Fostering innovation among food–industry leadersFood Industry
Originally Published in April 2017
Future Food is a program established by the techBrainers R&D Club, AgroBioCluster and UNIMOS Foundation to support the development of innovation in the food industry. It encourages cooperation between startups, corporations, members of the R&D Club and entrepreneurs in the industry. It also fosters inspiration for discovering new trends and developing solutions through innovation and international cooperation across sectors.
The inspiration to create the Future Food program arose at a meeting of leaders at the R&D Summit in 2016. After discussing the issues of innovative trends in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, the leaders decided to form a program in response to enterprises’ challenges and grassroots development needs. The program is targeted primarily at leaders, managers, R&D heads, specialists, experts at public institutions and academic centers that are responsible for the development of new products in the food industry. Such products can address packaging, transportation, logistics, engineering, biotechnology and IT.
Cooperation in the program provides participants with access to the latest knowledge in food and packaging, access to technology that addresses market needs, an opportunity to establish business partnerships and networking with industry leaders. Future Food is also a platform for dialogue between leaders and companies from related industries and gives a cohesive voice to leaders in the food and packaging industry.
“The key to success will be the cooperation between innovators, food manufacturers, distributors, packaging developers and R&D leaders.”
Anna Kędziora-Zabost, manager of the R&D Club said, “Food has many aspects: social, environmental, economic, and business. For the R&D sector, there is an area of enormous opportunity through the development of new technologies and investments in the ecosystem of startups. The food industry is changing so intensely, it’s hard to imagine a single scenario for how it will develop. The key to success will be the cooperation between innovators, food manufacturers, distributors, packaging developers and R&D leaders.”
TechBrainers R&D Club and AgroBio Cluster have worked on several different projects to promote Future Food, such as participating in the R&D Summit in 2016 to showcase technology scouting and a cooperative food industry network. In addition, the two groups shared a space at the Mazovia Development Forum and published an R&D magazine to track industry trends and new markets, as well as the most important international events, such as ANUGA, SIAL, Agroalimentaria Barcelona or Gulfood.
TechBrainers R&D Club has more than 150 members from various industries. The Club organizes regular meetings, conferences, training programs and workshops to integrate and educate industry leaders in R&D, specifically on issues related to food, space and energy.
AgroBio Cluster promotes the development of the bio-economy sector of agro-food. By bringing together businesses, academic institutions, local governments and non-governmental organizations, the EU-funded group brings together and internationalizes a network of people in the food industry. EIT FoodConnects and Pilot Maker are two of its partners.
Katarzyna Kowalska, expert at techBrainers, vice president of the UNIMOS Foundation and manager at AgroBio Cluster, said combining related industry sectors can bring about new innovations. For example, modern technology can be widely used in production monitoring and improving food safety, as well as in providing knowledge and education through mobile applications to more informed and demanding customers.