The EU funded Horizon project DRG4Food, a leading accelerator for advancing sustainable solutions in the food industry, releases its first open call of €950,000, aimed at supporting three pilot projects for up to €300,000 to develop and implement baseline enablers advancing alternative approaches food system data sharing. Researchers, startups, SMEs, and technology adopters in the agri-food tech sector are welcome to submit their pilot projects as part of small consortia.

The DRG4FOOD project, which started in December 2022, aims to establish trust in a data-driven food system, and ease the way we collect, analyse, and utilise data to create more sustainable and efficient food systems. This fund allocation is just one part of DRG4FOOD’s comprehensive commitment, totaling €1.9 million across two Open Calls. The funding pool is designed to empower six projects in their quest to catalyse groundbreaking developments in food system data sharing. This collection of innovations focuses on piloting scientifically and technologically advanced solutions in 3 domains: food tracking, personalised nutrition, and consumer food choices.

Kai Hermsen, DRG4FOOD Coordinator said: “As rapid digital advancements continue to shape the world we live in, market abuses and social injustices pose a significant threat to consumer rights, both in the physical and virtual world. Particularly in sensitive systems like the food chain, data-based approaches are important but not easy to implement due to the shear mass of stakeholders and diversity of interests.”

Who can apply for the Open Call?

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.

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 and can have up to three legal entities. Participants must be from the EU and Horizon Europe associated countries.

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 open call began on October 9th and will close on December 11th at 5 PM CET (Brussels time). Applicants can access all the relevant information on the dedicated DRG4FOOD website.

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.


  • DRG4FOOD website:
  • Digital Responsibility Goals (DRG):
  • Open Call page: drg4food
  • Open Call application (registration required):
  • DRG4FOOD on cordis:


The DRG4FOOD project will enable new levels of innovation for example in food safety, sustainability, personalised nutrition, reduction of food waste and fair conditions throughout the entire food chain. 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.

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.