A pan-European FoodConnects partnership, including the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research PAS in Olsztyn and the University of Warsaw, won in the competition of the European Institute of Innovation Technology on the Food4Future call: EIT Food. This is a spectacular success of Polish science both when it comes to the prestige and financial matters, as the planned support of the EU for the entire consortium will reach 400 million euros within seven years.
EIT is an independent body of the European Union focused on developing mechanisms that boost competitiveness of Europe and reinforce its innovation capacity in a dynamic global context. This aim is achieved through promoting and strengthening partnerships among businesses, education institutions and research organisations called KICs– Knowledge and Innovation Communities, which work together to tackle the most burning challenges of today’s societies.
FoodConnects is a consortium of 50 partners from 13 European countries, including the leading universities, research organisations, and businesses, such as the University of Cambridge, Technical University of Munich, ETH Zurich, Nestle, PepsiCO, Sodexo, Siemens or Robert Bosch GmbH. Polish partners of the consortium, apart from the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research PAS and University of Warsaw, comprise two corporations: Maspex Wadowice Group and Raben Poland Group. Over the next seven years, the partners will invest close to 1.200 million euros matched with up to 400 million euros financed by the EIT.
EIT Food’s vision is to put Europe at the centre of a global revolution in food innovation and production, value in society. The consortium will engage consumers in the change process, improve nutrition and make the food system more resource-efficient, secure, transparent and trusted. It will boost the skills and entrepreneurial spirit in the sector and unlock the potential of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which in turn will accelerate innovation, create jobs, benefit businesses and increase Europe’s competitiveness. This aims are to be achieved through development of new or improved products, services, and processes; supporting the creation of start-ups; training over 10 000 graduates from EIT-labelled Master and programmes; and decreasing greenhouse-gas emissions in the European food system.
EIT Food has formed five Co-location Centres across Europe, which will stimulate innovation, talent development and consumer involvement at the regional level. One of the CLCs will be located in Warsaw, covering not only Poland but also Central Europe and Nordic countries.