The business incubator Madrid Food Innovation Hub was born with the mission of promoting disruptive food technologies and revolutionizing the global food industry in order to become a European reference center. This is the grand introduction of the new innovation and entrepreneur center developed by the Madrid City Council and located in the district of Villaverde. As the mayor, Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida, and the deputy mayor, Begoña Villacís, explained during the inauguration, the center is becoming one of the largest ecosystems of innovation and entrepreneurship in technology for the agri-food chain in Europe.
Madrid Food Innovation Hub is a pioneering experience in the world, whose objective is to revolutionize the global food industry. The center will develop several incubation and acceleration programs throughout the year, using different approaches and a deep training program for entrepreneurs in any area of the agri-food chain.
The innovation hub has a coworking space and a kitchen-laboratory of more than 300 m2, which is equipped with everything necessary to make concept tests, evaluation of prototypes and everything needed to develop projects. Madrid Food Innovation Hub activities, which include incubation programs, trainings and workshops with the district, will be completely free of charge for participants.
Almeida stressed that this new center is a clear example of how Madrid is capable of “reinventing itself”, since “here we were able to improvise the place from which thousands of meals for vulnerable people were provided” and, after just a few months, this has become “the place where we can reflect the will of the city of Madrid to win the future from innovation, talent and entrepreneurship”. In this sense, he stressed the need to support innovation by the administrations, assuring “that all those who want to start a professional and personal adventure in Madrid have in this City Council a faithful ally.”
As for Villacís, “we have the challenge of seeing how we are going to feed future generations” and for this “it is especially important that the Madrid City Council has thought about the need to create a council that is 100% focused on innovation”, something that, in her opinion, is beginning to be noticed “with projects like this, thinking, helping, creating, promoting and incubating companies that are going to dedicate themselves to thinking about how we are going to feed ourselves in the future.” According to the deputy mayor, the fact that Madrid is the second city in the world to assume this responsibility, behind Tel Aviv, “places us at the same level as the great European capitals and to be at the forefront of innovation.”
Promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the agri-food chain
With the collaboration of Eatable Adventures, one of the three largest foodtech accelerators in the world, Madrid Food Innovation Hub will work to promote entrepreneurship, supporting the ecosystem of Madrid startups in coordination with the strategy developed by the Delegated Area of Innovation and Entrepreneurship that has led the capital to lead the ranking as the best Spanish city for entrepreneurship and as the sixth in Europe, according to the Financial Times.
After the inauguration of the space, Almeida y Villacís, together with the delegate of Economy, Innovation and Employment, Miguel Ángel Redondo; the delegate councilor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ángel Niño and the councilor of Villaverde, Concha Chapa, have seen the work developed by the startups participating in the first incubation program of the hub and have tasted a menu designed by chef Íñigo Pérez ‘Urrechu’ and the Zalacaín R&D team that was made with raw materials from the foodtech startups: alternative proteins and vegetables grown in laboratories.