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A new recipe for the food system - Mobilization

Do you want to be a link in the chain that pulls the food system in a more sustainable direction? In this effort, determined and creative actors will be mobilized to bring about a transformation in the food sector. As a player, you can become part of an innovation environment where the level of ambition is high and there are good opportunities to strengthen your own network. During the course of the effort, you get both the opportunity to increase your knowledge of systems thinking and apply this together with other actors under a common theme.

This web page has been machine translated. If there are any uncertainties, please refer to the Swedish text.

The offer in brief

What can you apply for?

Actors can apply to participate in a combined mobilization and learning response aim is to create the conditions for actors with common interests to work together against ambitious objectives.

Who can apply?

Small and medium-sized enterprises, large enterprises, civil society organizations, municipalities, regions, authorities, industry associations, universities and institutes. Organizations may have national, regional or local roots.

How much can you apply for?

In this effort, it is possible to participate in the mobilization and learning effort free of charge. For those organizations that need it, it is possible to apply for funding for the time spent in the effort.

Important dates

  • The call in detail

    • Vad Vinnova offers

      Vinnova offers the opportunity to participate in a mobilization and learning effort with the aim of increasing the actors' ability to identify challenges and work towards common objective in order to achieve a transformation within the food system.

      This call for proposals refers to the first step in the effort that lasts from ten months from November 2022 to autumn 2023. In this effort, the actors will get to know each other and then establish common bold objective based on the challenges and potential solutions that exist in the system. The goals will form the basis for a proposal for the next phase of establishment, which will start at the end of 2023.

      As part of this mobilization and learning effort, you have the opportunity to:

      • Participate in an innovation environment together with driven actors to work towards common objective. Through this, you can strengthen your ability to use systems thinking, foresight and mission-based working methods as tools.
      • Create an arena around a common theme to identify gaps and levers in the system with the help of different actors to jointly bring about a transformation in the food sector.
      • Get funding for the time set aside for activities linked to the innovation environment.
      • As a player in the work with the innovation environment, strengthen its own network and open up for new collaborations.
    • The need for a new recipe for the food system

      The food system needs to undergo a rapid transformation so that we can provide nutritious food to everyone without compromising the resources of future generations. A change in food production and consumption is a prerequisite for achieving the environmental and public health goals set out in Agenda 2030. Vinnova's role is to contribute with research and innovation to solving the system and policy challenges that stand in the way of this transformation.

      The major complex challenges in the food system require a concerted effort between different actors at an overall level. A mission-oriented approach can help meet this and increase the innovation and transformation capacity of actors in and outside the food system, first at the pilot level and then through larger commitments. A mission-oriented approach is about creating power in the system and showing direction by formulating an overall ambitious goal with broad societal relevance for which no single actor is responsible. Vinnova sees that a co-creative work with a breadth of actors, with mutually different driving forces and angles of approach, has a chance to reach a broader foothold and that the process also creates new collaborations and consensus. It is about breaking silos and letting actors who otherwise do not meet discuss problems and solutions. A mission is not achieved through individual project but by creating a portfolio of activities and tools that enable the majority of solutions.

      Focus on radical innovation

      Research on system transformation has shown that the imminent risk when you want to change a system is that you only make improvements within the current system. In order to achieve system transformation, the focus needs to be on developing innovations that create conditions that are markedly different from the initial situation and change behaviors and require that existing structures be broken down (so-called radical innovations). To be able to do that, actors with the ability to think pioneering need to be included. These so-called niche actors need arenas, or innovation environments, to meet and identify what needs to change. The environments provide space for experimentation and learning in smaller pilot environments with a view to a major system change

      See information on radical innovation, niches and niche actors.

      With this effort, Vinnova wants to give actors with visionary ideas space to set the agenda and formulate solution proposals. The emphasis for each innovation environment will be on radical innovation where the actors can freely formulate and test new groundbreaking solutions.

      Vinnova plans to offer funding starting in 2023 and five years ahead to run five mission-oriented innovation environments to contribute to a transformation towards a sustainable food system. Each innovation environment is based on a theme where Vinnova assesses that there is great potential for improvement and innovation.

      These themes are:
      • Regenerative, resilient and nature-positive food production
      • Protein shift
      • Food tech for the food of the future
      • Preventive health through food
      • Sustainable eating habits in young people
    • For the mobilization of innovation environments to be successful, it is important that the environments are driven by those who really want to change the food system. It can be a small organization or a division or department within a larger private or public organization where groundbreaking ideas sprout. The innovation environments aim to create an arena where innovative actors with ideas for radical innovation have a leading role. The innovation environments must enable the concentration of power required to bring about a transformation of the food sector.

      Vinnova is looking for actors who make a real commitment and who want to drive change through increased collaboration and co-creation between different sectors in the food area.

      Small and medium-sized enterprises, large companies, municipalities, regions, authorities, industry associations, universities, institutes and civil society organizations can apply for this initiative. The organizations that are adopted may have national, regional or local roots.

      The actor must be a legal entity. Note that sole proprietorships or sole proprietorships are not legal entities.

    • The participants must have a mandate from their own organization to participate and have the opportunity to set aside the time required for the work in the innovation environment in which they operate.

      As a participating player, you are expected to be able to set aside the equivalent of 16 hours per month per person.

      As a coordinator, you are also expected to be able to set aside additional time for the commitments that apply to the coordinator role. It is estimated that there are 30-40 hours for the entire project period of ten months.

      The distribution of the estimated number of hours may vary over the year due to major holidays and holiday periods. We expect the participants to prioritize and actively participate in the entire effort.

      Vinnova prefers that each organization is represented by two people, one of whom should preferably be at management level.

    • Aim

      This effort is the first step in a more long-term effort on innovation environments. It will provide space for actors to work with other organizations and sectors within the framework of five themes, and make use of systems thinking for innovation. The purpose of the effort is to create the ability and conditions for actors to both create and drive innovation environments within the framework of these five identified themes. Vinnova also offers actors the opportunity to apply for funding so that they can set aside time for the predetermined activities and their participation in the work of building strong player constellations within each theme.

      See our themes.


      • At the end of the mobilization and learning effort, Vinnova's objectiveis:
      • That new project constellations have been created where the participants have gained an increased understanding of each other.
      • That each constellation within each theme has formulated both a vision for the future and a mission.
      • That each constellation has identified lever points, ie. areas that are of crucial importance and where changes within an area can create major changes in the whole.
      • That each constellation has compiled ongoing initiatives in priority challenge areas.
      • That each constellation has formulated a theory of change that clarifies how it would be possible to contribute to identified future visions, missions and leverage points.
      • That the participants have gained an increased understanding of the mission-oriented approach.
      • That the participants have been given the conditions to then be able to apply together for an establishment call in 2023, where Vinnova intends to offer funding for 4–5 long-term mission-oriented innovation environments over a five-year period.
    • Five identified themes for innovation environments

      Regenerative, resilient and nature-positive food production

      This innovation environment is about how we produce food and what food we produce in Sweden. In the future, production gives more than it takes from nature. It can be about different types of production, such as aquaculture, agriculture or urban cultivation that make it possible to produce the food that can be close to us in the future, in a sustainable way, on a large or small scale.

      Protein shift

      This innovation environment is about how we change which proteins we eat and which proteins are available in the Swedish market. In the future, we will eat more plant-based proteins and there are plenty of Swedish protein alternatives. It can be about how we shift from a large proportion of animal proteins to more plant-based ones, about how we start a domestic production and how we use aquaculture in new ways.

      Food tech for the food of the future

      This innovation environment is about how we innovate in the food system and what new food is on offer. In the future, Sweden will be one of the leading countries in exploring new, sustainable and healthy food, and there is constant innovation in the food tech area. It can be about different types of products, the use of new technology, new ways of sharing data and about new circular solutions. It is also about how we create profitable business models for the new sustainable and how we get more funding for the food tech area.

      Sustainable eating habits in young people

      This innovation environment is about how and what we eat and what behavioral changes occur mainly among young people. In the future, good and sustainable food is available to everyone and that is the food we choose to eat. It can be about different types of eating habits, raw material focus, cooking methods or meal environments. This means that a sustainable and healthy meal and diet is possible in all dining experiences, from the school canteen, to the home and the restaurant visit. It can also be about technical aids and changes in the range.

      Preventive health through food

      This innovation environment is about how we work with health issues linked to food in Sweden. In the future, the diet will be used as part of preventive care. It can be about different types of eating habits, dietary advice, behavioral changes and training of health care professionals. It is also about how we address challenges such as overconsumption and overeating, diet-related health problems and unequal access to good food.

      You can read more about how Vinnova came up with five themes in the document Mapping the food system and the five theme areas that are recorded on the call's website.

    • The three steps of the call process

      In step 1, each organization applies individually as a participating actor and / or coordinator. In this step, they do not funding but show their interest in participating in the work of creating an innovation environment around one of the five thematic areas. Vinnova assesses the incoming players' ability to participate according to the assessment criteria.

      In step 2, the actors are matched.

      In step 3, those who are still interested send in a joint proposal where funding can be applied for for their participation in the initiative.

      See information on funding under the headings "We demand" and "What do we finance?".

      See information about our formal eligibility requirements and our assessment criteria.

      Step 1: Proposal as participating actor or coordinator

      In this first step, it is possible to apply as a participating actor for given themes. An organization can apply for several themes, but each person can only participate in one theme. In parallel, Vinnova is looking for five coordinators, one for each theme, who will keep the player constellation together and, among other things, be a conversation partner with Vinnova and the suppliers Vinnova has procured to implement and follow the program.

      The proposal states which theme the organization is applying for and whether the organization is applying as a participating actor or coordinator. If you submit a proposal as a coordinator, it is also possible to apply at the same time as a participating actor.

      Vinnova prefers that each organization is represented by two people, one of whom should preferably be at management level.

      Participating player:

      Here are the organizations that want to be a participating player in the mobilization and learning effort.

      Applicant its proposal as a participating actor, the Applicant organization may, among other things, describe:

      • Why you want to be a part of the effort.
      • What radical changes do you see as necessary in the food system linked to the specific theme you are looking for.
      • Those from the applicant organization who are intended to participate in the effort.
      • What mandate to drive change the intended people who will participate in the effort have.

      Assessment criteria for participating actors can be found under the heading " Assessment of received applications in step 1".


      Here are the organizations that would like to take a coordinating role in the mobilization and learning effort. Experience from coordinating or coordinating project in the past is not an eligibility requirements.

      The coordinator must want to push for the theme to be developed into an innovation environment and want to achieve radical innovation within the food system.

      Each coordinator's main representative is called the project manager. Vinnova is looking for a project manager who sees the value of working together towards common bold objective. Who has the ability to listen to others' perspectives and see their work in a larger context while the person can contribute to a good work climate. The project manager must be driven and results-oriented as well as creative and curious.

      Five coordinators will be selected, one for each theme. In its proposal, the Applicant organization may, among other things, describe:

      • Why you want to be a part of the effort.
      • Why you want to take a coordinating role.
      • What needs for radical change you see in the food system linked to the specific theme you are looking for.
      • Those from the applicant organization who are intended to both participate in the initiative's established activities and coordinate the work in the constellation.
      • What is the internal mandate to drive change for the intended people who will participate and coordinate the work in the effort.
      • Possible experience from previous coordinating assignments.

      A short digital interview of the selected will be relevant during week 37. Invitations to interviews will be sent out during week 36. In assessment, great emphasis will be placed on the project manager's personal qualities, motivation and mandate. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the people at the actor who are intended to coordinate the work as project manager are also the ones who participate during the interview. Assessment criteria for coordinator can be found under the heading " Assessment of received applications"

      Step 2: Matching

      In the second step in the call process, Vinnova invites the applicant actors who have been selected to participate in the mobilization and learning effort to a one-day matching meeting on 4 October in Stockholm (physical meeting). During this meeting, the actors within each theme get to meet each other and the coordinator selected. At this stage, actors can choose to withdraw if for some reason they have decided not to participate.

      Step 3: Joint proposal

      In the third step in the call process, the adopted actors who have chosen to participate in an actor constellation for each theme come together to formulate a joint proposal. Proposal is submitted by the selected coordinator. It is this proposal that Vinnova decides on funding for participating actors

    • In this call for proposals, we offer the opportunity to be part of the entire mobilization and learning effort free of charge.

      For those actors who need it, it is possible to apply for funding for time spent and travel and accommodation costs for their participation in the initiative for 10 months, which is what is financed in this call. The approximate number of hours expected to be spent will be the same for all participants except coordinator, as it is a programme with predetermined activities.

      In the first proposal as a participating actor or coordinator, the applicant needs to indicate whether the organization is seeking funding for participation and, if so, an estimate of how much funding is needed.

      In the second phase of the call process, when the joint proposal is submitted by the coordinator, it is specified more precisely how much funding each individual organization is applying for and how much co-financing it contributes. The coordinator can also apply for funding for the time spent within the framework of the coordination assignment in addition to the fixed activities.

    • Eligible costs

      In this action, the following costs are eligible:

      • Personnel costs for the hours when the participants participate in the fixed activities.
      • Participants' travel costs and accommodation costs that are directly related to the effort.

      For further information on eligible costs, see document below.

      Government support for financial activities

      Rules for eligible costs

      Support bases

      Our funding is through funding.

      Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 (GBER)

      Funding for organizations that conduct financial activities is covered by state support rules. The rules govern, among other things, the types of costs and the proportion ( aid intensity) of an organization's eligible costs that may be covered by funding. The level of support in this effort depends on the size of the organization.

      Funding is granted in accordance with Vinnova's ordinance (2015: 208) on state support for research and development and innovation and Article 25 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 (GBER).

      Basis for support for Feasibility Study (art. 25) can be used for the organizations that conduct financial activities.

      Government support for financial activities.

      Non-State aid

      Funding for organizations that do not conduct financial activities is granted in accordance with ordinance (2009: 1101) with instructions for the Swedish Agency for innovation system. In these cases, the grant does not constitute State aid.

      By economic activities we mean all activities that involve offering goods and services in a market. This is independent of the legal position, how the business is financed and whether the unit has been established for profit or not. Decisive is the type of activities that are conducted, not company form.

      Support of minor importance

      Small companies can apply for funding with section 2 of the ordinance (2015: 208) on state support for research and development as well as innovation and commission ordinance no. 1407/2013 on support of minor importance (de minimis support). Before you can be granted minor support, you must submit a certificate of such support. The form can be downloaded from Vinnova's website. This is done in connection with proposal. The maximum allowable support of minor importance is 200,000 euros per recipient during the last three tax years.

      • We will only assess applications that meet the following formal eligibility requirements:
      • Proposal must be written in Swedish or English.
      • Project partners and beneficiary must be legal entities. An individual company is not a legal entity. Companies must be active and have an organization number when the proposal is submitted.
      • Participant and beneficiary must have a branch or place of business in Sweden.
    • What do we assess?

      The applications will be assessed on the basis of the criteria potential, actors and feasibility.

      Assessment criteria for participating actor:

      • The organization's potential to be able to collaborate in new constellations towards common objective.
      • The organization's potential to work system-oriented with groundbreaking ideas.
      • The organization's relevance based on the sought theme and its ability to contribute to the initiative's objective.
      • Ingredients' degree of anchoring and mandate in management in their own organization.
      • The organization's prerequisites for actively and committedly participating in all parts of the effort.

      Assessment Criteria for Coordinator coordinator:

      In addition to the criteria that apply to participant actors, we will use the following assessment criteria for a coordinator:

      • The organization's potential to contribute to the constellation of actors designing a common bold objective that can bring about groundbreaking changes in the food system.
      • The organization's ability to push for the theme to be developed into an innovation environment
      • The organization's ability to collect the participating actors' reflections, thoughts and opinions and bring them to Vinnova.
      • The organization's ability to be a conversation partner with Vinnova and procured suppliers.
      • The project manager's ability to be creative and curious.
      • The project manager's ability to see his work in a holistic perspective.
      • The project manager's ability to listen to and understand others' perspectives.
      • The project manager's ability to contribute to a good working climate in the actor constellation.
      • The project manager's ability to result - oriented get others to work together towards common bold objective.

      How do we rate?

      The assessment of the proposal takes place in competition according to the assessment criteria stated above.

      When selecting participants, Vinnova will take into account that the selected ones represent a balance of different types of actors, size and geographical spread. Vinnova also intends to strive for an equal distribution of participants in the mobilization and learning effort.

    • About our decisions

      Notice of your proposal for participation approved or rejected will be announced no later than 27 September 2022. Proposal will be submitted via Vinnova's eservices portal. After the proposal registered, an acknowledgment of receipt of the notification is sent via e-mail to the person responsible for the user account in Vinnova's eservices portal, project manager and signatory. Vinnova's decision is also communicated via e-mail to the person responsible for the user account in Vinnova's eservices portal, project manager and signatory.

      Our decision to approve or disapprove of a proposal cannot be appealed.

    • Actor: Organization that participates in one of the innovation environments.

      Foresight: Foresight is a method of transforming facts about the present into both logical and provocative illustrations of alternative futures. The foresight method includes creative thinking about future possibilities and systematic analysis of patterns that affect change. Foresight helps us to detect ongoing changes and communicate new visions.

      Innovation environment: A flexible long-term form of collaboration consisting of actors who work together to focus, and with set sub-goals, work towards a common objective (mission) that must be transformative and feasible. The interaction can take place connected to a geographical location or virtually and is constant over time. An innovation environment is primarily not an environment for product and process development, but an arena in which actors collaborate to identify what changes need to take place to meet the goal. For example, it may be a matter of finding the funding that this requires, which rules and policies need to be changed and which rules of the game need to apply. In order to be able to land in what changes need to take place, it may be necessary with smaller prototypes to be able to explore and experiment on identified needs. It is important that the environment works transparently and communicates so that more actors become interested in working towards the common goal.

      Coordinator: Organization that coordinates the work in the innovation environment and for communication between the innovation environment and Vinnova.

      Missions: Ambitious goals for system transformation with broad societal relevance. Means that actors from different sectors, industries and disciplines gather around a bold, inspiring and measurable objective that must be achieved within a certain period of time. The goal must have an effect on society and politics and be relevant to a large part of the population.

      EU definition in Missions in Horizon Europé

      Missionsorienterat approach: Process / method based on design methodology that can be used to formulate missions or identify needs and design efforts - for example system demonstrators.

      Mission-oriented innovation - a new way of meeting societal challenges

      Niche: Spaces where networks of actors experiment with and mutually adapt solutions that challenge unsustainable and unequal methods. For these spaces to flourish, they must be nurtured, protected and strengthened. A space needs to be created where actors with pioneering ideas and solutions (niche actors) have the opportunity to experiment, learn, expand and stabilize. At the same time, these environments need to be protected from the market, industry and cultural dominant trends that otherwise stifle them. A niche does not have to be fixed in a single place, but niche actors need a place to gather to explore together material, cultural, technical, economic and organizational solutions to the challenge they face. These niches need to be identified and protected through financial support, training, expanding their network, visibility and so on. They also need to be put in touch with other niche players to make the niche stronger and give it more traction, with the long-term goal of creating new sustainable regimes.

      Niche and Transformative Innovation Policy

      Nischaktör: An actor that is particularly driving in the innovation environment in which it finds itself. The niche actor is often a small player with special knowledge that, when scaled up, can contribute to a major change in the food system.

      Project manager: Main representative of a coordinating organization.

      Radical innovation:When an innovation creates conditions that are markedly different from the initial situation. Innovation changes behavior and requires that existing structures be broken down. The value of previous knowledge decreases and can create uncertainty in an industry or an organization. This type of innovation is sometimes called creative destruction. In some cases, the work must be completely reorganized. A couple of important examples are how electronic communication, such as e-mail and smartphones, has affected communication both between individuals and with authorities and companies. (Source: Innovation Council).

    • Support for writing a correct proposal

      Prior to this call for proposals, Vinnova offers support for writing a correct proposal through a number of digital question moments. During these meetings, the application process is described, and there will be an opportunity to ask general questions. However, we do not discuss the content of your specific proposal.

      Upcoming opportunities for digital question time

      Friday, June 3, 2022 at 10.00 - 11.00

      Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at 10.00 - 11.00

      Wednesday, July 6, 2022 at 10.00 - 11.00

      A link to each occasion can be found under the heading "Important dates" on the call's website.


      Any questions are answered by


      Jesper Orhammar, call manager, +46 8 473 31 53

      Axel Lilliestråle, programme manager +46 8 473 32 77

      Therése Porsklint, administrator +46 8 473 30 28

      Vinnova Helpdesk

      Tekniska questions

      +46 8 473 32 99

    • Date
      07 Jul 2022
      Clarification regarding estimation of the coordinator's commitment in hours under the section We request.
      23 Jun 2022
      Adjusted formatting in sections 7 and 10.
      23 Jun 2022
      Adjusted formatting in sections 7 and 10.
      02 Jun 2022
      Added a definition of radical innovation under heading 13. Definitions and clarifications.
      30 May 2022
      Adjusted formatting.
      30 May 2022
      25 May 2022

    How to apply

    To apply for funding, you need to log in and complete an application form in our eServices portal. The application form contains questions about your project, the participants taking part in the project and your budget. 

    Download document templates for your attachments

    Plesae download the templates for the documents you need to attach to your application such as a CV or project description.

    Please allow enough time

    Please keep in mind that it takes time to complete an application. Filling in the templates can take several days, since they're based on analyses you need to do. Therefore, start the application well in advance. You can start filling in your details, then save and continue at a later time.

    When you've completed your application, please mark it as done ("klar"). You can unlock and make changes to your application at any time until the call closes. If you unlock your application, you must mark it as done ("klarmarkera") if you want the application registered when the call closes. 

    This happens when the call is closed

    Once your proposal has been registered, we will email a confirmation to the person in charge of the user account and to the project manager and company signatory. This may take a few hours after the call is closed. If you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours after the call has closed, get in touch with us.

    When the call is closed, you can not change or fill in any new information. Then you can only complete your proposal if we ask for it.

    Who can read your proposal?

    Applications submitted to us become public documents. But we do not disclose information about the business, inventions or research results if it can be assumed that someone is suffering financial damage if the information is shown.

    This means that we must release the documents if someone requests them. However, we keep confidential the information that we believe could cause financial damage if it is disclosed.

    How we handle public documents and confidentiality

    Any questions?

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

    Jesper Orhammar


    +46 8 473 31 53

    Axel Lilliestråle


    +46 8 473 32 77

    Therese Porsklint


    +46 8 473 30 28

    Reference number 2022-01361

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