Author Archive

INnovating the JOY of Eating for Healthy Ageing (INJOY) Summer School

25.06.2018-04.07.2018, University of Barcelona, Spain

Angelika Mantur-Vierendeel participated in a 10-day summer school during June, organised by the University of Barcelona (ES) and EIT Health. The course was designed to help entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs (in-house innovation managers), and researchers develop novel business solutions empowering citizens to adopt eating behaviours that support healthy ageing.

During this intense training, students had an opportunity to participate in scientific sessions, food-innovation workshops, theoretical and practical business sessions, site visits, and listen to ‘influencer’ talks similar to TED. The schedule was designed to combined sessions on nutrition with business development, which allowed participants from different backgrounds (nutrition, research, economics, business development) to better understand one another and how nutrition might be combined with entrepreneurship to generate new ideas.

The scientific sessions helped deepen knowledge about nutrition, but also allowed participants to go back to basics and learn new content from a variety of case studies. There was a good dose of business development theory for those without this kind of background, and plenty of practical classes with case analysis to complement the theory. To enrich the training experience, there were excursions to innovative culinary centres and businesses in Barcelona, where students had a chance to understand how real businesses can support healthy living. Participants also had an exclusive opportunity to visit the Alicia Foundation - a centre devoted to technological innovation in cuisine, the improvement of eating habits, and the evaluation of food heritage. In a culinary workshop, students had to cook different meals using innovative technologies, which allow preparation of foods with altered textures. For example, fish and chips can be blended (homogenised) separately and served traditionally, as fish and chips, but allow those with dysphagia to enjoy food they otherwise are unable to eat because of the risk of choking.

To ensure the knowledge gained could be put to good use in the future, participants also worked in group projects, translating ideas into sustainable business models. This helped develop and reinforce new skills in identifying and growing business ideas and assessing opportunities for sustainable business models to promote healthy living.

By completing this summer school, Angelika has more experience in how SMEs are finding business opportunities on the food, nutrition and health sectors, which – in turn – helps EuroFIR understand better the needs of current and future members and clients.

EIT Food & EIT Health Cross KIC Event: Benefits of biologicals for food & health industries

14th June 2018 (Rotterdam, NL)

 

Koppert Biological Systems hosted the first cross-KIC event amongst partners from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Food and Health Communities. The event was intended to showcase examples where the two EIT communities have been successful independently and to find ways they might work together in other EIT-funded projects, highlighting the links between food and health. Speakers included: Menno Kok (Director of EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands), Angelo Vermeulen (NASA), Imran Afzal (PepsiCo). This event illustrated the interconnection between the sectors and the willingness to engage more on projects where there are strong common interests.

Menno Kok gave an insight on how EIT Health could fund more prevention-related projects in coming years, and revealed there will be joint funding calls between EIT Health and EIT Food, as related to education, business creation, and sustainability. There will also be a joint innovation strategy for cross-KIC projects linking food and health. Importantly, for Quisper, Menno highlighted research in healthcare prevention, specifically patient participation and the impact on individuals once they are aware of their genetic risk and what it means in terms of health and dietary behaviours.

Angelo Vermeulen (NASA) talked about the many food innovations happening in the space sector, from 3D-printed food to space farming. One project, MELiSSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative, https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/Melissa) is looking at closed-loop system relationships amongst food, waste, water, and CO2 and, most relevant for EuroFIR, making sure foods are nutritious and safe for human consumption. Imran Afzal from PepsiCo International (UK), a beneficiary in EIT Food Quisper, spoke about work connecting food with health.

Slides are available here: https://www.slideshare.net/EITFood/the-benefits-of-biologicals-for-food-health-industries

Photos are available here https://www.facebook.com/pg/EITFood.eu/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2134182613492909

 

2018-06-06 Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition (BCFN)

International Forum on Food & Nutrition

 

This Forum was held in the SQUARE (Brussels, BE) and focused on the Mediterranean Region and Migration. Noteworthy speakers included Gerba Verburg (Assistant Secretary General at the UN and Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement), Phil Hogan (European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development), and Leo Abruzzese (Global Director of Public Policy, The Economist Intelligence Unit) amongst many others.

Verburg talked about how regional development should be tied more closely to agricultural development as well as stating that nutrition and food security are increasingly makers and markers of success across all SDGs. Hogan hinted that CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) should be transformed to include more work on nutrition and health, under a new name ‘Common Agriculture and Food Policy’, which is also a recommendation from BCFN.  Abruzzese discussed developments to the Food Sustainability Index (FSI), particularly expansion to include all EU countries and more sub-Saharan countries. He highlighted that new datasets have been added (e.g. fish stocks) and suggestions for future additions would be welcome.

Other speakers included Myriam Perez (Director of Young Professionals for Agricultural and Rural Development [YPARD]), whose organisation connects farmers to researchers to develop new food products, and Mohamed Wageih (Director of Social Innovation & Business Incubation Center, SEKEM Development Foundation) who wants to build partnerships between Europe and Africa to learn from best practices in addressing food and nutrition related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).

2018-06-05 EuroHealthNet event: Smart Investments? Let’s talk prevention

Hosted by the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union (Brussels, BE), this event sought to discuss practical opportunities for funding healthcare prevention in Europe. Most speakers were from Member State governments and inter-governmental institutions, such as WHO, OECD, and the EU.

Thomas Kergall (Council of Europe Development Bank) highlighted that most funding is for infrastructure projects, but more funding for projects reaching out to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, is being sought. Agnieszka Markowska (ESI Funds for Health) discussed how this initiative brings together investment from the European Social and Regional Development funds to support projects that improving access to healthcare, reducing health inequalities, and boos healthcare reforms. Stefan Schreck (Head of Unit, DG SANTE) encouraged the audience to share their ideas and projects through the EC Public Health Best Practices Portal.

2018-06-05 STOA workshop: EIT’s role in strengthening EU innovation

Held in the European Parliament (Brussels, BE), this workshop focused on current work and future goals of the EIT (European Institute of Innovation & Technology) in strengthening innovation across Europe. Speakers included three MEPs on the STOA Panel, Eva Kaili (S&D, EL), Paul Rubig (EPP, AT), and Christian Ehler (EPP, DE), Tibor Navracsics (European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport – responsible for EIT), Martin Kern (Acting Director of EIT), and Jean-David Malo (Director of Open Innovation and Open Science, EC, DG RTD).   Key messages highlighted EIT’s success in helping to close the innovation gap in Europe, and impact in regions across the whole of Europe through the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS). Navracsics and Kern both indicated there will be an expansion of EIT, with two hubs planned before end of 2018 in USA and Israel, and third planned in China during 2019; there will also be new EIT communities in addition to the existing six (Climate, Digital, Food, Health, InnnoEnergy & Raw Materials). In the future, there will be more cross-community actions, and links with European Structural Investment Funds, the proposed European Innovation Council and European Universities Network, and calls will be adapted to match UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).

2018-06-13 N8 AgriFood Conference (Liverpool, UK)

At the N8 AgriFood Conference (Liverpool, UK), Dr Siân Astley represented EuroFIR AISBL for the two-day event. Siân also presented poster describing the work of NASCENT, REFRESH, and SEAFOODTOMMORROW (see below). REFRESH attracted particularly interest during the poster session.

There were 270 attendees from disciplines across food systems, and the conference offered many opportunities to initiate or reinforce existing collaborations across academia, industry and other sectors.

The slides are available here and the photo gallery here.

NASCENT Poster

REFRESH Poster

SEAFOODTOMORROW Poster

Receive up to €3000 to connect with aquaculture experts in Europe and South-East Asia

EURASTiP Exchange Programme

Maximise existing and new collaborations and strategic partnerships between Europe and south-east Asia in the aquaculture sector with the EURASTiP Exchange ProgrammeOpportunities are available for industry, researchers and educators from both regions to connect and gain new perspectives while sharing innovative ideas to help develop long term partnerships. Bursaries of up to €3000 are available per exchange (subject to eligibility criteria) to support international innovation and collaboration.

Deadline: 30 September 2018

More details and to apply: see the EURASTiP Exchange Programme_Flyer for more details, and http://www.eurastip.eu/exchanges Contact:
Industry & Research Exchanges:
Educator Exchanges:
Mieke Eggermont
Ghent University, Belgium
Marieke Reuver
AquaTT, Ireland
EURASTiP is an EU-funded H2020 project promoting multi-stakeholder contributions to international cooperation on sustainable solutions for aquaculture development in south-east Asia. For more details, see the project website: http://eurastip.eu/