Startup Europe Awards

Looking for startups with innovative solutions to the challenges of agro-digitisation

  • The HIBA Startup Europe Awards, organised by the Finnova Foundation, in collaboration with Consejería de Agricultura, Pesca, Agua y Desarrollo Rural de la Junta de Andalucía INL, INTEC, Smart Farm Colab and Fundecyt PCTEX, are launched.
  • The deadline for entries will be open from 27 March to 19 May 2023.
  • The winner will benefit from a European acceleration ticket, consisting of a kit of mentoring hours given by specialised technicians.

Innovative startups and SMEs capable of solving current challenges in the area of agrodigitalisation. The Interreg Spain Portugal (POCTEP) HIBA- Hub Iberia Agrotech project launches the Startups Europe Awards (SEUA), an initiative driven by the European Commission, launched by the Finnova Foundation in collaboration with StartUp Europe, to promote the identification of innovative entrepreneurial solutions to SDG and EU challenges. The deadline for entries is from the 27th of March until 23h59 CEST on the 19th of May 2023 and the winners will be announced on the 6th of June 2023 at an event organised in the framework of Green Week.

HIBA Startup Europe Awards are organised by the Finnova Foundation, in collaboration with the Consejería de Agricultura, Pesca, Agua y Desarrollo Rural de la Junta de Andalucía, the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), the European Foundation for Innovation and Technological Development (INTEC), the Associação SFCOLAB – Laboratório Colabortaivo para a Inovação Digital na Agricultura (Smart Farm Colab) and the Fundación Fundecyt Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Extremadura (Fundecyt PCTEX), all of them beneficiaries of the HIBA project. Its main objective is to identify and support entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas that can be implemented for the benefit of society as a whole, generating a public-private partnership that leads to the drafting of projects and thus access to European Union funds.

Four agro-digitisation challenges

On this occasion, HIBA SEUA wants to identify those startups, SMEs and entrepreneurs who offer products, services or methodologies that respond to the following challenges:

  • Training models in digital competences in the agro sector.
  • Digitalisation and entrepreneurship in the rural sector.
  • Inclusive digital solutions and female entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector.
  • Optimisation of collection and logistics methods for agricultural products.

SMEs, corporations, start-ups, scale-ups, spin-offs and anyone interested in entrepreneurship, who belong to or develop their activity in the agricultural sector or related sectors and who can provide innovative solutions to the proposed challenges will be able to participate.

European acceleration ticket

A jury, made up of representatives of the HIBA project, specialists and external agents who can provide their assessment of the proposed themes, will evaluate and assess the proposals submitted on the basis of their viability, the response to the challenges posed, their feasibility, innovation and improvement of existing ones, internationalisation and long-term objectives. 

The successful application will benefit from a European acceleration ticket, consisting of two personalised mentoring sessions for projects adapted to each sector, and training in European legislation and funds. They will also have access to a networking network and investors with whom they will learn best practices in EU relationship management and networking, and will receive advice on the European legal framework and the internationalisation of the project. Finally, they will be offered guidance on European funding and advice on how to turn the winning idea or proposal into a European project that can be implemented in the field of digitisation in agriculture. The mentoring sessions will run until the 30th of June 2023.

The award will be presented on the 6th of June 2023, at an event to be held in the framework of the European Green Week.

To participate in the HIBA Startup Europe Awards, please register here:

About the HIBA project

The Interreg Spain-Portugal Cross-Border Cooperation (POCTEP) HIBA project will promote a Multi-regional ecosystem focused on the digitalisation of the agri-food sector in Spain and Portugal through the creation of a network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) to foster initiative, competitiveness and business sustainability, promoting post-Covid19 economic recovery.

With a budget of 5.1 million euros, 75% co-financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) in the framework of the Interreg V-A Spain-Portugal Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 (POCTEP), HIBA has 19 beneficiaries, being the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development of the Andalusian Regional Government, the main beneficiary.

About the Finnova Foundation 

Finnova is the Spanish-Belgian non-profit foundation based in Brussels and Spain, working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU. Finnova’s experience in leading communication and dissemination activities for European projects is combined with a proven track record in business creation and entrepreneurship support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and events, as well as its commitment to training and employability of young people.

About INL

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, located in Braga (northern Portugal) was founded by the governments of Portugal and Spain under an international legal framework to conduct interdisciplinary research, deploy and articulate nanotechnology for the benefit of society. INL aims to become the global centre for nanotechnology to address major societal challenges.


The INTEC Foundation is a non-profit organisation, promoted by companies committed to innovation and with strong links to key entities in technological development in Spain.

About Smart Farm Colab  

Smart Farm Colab – SFCOLAB, focuses on innovative digital solutions for agriculture, through the development of cutting-edge high-tech technologies for the horticulture, fruit and viticulture sectors.

About Fundecyt-PCTEX

FUNDECYT-PCTEX is a private, non-profit public sector foundation with a fundamental objective: the structuring of the Extremadura Science and Technology System by contributing to the socio-economic exploitation of science and technology, supporting and promoting its development and management to achieve a better use of research and innovation, stimulating the participation of civil society and mobilising its resources.