15 startups and Spanish centers respond to the technological challenges posed by the Russian group EFKO

The open innovation activity for the FoodTech sector, originally planned to take place in person in April, launches in an online format

Last June 1 saw the launch of the open innovation activity for the Russian food sector giant the EFKO Group, organized by Invest in Spain in collaboration with the Spanish Economic and Commercial Office in Moscow.

This activity was initially due to take place in person in Demoday format in Madrid in April, but the outbreak of Covid-19 meant it has had to be rescheduled in an online version.

The main aim of the activity is to identify Spanish startups with technology solutions capable of helping solve a series of challenges posed by EFKO, in order to materialize the investment from the corporate venture capital fund in some of the participating startups. It also targets Spanish technology centers with collaboration proposals for these same challenges in the foodtech industry. The work areas range from the development of new healthy ingredients, substitutes for high-calorie fats, alternative meats, animal feed supplements, etc.

The inaugural session was aimed at the 12 companies and three technology centers preselected by EFKO from among the over 30 proposals received. Taking part were the CEO of Invest in Spain, María Jesús Fernández, who in her words of welcome noted the excellence of Spain as a destination for the investment by the EFKO Group's corporate fund. Subsequently, Alicia Varela, head of Spain's Economic and Commercial Office in Moscow, highlighted EFKO as one of the leading companies in the agrifood industry in Russia.

CEO Andrei Zuzin spoke on behalf of EFKO Innovations, and explained the different forms of collaboration available and their newly-created corporate investment vehicle for startups. Olga Belokoneva, Startup Head at EFKO, described the science and technology areas in which her group is currently seeking solutions.

This launch session was followed by 15 individual meetings between EFKO and the Spanish companies, held between June 1 and 12.