Interview with FundingBox

Interview with FundingBox

October 24, 2023

Welcome to our interview series with the partners running HUNGRY ECOCITIES. In this interview with Anca Marin we will learn more about FundingBox and their role in the project!

Anca Marin is a Project Manager at FundingBox, holding a degree in Political Science and a Master’s in International Project Management. With over a decade of experience in project management, business strategy, and development, she possesses the skills and knowledge to steer funded projects towards success, guaranteeing the delivery of equity-free funding to Europe’s research and innovation stars.   

Thank you Anca for being with us today! Could you please provide a brief introduction to FundingBox and your role within the organisation? 

Certainly! FundingBox is facilitating growth for entrepreneurs through private and public funding and connecting startups with global brands and investors for innovative collaborations. As Project Manager, I am actively engaged in projects addressing digital innovation in manufacturing, climate change, digital twining, innovation in the agrifood sector, robotics, and AI. Currently, we are focusing on #FundingGrowth by working with talented individuals and entities to boost the EU’s competitiveness and growth. 

Working in FundingBox Accelerator, you have wide experience designing and managing open calls focused on digital innovations. What makes the Hungry EcoCities project unique?

For me, Hungry EcoCities is a project with a new way of thinking that extends beyond innovation and technology. It represents an engaging interaction with new mediums and individuals, inviting pure creativity to push the limits of imagination. This project seamlessly combines diverse artistic perspectives with the latest technological trends. It offers the unique opportunity to view the agri-food value chain from the standpoint of fruits and oysters, encouraging a re-evaluation of consumption habits and a return to traditional cuisine infused with digital technologies. So, in addition to working with the project partners on designing, managing and following up on the results of the open call process, I greatly enjoy the collaboration with creative and technological experts equally enthusiastic about the potential outcomes of this project.

Hungry EcoCities is, to me, a new way of thinking, a type of project that extends beyond innovation and technology. It represents an engaging interaction with new mediums and individuals, inviting pure creativity to push the limits of imagination.

Expanding beyond innovation and technology presents a significant challenge. What drives Funding Box’s participation in this project?

As a go-to funding platform, FundingBox is committed to fostering champions and sharing success stories within its extensive network of partners, SMEs, DIHs, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. With Hungry EcoCities, we aim to diversify and enrich this portfolio of champions with artists actively engaging in experimentation. The outcomes will lead to new synergies and outreach to a broader audience, making cascade funding visible and accessible to a wider group of potential recipients. This expansion will result in a more extensive and diverse community on the funding platform, offering an enhanced range of best practices.

Hungry EcoCitites Partners Interviews Series | Fundingbox
The FundingBox crew

Building upon the achievements and aspirations of 2023, what lies ahead for Hungry EcoCities in 2024?

In 2024, Hungry EcoCities will continue its journey, expanding on the groundwork laid this year, including welcoming a fresh cohort of beneficiaries. We are excited to witness the outcomes of the first call, featuring the 9-month residencies of individual artists. Additionally, we anticipate exploring the synergies emerging from the second call, where matchmade teams will participate.

Expanding on the initial progress made by artists in their experimentation across the three directions, the second call will introduce ten new pairs of beneficiaries, consisting of artists and end users in the agrifood sector. Together, they will further the fusion of technology and art in practical applications.

We look forward to promoting this opportunity, engaging with individual applicants, and immersing ourselves in the matchmaking process. We hope to facilitate the formation of highly compatible duos and eventual winning teams as they bring the worlds of art and technology to the practical realm of the agrifood sector.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement 101069990.