Barilla and Plug and Play search for ideas and talents for the future of food: applications are open for Good Food Makers 2024


Applications are now open for Good Food Makers, Barilla’s global open innovation programme for food start-ups launched in 2019 with the aim of stimulating the development of new sustainable food solutions.

Now in its sixth year, the initiative is supported by Plug and Play, the world’s largest open innovation platform, with a network of more than 78,000 start-ups, more than 570 leading global companies and hundreds of venture capital firms, universities and government agencies.

This year’s call is aimed at identifying four start-ups whose ideas want to improve at least one of four areas of the agri-food sector:

– AI for consumer insights, whose aim is to evaluate digital solutions to quickly and efficiently collect and analyze consumer insights.

– Tasty and Healthy, looking for innovative ingredients to further improve the nutritional profile of products while maintaining the sensory profile and consumer acceptance.

– Energy Shift, whose aim is to identify new technologies for even more efficient and sustainable energy production.

– Smart Start, which aims to identify digital solutions to optimize and simplify the integration of new professionals in production departments.

For eight weeks, the winners selected on the basis of their uniqueness and value will develop new solutions together with Barilla’s managers and their realization will be supported through the distribution of 10,000 euros with the possibility of creating future collaborations with the company.

Faced with more than 800 applications from over 25 countries, including France, Germany, Netherlands and the United States, Good Food Makers has already promoted to date projects with 22 international companies.

“Good Food Makers proves to be a virtuous and effective path for our teams to face important innovation challenges. With its structured and well-established approach, it makes it possible to intercept new solutions, get in touch with competent and prepared entrepreneurs, work together on a common goal, and achieve concrete results in just a few weeks” says Claudia Berti, Barilla Global Open Innovation Senior Manager.

“In three years, Plug and Play has already connected more than 60 startups with the Barilla ecosystem, which can count on the experience accumulated by our Food&Beverage Program that has accelerated more than 200 startups globally – says Tommaso Maschera, Director Plug and Play Italy – This year, our research will focus mainly on artificial intelligence, an innovative technology that Barilla has also paid attention to, offering the right tools to improve processes involving the food sector, from production to distribution.

To participate in the programme, start-ups must submit their applications by June 30th. For more information, please visit the official website.