WAITRO Innovation Award2021-10-25T09:51:16+00:00

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WAITRO Innovation Award 2021

Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

The WAITRO Innovation Award aims to inspire new ideas and foster new teams amongst full and associate WAITRO members. It is an integral part of the WAITRO Innovation Ecosystem that sources, supports and scales innovative solutions developed jointly by WAITRO member organizations to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s WAITRO Innovation Award focuses on food security and sustainable agriculture (SDG 2-Zero Hunger). WAITRO will support innovative project ideas related to new sources of marine and terrestrial non-conventional food, such as micro- and macro-algae, insects or new forms of agriculture (e.g. hydroponics) that are less susceptible to climate change impacts.

Application opens: 7th of June, 2021

Application deadline: 30th of September, 2021 (via EMAIL to the WAITRO Secretary General)

Pitch Event & Awarding: December 2021

Value & Benefits


  • 25,000 USD seed funding for winning project teams.

  • Professional pitch training and workshops to improve project proposals.

  • Participation in a WAITRO Pitch Event to raise further funding.

  • Networking opportunities with WAITRO partners for all applicants, leading to possible collaboration or investment.

  • Outreach via WAITRO website and social media channels.

  • Presentation at the WAITRO Global Innovation Summit scheduled for 2022.


  • Project teams that consist of at least two WAITRO member organizations from different countries.

  • Project teams that jointly develop innovative proposals for projects that contribute to food security and sustainable agriculture.

  • Project teams that use SAIRA to start an international cooperation between WAITRO member organizations that otherwise would not have happened.

How it works

Program Details

Winner Responsibilities2021-09-06T11:04:50+00:00

The WAITRO Innovation Award winner is expected to manage the project team and report accomplishments made using the Award to the WAITRO Secretariat at the end of the year. It is hoped that the winner will be invited to present at the next WAITRO Global Innovation Summit, with travel supported by WAITRO.

Who will review my application?2021-09-06T11:00:03+00:00

Applications will be reviewed by the WAITRO Secretariat and an international evaluation committee. International experts selected by the WAITRO Secretariat will give advice on the technical aspects of the focus area.

What happens during the Pitch Event?2021-06-07T11:14:29+00:00

One member of your team will pitch the project live to an audience of investors, business advisors, Venture Capitalists, media, peers, students, and any others that you care to invite. The presentation will be given in English.

What happens after the Pitch Event?2021-06-07T11:17:23+00:00

After the Pitch Event, the Secretariat will determine the winners in consultation with the evaluation committee. WAITRO will assist selected project teams in finding financial support, additional support or guidance if needed. Winners shall present their progress at the WAITRO Global Innovation Summit scheduled for 2022.

What do project teams look like?2021-06-07T13:44:08+00:00

Team members may be full and/or associate WAITRO members, but only full members can receive funding.

What are the evaluation criteria?2021-09-06T11:02:41+00:00
  • short-and long-term economic, environmental and social impacts


  • technical, economic, operational, scheduling and legal feasibility

Level of innovation and technical quality 

  • innovative solution
  • creativity of project idea
  • (unique) value proposition
Team Strength
  • team strength, experience and commitment
  • ability to invest the time required to achieve success
International Collaboration 
  • balanced input of team members contributing to the development of the innovation
  • opportunity to start a new international collaboration

Project teams selected as finalists for the training and workshops need to score at least 40% in each category.

What about intellectual property?2021-06-07T11:20:18+00:00

Applicants declare that the ideas presented are their own, are original, and do not contain material from protected works or violate the copyright or intellectual property of third parties. No transfer of intellectual property is implied by the WAITRO Innovation Award. It is the responsibility of each team to agree terms for sharing any intellectual property that may arise from work funded under the WAITRO Innovation Award. Applicants agree to indemnify and hold harmless the WAITRO Secretariat, Fraunhofer and JITRI from and against all damages, costs, losses, expenses and claims of any kind in respect of and arising out of any claim of intellectual property infringement that may arise.

My organization is not a WAITRO member. Can I apply for the WAITRO Innovation Award?2021-09-06T10:35:46+00:00

No, only employees of WAITRO member organizations can apply for the WAITRO Innovation Award. Learn more about WAITRO membership and how to join the Global Innovation Family here. Immediately after joining WAITRO, your organization can apply.

I want to apply! What are the main things I should think about?2021-09-06T10:56:47+00:00

Make sure that your project team consists of at least two WAITRO member organizations and that you have matched on SAIRA (www.saira.eco).

The application deadline is: 30th of September, 2021

Submissions will be assessed according to criteria, including:

  • Alignment with the goals of the WAITRO Innovation Award and the impact of the project on the SDG 2
  • Likelihood that the project can be feasibly advanced within the time and budget of the Award and further financed in the long-term
  • The level of innovation and the technical quality that the proposed solution brings
  • Team strength and commitment
  • Appropriate division of responsibilities among team members
  • A real international collaboration

For further information, see EVALUATION (3).

I have an idea, but haven’t found a partner yet!2021-09-06T10:50:01+00:00