Call for STARTUP COMPANIES Operating in the Green and Blue Economy Sectors

Share this application via​



Call for Applications: 25th March 2024

Deadline for Application: 30th April 2024

Selection of Participants: 10th May 2024

Terms and Conditions Apply

Application Description

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) has financed a programme entitled EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS IN GREEN & BLUE ECONOMY IN MED AND AFRICA REGION (Startup10). CIHEAM Bari, as implementing body of the programme, will be responsible for its execution from October 2023 and for a period of two (02) years.
The Startup10 programme aims to promote food security and youth employment in ten (10) Italian cooperation partner countries (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Tunisia and Uganda) in partnership with a total of 22 incubators (Annex 1). By building the capacity of business incubators (implementing partners of the programme) the project aims to encourage the development of local start-ups operating in the green and blue economy sectors and involved in digitalization processes.
CIHEAM Bari is the organizing body of the present call whose aim is to select 140 startups operating in the green and blue economy.

Conditions of participation and eligibility.

  • Participation in the call for applications is free of charge.
  • The application form must be drafted in English language.
  • For each application, the applicant must be a member of the company, either a founder, co-founder, majority partner or a person with power of representation and decision within the startup.
  • Participation is strictly nominative. It is strictly forbidden to submit your application under several usernames, with several email addresses or on behalf of other participants. Any submission duplicated by the same person (same name, same first name, same IP address), under different company names will result in the cancellation of the participation of the candidate and the teams concerned.
  • By accepting the rules of the call for applications, the applicant authorizes the implementing body concerned (CIHEAM Bari) and its implementing partners (incubators) to make all necessary checks regarding identity and contact details.
  • Every candidate who refuses to provide supporting documents will be excluded. Any erroneous, incomplete or fraudulent information will result in the cancellation of participation in the call for applications.

Eligibility Criteria 

  • Applications are done in the name of a company. Personal applications will not be accepted. To apply to the present Startup10 call, companies must be formally registered since at least 1 year from the deadline of the present call in the country where it operates.
  • The company must commit to the StartUp10 call by indicating in the application form the names of the team members who will participate in the program and their roles in the company.
  • To be selected the company needs to demonstrate that it is bringing an innovative and feasible project in the field of green economy/blue economy, with a particular focus on at least one of the following topics:  
  • SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES: innovative models and tools for the management of water, soil, land, animals, trees.
  • SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE: Adoption of agricultural practices that minimize the use of harmful chemicals, preserve biodiversity and promote environmental sustainability.
  • SMART FARMING: the broad range of decision support software and high-performance hardware technologies, that include sensors, cameras, drones and UAVs, image processing, AI, and data-analytics., used for precision irrigation, integrated pest management, yield forecasting, and farm management.
  • CROP PROTECTION & FERTILIZERS: New technology helping farmers for protecting the crops from pests & diseases, non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
  • BIOTECH: Genetics & Breeding Agricultural science including genetic engineering, molecular markers, molecular diagnostics, vaccines, and tissue culture, to modify living organisms (Breeding): plants, animals, and microorganisms.



  • LIVESTOCK & POULTRY: technologies that enhance the management, welfare, and value of livestock and poultry, covering applications from breeding and feeding systems to animal health and cattle monitoring.
  • FARMING & ROBOTICS: Building robotics, machinery, and equipment used to automate farm work, harvest crops and to sort it.
  • INNOVATIVE FOOD PRODUCTS: new food products or production processes in order to find more nutritious and healthy food.
  • VALORIZATION OF NEGLETED AND UNDERUTILIZED CROPS (NUS) : crops that have been prioritized as “Future Smart Foods” because they are nutritionally dense, climate-resilient, economically viable, and locally available or adaptable food crops.
  • NOVEL FARMING SYSTEMS: Solutions utilizing space, light, soil, and water in non-traditional ways to grow crops in places and conditions that were hitherto impossible, as vertical and indoor farming systems, based on aero, aqua or hydroponic systems.
  • POST HARVEST: solutions that handle cleaning, sorting, processing, packing and storing of produce to secure, improve or maintain the quality of the produce following harvest, including freezing and thawing, biodegradable packaging and environmentally friendly coverings.
  • FARM TO CONSUMER: New business models to shorten and simplify the supply chain by connecting the farm to the end consumer.
  • RECYCLING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT: Strategies to reduce waste, promote recycling and implement sustainable waste management practices 
  • IRRIGATION & WATER MANAGEMENT: smart systems optimizing irrigation by utilizing sensors, data and sophisticated software.
  • SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES: Adopt fishing practices that preserve marine resources and avoid overfishing
  • AQUACULTURE: the management, welfare and value of fish, algae and other water-based organisms. Solutions including breeding, feeding, monitoring systems and disease management.
  • SUSTAINABLE TOURISM: Promotion of responsible tourism that respects rural, marine and coastal ecosystems.
  • RENEWABLE ENERGY, ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Development and adoption of clean energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal waves and tides; implementation of technologies and practices aimed at reducing energy consumption.
  • SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT: Development of efficient public transport systems, low-emission vehicles and sustainable mobility solutions.
  • SUSTAINABLE BUILDING: Construction of buildings with eco-friendly materials and low environmental impact technologies.
  • SUSTAINABLE DIET EDUCATION: tools and applications to improve awareness towards a sustainable diet 
  • ICT: digital business transition and digital support to the green and blue economy

Selection Criteria 

The selection of winners is based on the following main criteria:
1. Startup/company health (in terms of years of activity, active sales, no of staff): max 20 points
2. Skills, entrepreneurial spirit and motivation of the Team: max 20 points
3. Relevance of products/services: max 60 points, divided in

a. Positive impact on the environment and response to the Sustainable Development Goals: max 20 points
b. Technical and financial feasibility: max 10 points.
c. Market knowledge and project viability: max 10 points.
d. Innovative dimension: max 10 points

Based on the above criteria, an initial shortlist of 7 applications per country will be made by a Selection Committee to be held by 10 May 2024. An email notification will be sent to applicants by each incubator partner within five (5) days of the selection committee’s decision. The Selection Committee will be composed of expert appointed by STARTUP10 partners and the final selection will be done in agreement with CIHEAM Bari Coordination team.


Implementing Partners