainable solutions in the food industry, is looking to support at least three pilot projects of up to €300,000 each.

The second open call from the company has a pool of €950,000 to develop and implement consumer-facing digital solutions for a digitally responsible data-driven food system.

Proposals can be submitted in three focus areas: food tracking, targeted nutrition, and consumer food choices. The call closes on June 21 at 5pm CEST.

The DRG4FOOD accelerator program is designed for researchers, startups, and SMEs in the agri-food tech sector. The program is structured in development cycles covering five key areas: data rights and digital responsibility for the food sector, product development and service design, business development & partner cooperation, fundraising, soft skills and events.

Kai Hermsen, DRG4FOOD coordinator said: “Our Open Call 1 already showed the ingenuity and creativity of European innovators to improve our food system – now we are excited and grateful to scan more ideas on using digital technologies responsibly to meet consumer demands.”

The first call for technology enablers closed in December, with 85 applications submitted. Four pilot projects were selected: ATTESTED, NutriWell, SafeNutriKids and NutriSight.

Who can apply?

The call for applications is open to small consortia comprising a research group, an SME/startup, and can also include technology adopters/users. These consortia should consist of at least two partners from two different countries and can have up to three legal entities. One of the participants must be from the EU and Horizon Europe associated countries.

With a focus on building a ‘trustworthy by default’ food system and making a positive impact, the DRG4Food expert team is committed to working with each consortium individually to create world-class solutions and attract venture investment. The fusion of technology and nutrition promises to empower consumers, enhance transparency, and create a healthier, more sustainable food future.

What’s on offer?

  •     A pilot project budget of up to €300,000 without taking any equity or charges in return.
  •     Personalized coaching and mentorship from experienced teams at every stage of the pilot, from planning to development and market access
  •     An open-source suite of technological tools to enable the piloting of ‘trustworthy by default’ digital solutions for the food system
  •     Peer connections in the industry, along with access to research connections, and links to potential investors


The DRG4FOOD project, started in December 2022, intends to build trust in a data-driven food system, and change how we collect, analyse, and use data to develop more trustworthy, sustainable and efficient food systems. The programme works on a clear strategic roadmap (a new virtual food system), a set of technological enablers, demonstration of solutions, a structured funding programme with open calls, and measures to guide and support the food ecosystem of third-party beneficiaries, citizens and stakeholders.

This fund allocation is one part of DRG4FOOD’s comprehensive commitment, totalling €1.9 million across two open calls. One of the project’s central objectives is to equip food system innovators with the essential tools and resources to develop innovative solutions that promote trust, transparency, and responsibility in the food industry. These tools and resources include access to a toolbox of baseline technologies and the Digital Responsibility Goals (DRGs) playbook, designed to support innovators in creating responsible and innovative food system solutions.

Jim Cornall is editor of Future Food Today and publisher at Ayr Coastal Media. He is an award-winning writer, editor, photographer, broadcaster, designer and author. Contact Jim here.