OPEN INNOVATION: innovation challenges for entrepreneurs and startups

Constant innovation should be one of the objectives of every company, regardless of its area of activity or size. Technology helps us face new challenges and improve production processes, the digitisation of management or the creation of new products.

 The Castilla y León Food Industry Association, Vitartis, is aware of what business innovation means. Therefore, it strives to ensure that companies in our region increase their competitiveness through the application of disruptive techniques.

Thus, within the framework of the VENCER project, they have created the “OPEN INNOVATION” programme, which seeks to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector of Castilla y León in order to overcome the crisis caused by Covid-19. The initiative presents several challenges proposed by Vitartis partners to be solved by local entrepreneurs or start-ups.

The focus is to find solutions through the use of digital and management technologies, development of new food products and natural preservatives.


For now, six challenges have been proposed by the companies Dulces y Conservas Helios, INNOPORC, Pharmadus Botanicals Sl, PISTACYL, Viveros Campiñas, Santa Teresa. However, more challenges will be included in the coming days.

Helios Challenge: natural preservatives that extend the shelf life of fruit-based products (Ph<4) by protecting them against the development of spoilage microorganisms such as moulds and yeasts.

INNOPORC Challenge: technological solution to improve animal welfare in the farrowing crates by measuring environmental parameters and those of the animals themselves.

Pharmadus Botanicals Challenge: software to integrate the online sales process of any platform with the organisation’s system, centralising the entire process, adapting to any market place and also generating analysis and activity metrics.

PISTACYL Challenge: formulation of a healthy food supplement for sportsmen and women and the elderly based on pistachio flour (with the oil previously removed).

Viveros Campiñas Challenge: amplification of the received mobile phone signal, both voice and data (2G/3G/4G), so that there are no cuts or loss of signal quality.

Santa Teresa Challenge: Management tool to optimise palletisation of orders, preventing warehouse staff from having to optimise the available space by trial and error.

Go to to learn more about the programme rules and the characteristics of each challenge.

We encourage you to participate! You must submit your proposal between 1 April and 1 July 2021.

Juan Manuel Corchado

Full Professor in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Department of Computer Science and Automation, University of Salamanca, Spain.


Contents: – e4YOU – Másteres – CyberCamp

Scientific: ORCIDScholarResearch GateWeb of Science

Join 2,320 other subscribers