AKUT & Food Trends
Erasmus+ European Project
Αmplifying the Knowledge and Use of Testbeds.
Another innovative project is being implemented in Cyprus through the ERASMUS+ Programme and the collaboration of Wise4, Krinova Science Park, Lund University (Sweden), and the AULA DEI Science Park (Spain).
The four partners, having extensive experience in business planning, recognized the big problem of small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of nutrition, who want to try an innovative idea but are unable to have their own research and development department and the necessary access in testbeds.
As part of the project, the four partners aim to develop an online e-learning program in order to facilitate the exchange of knowledge about test infrastructures/platforms (testbeds), new technologies, and innovation infrastructures in the field of food.
The project advocates the improvement of knowledge of small and medium enterprises, helping especially in the development of new processes and food products as well as in the creation of new digital tools and learning methods as tools for the development of the business status of the participating organizations.
The purpose of the project is to help consultants, mentors, business designers, small and medium-sized enterprises, and start-ups in the food sector to gain immediate knowledge of the necessary and available testbeds.
Innovation & Trends in Food Sector
Global and European trends in the traditional industries, but also the international pressure to offer innovative solutions and changes in the field of nutrition and agri-food sector, are shaping a new era. The changes in the food industry, combined with other complementary changes in other sectors, create a new pattern characterized by rapid developments – while at the same time paving the way for the emergence of new trends.
What are the most important of these trends in the food industry?
- Organic food and beverage industry
Organic sales rose 14.2% in 2020, representing an increase of $ 1 billion to $ 8.5 billion, according to the 2020 Organic Product Performance Report.
- Sustainability & consumption of meat substitutes
The vegan diet is considered to contribute significantly to the protection of the planet – but the complete consumption of plant-based foods doesn’t necessarily mean a negligible environmental footprint. The choice of food and the ways of their production have a significant impact on the environment.
- Functional foods
Functional foods are those that have a potentially positive effect on the body and offer benefits beyond the basic nutritional context. They promote optimal health and help reduce the risk of various diseases.
- Local, seasonal food, and traditional food
Consumers, according to new data, tend to buy and eat seasonal foods that have been grown and produced in their region. Could this be a hope for a return to the traditional local diet? Maybe.
- Food safety
The scientific methods and disciplines associated with handling, preparing and storing food in ways that prevent foodborne illness are constantly growing – and this is not a surprise!
- Food Design & Packaging
Quality packaging, but also food design – convey a message of added value and quality, which certainly does not go unnoticed by the new generation of consumers.
All the above trends and innovations that are coming, will lead to significant changes in food production processes. Stimulating open innovation and open education through the creation of appropriate technological tools, the use of testbeds, as well as the implementation of innovative processes, are some of the main axes of the European Erasmus+ AKUT Project.
AKUT | NEW Partners MEETING
The second plenary meeting of the AKUT project, took place virtually, via ZOOM, on May 16th, 2022, discussing the progress so far regarding the Intellectual Outputs (IOs) of the Project.
The main topics of discussion concerned :
- The new projects’ Learning Platform and the online Courses, as well as
- The upcoming Multiplier Event in Cyprus.
All partners decided to arrange the next Translational Meeting on June 06th and the Final Event on August 29th.
The meeting concluded with a discussion about some key points concerning certain Project Management issues (timesheets and relevant documentation that need to be completed by all partners).
AKUT | MULTIPLIER EVENT IN CYPRUS
Wisefour Innovative Company, in the framework of the project Amplifying the use of testbeds – AKUT, organizes the Project’s first Multiplier Event “Innovation and Trends in the food sector” which will take place on June 17, 2022.
AKUT aims to boost open innovation and open education through the creation and development of relevant tools and materials, as well as an online training program focusing on facilitating entrepreneurship and sustainability in the food sector. In addition, the aim of the project is to increase the knowledge about test beds and their effective use for product and process development, which serves particularly small companies that do not have a research and development department or lack financial or non-financial resources.
The cooperation aims to support entrepreneurs, especially small and medium-sized food enterprises, in developing food and beverages. During the implementation of the project the partners have created a free e-learning platform, which focuses on both entrepreneurs and business consultants in the field of food, and especially agri-food products, as well as in other areas related to the subject of food innovation by supporting entrepreneurs to develop their products.
The Multiplier Event will present new trends in the food sector, innovation and technology issues related to this field, as well as test environments in Europe open to all who want to innovate and experiment.
Start date 01/9/2019 – End date 31/8/2022.
The project is co-funded by the European Commission, and by the Erasmus + KA2 Lifelong Learning Program.
Project Number: 2019-1-SE01-KA204-060597