Canton of Fribourg launches international call for Agritech projects

The canton of Fribourg launched the Agri & Co Challenge, an international call for projects aimed specifically at innovative firms working in the food, agriculture and biomass industries. Partners include Nestlé, Cremo, Fenaco and Micarna. The 15 most promising projects will share prize money of almost CHF 500,000.

St-Aubin Innovation Space / FDA
St-Aubin Innovation Space

The canton of Fribourg will use Agri & Co Challenge to expand its network of innovative and sustainable firms, foster synergies between different economic sectors, and introduce new value chains, especially with emerging markets. The Agri & Co Challenge’s judging panel will include representatives from leading industry names – and initiative partners – Nestlé, Cremo, Fenaco and Micarna.

Funding for the Agri & Co Challenge comes from the canton itself (CHF 561,000 spread over several years), the federal government’s New Regional Policy (CHF 109,000), and private sponsors (CHF 50,000).

Different programs for different needs

The Agri & Co Challenge is divided into two distinct programs: ‘Relocation’ and ‘Remote Collaboration’. Applicants are free to choose their preferred option. By offering a choice, the initiative is able to cater to the needs of a much wider range of firms, and thereby maximize its innovation and collaboration potential.

Under the ‘Relocation’ program, winning companies will be offered premises free of charge for two years at the St-Aubin Innovation Space. They will also each receive a cash prize of CHF 30,000, as well as bespoke mentoring and coaching.

Under the ‘Remote Collaboration’ program, winning companies that do not wish to relocate to the St-Aubin Innovation Space, but are nonetheless interested in breaking into the Swiss market, are given the opportunity to find out more about the agrofood network in the canton of Fribourg and Switzerland generally, with a view to forging long-term partnerships with local stakeholders.

Applications for the Agri & Co Challenge can be submitted from 1 March to 31 May 2018. The winners will be announced on 7 November 2018 during the official Canton of Fribourg Innovation Award ceremony.

Participation and information

(Press release via

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