Danone Pack Challenge

Mar 10, 2023


EIT Food is committed to supporting the growth and development of agrifood innovations that are helping to make the entire food system more sustainable, healthy, and trusted. We believe startups and corporations together play a major role in this transformation process towards a better food system for all. Thus, EIT Food is on a quest to connect disruptive agrifood startups with world industry leaders such as Danone, a strategic partner of EIT Food.

Danone is a leading food company operating in three fast-growing, health-focused categories through Dairy and Plant-based Products, Waters and Specialty Nutrition. With a mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible, Danone aims to inspire healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices, while committing to a measurable nutritional, social, societal, and environmental impact.

Danone’s portfolio includes international brands (Actimel, Activia, Alpro, Aptamil, Danette, Danio, Danonino, Evian, Nutricia, Nutrilon, Volvic, among others) as well as strong local and regional brands (including AQUA, Blédina, Bonafont, Cow & Gate, Mizone, Oikos and Silk).

Pack Challenge
6T7A7663 2

This unique matchmaking opportunity is designed to help 10 selected startups to showcase their product and drive innovative technologies towards market adoption.  Within this context, Danone has committed to partnering with start-ups to explore the latest packaging technologies. As an outcome of this Challenge, up to two of the finalists will be supported by Danone to develop a joint POC (Proof of Concept) following the Demo Day on May 31st.

2023 Key Food Challenges

For 2023, EIT Food has teamed-up with Danone to identify three key challenge areas covering packaging and environmental impact:


Danone is looking for new solutions/technologies to reduce carbon footprint via development of new recyclable materials or new raw material sourcing (CO2 capture for chemicals or polymer building blocks, bioplastics from biomass, biomaterials to replace plastic…).

Danone is also developing alternatives to plastic through fiber-based packaging. We are looking for solutions to reduce carbon emission in paper packaging production processes using new fibers (e.g. oat, soy straw fibers or others) & energy efficient processes (Forming/drying) . We are also scouting for new barrier technologies to reduce plastic content.


Danone is seeking for innovations in the fields of new plastic recycling or decomposing technologies (e.g. mechanical, chemical, enzymatic, microbial, insects…) and  new sorting technologies in recycling / biodegradation streams (artificial intelligence, watermark, etc.)


Danone is looking for solutions related to low carbon Reuse models that minimize both energy and material usage.

What’s in it for the startups selected?

  • Participate in an in-person Demo Day at the new Danone Global Research Center located on the Paris Saclay Campus.
    • Pitch in front of decision-makers within Danone.
    • Up to two startups will be awarded a prize to do a joint paid POC following the Demo Day.
    • Receive feedback, advice and input on your product, service or technology from Danone experts.
    • Guided Visit of the R&D Center. 
  • Following the Demo Day, you will have an option to participate in the Paris Saclay Spring Innovation Event on June 1st.  
  • Please note that every step in the process will be co-built by Danone and the startup; there is no obligation to proceed unless both parties wish to do so.

Who should join this challenge?

We are looking for impactful startups and scaleups that adhere to the following criteria:

  • Your company is registered in the EU member states and associated countries (+UK/Swiss/Israel).
  • You have less than 49 employees (excluding interns or contractors).
  • You are working on a solution in one of the challenge domains detailed above.
  • You have successfully completed a proof of concept backed by data and have a product available for testing and protected by IP.
  • You are open to collaborate with industry and looking to scale your technology.
  • You are available to pitch in person on June 2nd.

How to apply:

Submit your matchmaking profile before March 30th, 2023. Click here to start working on your profile and provide a thoughtful explanation as to how you envision a pilot project with Danone. The answers will be screened first by EIT Food, and the most promising applicants will be shared with Danone, thus the more specific your explanations, the more likely they will want to engage with you.

Key dates:

  • February 17th:  Registration opens for EIT Food Startup-Corporate Matchmaking
  • March 30th: Submission deadline for matchmaking profile at 23:59 CET
  • Starting April 20th: EIT Food will contact the 10 startups selected for the Danone Demo Day
  • April 26th: Preparatory call at 10am
  • June 1st: Paris Saclay Spring Innovation Day (optional)
  • June 2nd: In-person Demo Day at the Danone R&D Center, Saclay, France
  • June 19th TBC: Deep-dive Discussions with finalists
  • June 21st TBC: 2 POC Winners decision

Apply here!


Application deadline extended ONLY for Seedbed until April 10 23:59 CET

Launch - Seedbed Incubator

Accelerate - EIT Food Accelerator Network

Scale - RisingFoodStars

Our Community

Empowering startups to create impact in the agrifood industry

Our Community

News & Events

Alumni Spotlight

Startup Training

Our Programme Hubs