Sustainable Food Systems Forum and Challenge

22/23/24 September. This event focuses on leveraging sustainability in food systems, and advancing the businesses and innovations that will help reduce CO2 emissions and sustainably feed the forecasted 10 billion population by 2050. On the September 22nd and 23rd we have 5 modules that make up our Sustainable Food Systems Forum. The aim is to dig deeper into how startups can leverage sustainability in food systems and advance their business. We have talks from the founders of Climeworks and LiveKindly; Panel discussion between GEA, Bühler, Nestlé; The Founder of sustainable change focused VC Blue Horizons & some live pitching. On September 24th we have the Sustainable Food Systems Challenge. Here 6 top startups, selected from over 470 applications by our partners, will pitch their idea, which when scaled by one of our partners could reduce emissions and help feed the planet. You get to vote and decide which is best.

Schedule & registration here

Open Innovation Symposium

15/16 September. This event is designed for MassChallenge partners. It will bring “startup – corporation” collaboration to life in 5 workshops/lectures and we have chosen some interesting subjects and compelling speakers that will help C-1, Middle and Junior managers get into the topic. In the last module we aim to leverage the knowledge of all of us to create some best practice that partners can take home with them.
Schedule & registration here

The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley is pleased to invite you to a joint virtual event on the Future of Food Technology and Innovation co-organised by the Embassy of Switzerland in Singapore together with SGInnovate

The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley is pleased to invite you to a joint virtual event on the Future of Food Technology and Innovation co-organised by the Embassy of Switzerland in Singapore together with SGInnovate (a major platform based in Singapore, connecting Deep Tech startups with top talents across the ecosystem to share ideas of innovation).

The event will take place on Wednesday the 2nd of September at 10am-11am (Swiss Time) / 4pm – 5pm (UTC+8), for one hour of presentations, panel discussion and Q&A, with our distinguished speakers:

Roberto Reniero, Managing Director, Nestlé R&D Centre in Singapore 
Alex Ward, Head of Innovation APAC, Givaudan
Seck Yee Kwang, Director of Food and Consumer Cluster, A*STAR, Singapore

The event details are published here and is open for registration. Please feel free to forward this message to your network.


ScanTrust and SAP to enhance food traceability

ScanTrust, a connected goods platform for companies that depend on selling physical products in a connected world, has developed an integration to the material traceability option for SAP Logistics Business Network. The solution gives food and beverage brand consumers the ability to track the end-to-end provenance of their food.



Over the last ten years, large, global food producers have been steadily losing market share to smaller, local brands mainly due to the loss of trust in the food industry. Addressing these challenges, ScanTrust, the developer of patented QR-codes and the global software solutions provider SAP have partnered to develop end-to-end, farm-to-consumer material traceability solutions for the SAP Logistics Business Network.

The solution enables brands to collect and trace batch-level information on raw materials, ingredients and finished products. Among other benefits, brands can use this to identify which products are affected by product recalls instantly. 

Thanks to the integration with the Scantrust connected goods platform, this data can now also be linked to a unique ScanTrust QR code, which is printed on product packaging and made available directly to end consumers. Scanning codes with a smartphone enables brands to deliver compelling stories around the provenance of their products, gain valuable data and insights on consumer behaviour based on QR codes and create a direct communication channel with consumers.
With the integration and the combined solution offering, ScanTrust and SAP together accelerate digitization in the food chain. It is expected that as more projects come online, the benefit of being able to connect directly to consumers will pay for itself, both as a win for brands and for consumers.

“Right from the start, we saw a great fit and complementarity between the material traceability option for SAP Logistics Business Network and the ScanTrust connected goods platform”, says Nathan Anderson, CEO of ScanTrust. “This integration is a great milestone that will unlock significant value for both, SAP’s and ScanTrust’s customer base and enable us to deliver real value to the food industry and empower consumers.”

(Press release)

EIC grants to drive Swiss innovation projects forward

Following the new cut-off, seven Swiss startups have confirmed the receipt of grants under the European Innovation Council (EIC) programme. The startups each obtained above two million Euros to facilitate their projects.



The Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator (previously known as SME Instrument) supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally. The programme focuses on market-creating innovations that shape new markets and generate jobs, growth and higher standards of living. From 5 June 2019, the EIC Accelerator offers blended finance in the form of an optional investment in equity in addition to the grant. Successful companies have also access to a range of business coaching and acceleration services.

For the March 2020 cut-off, the European Commission received approximately 4,000 applications for EIC Accelerator Pilot programme out of which 70 were selected for funding. The following Swiss startups have already concluded the contract.

Resistell AG – received a €2.5M grant to advance the development of its world’s fastest phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) which is based on measurement of vibrations of living bacteria using nanomechanical sensors. The cutting-edge technology reduces the AST time-to-result from several hours or days to less than two hours, and patients can be treated with the optimal dosage from day one.

EH Group Engineering – obtained €1.48m to boost the development of its innovative fuel cell technology and bring it to mass commercialisation. Addressing the cost factor associated with commercialising fuel cell technology, EH Group aims to influence the market by achieving significant cost reductions and hence more rapid industrialisation of hydrogen-based technology. The product is applicable in commercial buildings, data centres among others.

LIGENTEC – is developing NEBULA, a new R&D project aiming to provide the foundations for a common future-proof transceiver technology platform with ultra-high bandwidth capabilities offered by a CMOS compatible toolkit. The project is tailored towards meeting performance, cost and energy metrics in both inter-DCI coherent and intra-DCI ASIC co-packaged optics.

Swissdecode – was awarded 2.5 million Euro grant for the development of an automated, on-site food testing device that will allow food companies to quickly detect and react faster to irregularities such as food adulteration or contamination.

Postrigo – is developing ultra-compact Positron Emission Tomography (PET) systems for the brain for early detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The system will be accessible to a broad population. The company received a grant of EUR 2.2 million.

From the past cut-off in 2019, two more startups have also confirmed the receipt of EU Horizon2020 funds.

CREAL3D – is developing a patented light-field technology that generates truly 3D hologram-like images, thereby solving the eyestrain and pain problems of current headsets. Likewise, technology increases the immersion of users and allowing conflictless mixing of virtual and real worlds. The startup obtained €2.3 for the project.

MINESPIDER GMBH – Founded in 2018, Minespider is an open blockchain protocol and DApp for creating digital certificates to track minerals along global supply chains. The company received €2.3 million from the program.


EMBION’s product launch paves the way to antibiotic-free farming

EMBION Technologies, the provider of plant-based bioactives for the nutrition of the future, has launched its first product PREMBION on the market. The patented solution has complex prebiotic properties for animal nutrition that were created with EMBION’s novel platform technology. Market introduction tests are currently underway with leading global corporations in the food, feed and drinks sectors.



Founded as an EPFL spinoff, EMBION Technologies accelerates nutrition innovation toward increased functionality and greater affordability. The startup provides access to a proprietary platform technology aimed at revolutionizing biomass upcycling and reduce waste via biocatalytic processing. While the global bioactive ingredients market is confronted with long development phases and inconsistent results, which entail hidden operational costs, Embion’s technology platform reduces the time from discovery to commercial production by up to 80%.

The technology platform has been first applied in the development of novel bioactives for human and animal health and nutrition, resulting in the patented solution, PREMBION manufactured from brewers’ spent grains. PREMBION is a soluble bioactive compound with a unique composition of natural health benefits. The launch of the solution paves the way to antibiotic-free farming.

“Unique fingerprint products, such as our first patented product PREMBION, are the future of the high potential prebiotic ingredients market for microbiome modulation, providing solutions for the growing demand in antibiotic-free farming against antimicrobial resistance. EMBION’s rapid prototyping platform technology catalyzes innovation that is essential for building this market,” says Georgios Savoglidis, co-founder and CEO of EMBION.

Savoglidis and his team conducted laboratory tests on 20 feedstocks, which have generated 80 new complex bioactives that are ready for immediate commercialization.

“This was a long shot, but the technology is thoroughly built from the ground up to overcome bottlenecks and has the potential to be transformative, starting with nutrition,” summarizes Professor Paul J. Dyson, advisory board member of EMBION Technologies. and Professor of Chemistry at EPFL. Dyson supervised the technology invention from its origin as a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF-NPR66).

(Press release/RAN)

10 Millionen für frisches Babyfood

Yamo hat eine Finanzierungsrunde über 10,1 Millionen Euro abgeschlossen. Das Unternehmen entwickelt und produziert frische und natürliche Lebensmittel für Babys und Kleinkinder. Mit den frischen Mitteln wird yamo neue Produktinnovationen auf den Markt bringen, Listungen mit europäischen Retailern umsetzen sowie das Direktkundengeschäft ausbauen.



Schon heute werden yamos Produkte von Coop in der ganzen Schweiz geführt. In Deutschland wird yamos Konzept in ausgewählten Edeka- und Rewe-Filialen getestet. Hinzu kommt der Direktvertrieb über den Online-Shop. Die Finanzierungsrunde soll dem Wachstum nun noch weiteren Schub geben. Investiert haben Five Season Ventures mit Sitz in Frankreich, der Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund, Ringier Digital Ventures, Müller Ventures, btov Partners, Polytech Ventures, BackBone Ventures, investiere und Fundament. Die Gesamtfinanzierung von yamo steigt damit auf 12 Millionen Euro. 

Niccolo Manzoni, Managing Partner bei Five Seasons Ventures, kommentiert: “Wir haben den Babynahrungssektor für zwei Jahre sehr genau analysiert und sind uns sicher, dass yamo die richtige Positionierung, das passende Angebot und die ideale Marke hat, um in dieser Kategorie führend zu sein. Bei Five Seasons investieren wir in zukünftige Marktführer, und wir freuen uns, Tobias, Luca, Jose und den Rest des yamo-Teams zu unterstützen.”

Traditionell wird Baby- und Kleinkindernahrung, die in Supermärkten erhältlich ist, mit hoher Hitze sterilisiert, was für eine lange Haltbarkeit sorgt, aber auch viele hitzeempfindliche Vitamine wie Vitamin C zerstört und natürliche Farben und den Geschmack verändert. yamo verwendet die Hochdruckpasteurisierung (HPP), die Bakterien innerhalb von Minuten abtötet und natürliche Nährstoffe, hitzelabile Vitamine und den Geschmack bewahrt. yamos Produkte halten im Kühlschrank zwischen acht und zwölf Wochen.

Yamo revolutioniert nicht nur das Angebot an Produkten, die Eltern für ihre Kinder kaufen können, sondern auch die Art und Weise, wie Kindernahrung verkauft wird. Da es sich um frische Produkte handelt, haben yamo und der Schweizer Retailer Coop in einem Pilotprojekt, Kühlschränke in die Trockenregale der Babynahrung platziert. Aufgrund des Erfolgs der Testphase, installierte Coop in 30 seiner Geschäften Kühlschränke im Babynahrungsregal und ermöglichten es, yamo auch über Coop online zu verkaufen.

Olivier Schwegler, Purchasing Product Manager Baby Coop: “Bereits früh haben wir bei Coop erkannt, dass frische Babynahrung von yamo eine neue Ära im Bereich Babynahrung einläuten kann. Gemeinsam mit yamo übernehmen wir damit die Pionierrolle in der Babynahrung. Wir sind sehr zufrieden mit der Zusammenarbeit, welche wir in Zukunft weiter ausbauen wollen.”

Die Produkte können in Supermärkten gekauft werden, sind aber auch in einem Abo direkt online bei yamo erhältlich. Eltern füllen ein kurzes Quiz aus und yamo erstellt basierend auf den Bedürfnissen der Eltern und den Angaben zum Kind die Produktempfehlung für den Menüplan der Kinder.

Yamos neuste Produktinnovation ist Europas erste Joghurt-Alternative aus Hafermilch für Kinder. Die Produkte mit kreativen Namen wie Mariah Cherry oder Chocodile Dundee eignen sich für Babys und ältere Kinder gleichermassen und sind mit natürlichen Eisen- und Vitaminquellen angereichert. Grund für yamos Vorpreschen in den pflanzenbasierten Nahrungsmarkt ist ein klarer Konsumenten-Trend hin zu nachhaltigen Nahrungsmittel-Alternativen auf Pflanzenbasis.

Nach dem Erfolg des eigenen Online-Shops und den Retail-Listungen in der DACH-Region wird das frische Geld dazu genutzt, neue Produkt-Innovationen auf den Markt zu bringen sowie nach Frankreich zu expandieren.

Application to Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Challenge

About the Challenge

In the midst of the COVID-19 challenge we all face major uncertainty. We anticipate a deep recession and we anticipate that 1bn people will fall back into a position of nutrition insecurity at a time when the already-stretched global food supply will come under increasing pressure. We must focus on the need to make affordable and nutritious food available, but at the same time we cannot ignore the burning platform that is the need for action to mitigate climate change.

These two challenges can move forward hand-in-hand. The ability to extract value from food supply chains in an energy efficient manner can support the economics for consumers, manufacturers and their supply base (including farmers) whilst reducing the CO2 footprint of the entire food value chain. Startups can play a unique role in bringing new disruptive ideas to the table. Corporations can play a critical role in scaling these ideas bringing benefits to society quickly.

A group of leading global food manufacturers and producers- Nestlé, Bühler, GEA, Givaudan, Barry Callebaut, Südzucker, Amcor – have partnered with MassChallenge to find and collaborate with startups or organisations, who have proven solutions or technologies, in the following areas:

  1. Food processing solutions (technology, software, control) that minimizes waste and the use of energy, water and chemicals.
  2. Technology solutions to reduce the CO2 footprint of food production, distribution & disposal.
  3. Value creation/upcycling of food processing side streams
  4. Sustainable (plastic-free) bottling and food packaging

The Sustainable Food Systems Challenge is a project to find 6 startups or organisations, and match them to MassChallenge’s corporate partners, so that the startup & partner can collaborate to scale the startup’s idea, and contribute to feed the planet sustainably.

More info here:

Press review: La Liberté February 28th 2020

The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley actively supports the creation of a National Centre of Competence Research (NCCR) in the field of food. Sustainable and high-quality food.

A research project has been launched by more than 70 specialists supported by a parliamentary interpellation I submitted last year (19.4306). A Task Force will be set up early April.

Switzerland will thereby confirm its leadership in Future fo Food. The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley is working on it.

A lire dans la Liberté du 28 février: