Agri-food smart specialisation event
Working together towards future proof food systems
Passionate about creating resilient and sustainable food systems? So are we and apparently, so were our guests at Gateway to Europe: agri-food edition, the international networking event where the future of the agri-food industry was outlined.
During our two-day event, participants reflected on the challenges facing future proof local food systems where better environment, entrepreneurship, food and health go hand in hand.
We summed up some key takeaways for you:
Keynote Dr. S. Lodens from the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, gave a digital tour of their multi-purpose pilot facility for process development and illustrated how collaboration and scaling-up can benefit multiple parties. The usage of shared pilot facilities enables stakeholders to bridge the gap between available research sources and commercialization resources through risk sharing and reduction.
Keynote Nele Lauwers from Boerenbond, project partner EFUA in the H2020 project, aims to unlock urban agriculture through better networking, better knowledge, better deployment and better policies in the fields. How? By creating the UA platform, a web based interface which aims to increase stakeholder participation and dialogue around Europe and bridge knowledge gaps.
It became abundantly clear that collaboration and cooperation between stakeholders is always key.
Keynote Louise Krogh Johnson, business development manager at FBCD and dissemination manager in the ZeroW project, pointed out that about 20% of the food produced in the EU goes to waste. The ZeroW project directly addresses the challenge of food loss and waste by developing and testing a mix of innovations in real life conditions with the aim to deliver ambitious reductions at all stages of the food value chain from post-harvest to consumption. With multiple living labs tackling different problems and testing different solutions, products and services, data-driven near-zero FLW smart applications are created to offer long-term solutions.
Keynote Ine Petry also talked about living labs and how they enable sustainable food systems in the city region. In CITIES2030, the goal is to connect cities and regions, consumers, industry partners, civil society, research institutions and encourage active participation of all stakeholders within the city region system. Participants want to integrate research and innovation processes in real life communities and settings.
No doubt that living labs are platforms for lifelong learning.
Keynote Karsten Wilhelm and David Volk talked about energy and material flows in rooftop greenhouses. Through an innovative and multidisciplinary approach they hope to reduce CO2 in the building and agricultural sectors by combining energy exchange and local food production. They wield rooftop greenhouses as useful equipment for reuse resources, to collect CO2 and increase food resilience in urban areas. Their ultimate goal? To create green cities.
Keynote Prof. Dr. Leo Marcelis, Chair Horticulture & Product Physiology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, talked about the SKY HIGH project, where they want to optimize yield, resource use efficiency an product quality in vertical farms. They created concepts for design and control of a vertical farm which guarantee quality & quantity of production of fresh vegetables, every day of the year. With substantial better taste, aroma, appearance, shelf life and nutritional value, no usage of pesticides or nutrient emission, less energy use per unit product, at least twenty fold less land use and only 2-4 liter water use per kg vegetable, it seems they are developing the holy grail roadmap to vertical farming.
Want to know more? Check out the powerpoints of our renowned keynote speakers:
- Introduction: A. Tavernier, Director Economy, European and International cooperation, Province of West Flanders
- Keynote 'Innovations as an anwer to the challenges in sustainability we face in food, health and environment.' C. Van Hoof, Vice President R&D, OnePlanet Research Center.
- Panel discussion: How the Province of West Flanders invests in future proof local food systems, L. Tack, M. Demeulemeester, C. Destoop, Managing Directors POM West Flanders, Inagro, TUA West, & L. Lefever, Coordinator section European programmes and international cooperation Province of West-Flanders
- Keynote: Living labs as an approach towards a sustainable food system in the city region, I. Pertry, Business Developer, Inagro - CITIES2030
- Implementing circular waste management combined with urban bioproduction in a demonstration site at Campus as in Norway – what implications does this have for a near zero emission society in the future? Prof. T. Hvoslef-Eide, Norwegian University of life sciences - SiEUGreen
- Optimising yield, resource use efficiency and product quality in vertical farms, Prof. Dr. L. Marcelis, Wageningen University - SKYHIGH
- From better understanding towards better policies. Experiences from EFUA, Consultant N. Lauwers, Boerenbond - EFUA
- Synergies in rooftop greenhouses, M.Sc. D. Volk, EBF GmbH & M.Sc. K. Wilhelm, IFAS - GROOF
- The ZeroW project and other food loss and -waste initiatives, BDM L.K. Johnson, Food & Bio Cluster Denmark
- Fermentation of (food) side streams and general fermentation capabilities at Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, Dr. S. Lodens, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant
- Innovation as a driver for a resilient & sustainable food production system, M.Sc. G. Verhaeghe, Flanders’ FOOD
- Introduction, M. Sc. B. Plovie, FoodLab VIVES
- Examples from the food industry, CEO B. Verhenne, Flandria Foods - PROOF
- Examples from knowledge institutions, PhD J. Linschooten, HAS University of Applied Sciences - PROMISS
- Examples from policymakers & health care institutions, Manager L. Astaes, Ruddersstove - CITIES2030
Want to work together within the EFRO and Horizon Europe programs? Contact us with your questions or ideas:
- Inagro (focus on research and advisory in primary production): firstname.lastname@example.org
- POM (focus on entrepreneurship in food industry): email@example.com
- TUA WEST (focus on R&D in food industry): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Provincie West-Vlaanderen (focus on international collaboration): email@example.com
- Vives (focus on education and research in agri-food): Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you any reflections or feedback on this event? Send them to email@example.com.
Agri-food is part of the DNA of West-Flanders, its entrepreneurs and its knowledge institutes. We are keen to stay in touch with you and to connect with you in future project development at regional and European level.