EFFoST would like to thank Prof Alain Le Bail for hosting the 32nd EFFoST International Conference and making it a wonderful event. The conference delegates were able to enjoy a scientific dense programme that included 120 oral and 400 poster presentations.
From the European Commission, Wim Haentjens kicked off the morning plenary session explaining the goals of Horizon Europe, the successor of H2020. This 7-year programme for research and innovation is worth €100 billion. The budget dedicated to food and natural resources has been doubled to €10 billion. The programme focuses on future proofing food systems by prioritizing nutrition, climate, circularity and innovation.
The new Bioeconomy Strategy programme was launched in October. It includes all sectors and systems that use, produce, process, or are driven by
biological resources. Agriculture and food are responsible for 76% of employment and 67% of the turnover, therefore this updated version has given food a more central position in the bioeconomy.
Jan Delcour spoke about how EIT was founded as a response to Europe’s excellent research base that rarely turned ideas into new products and services. Now EIT focusses on empowering their multistakeholder community to achieve tangible impacts such as increasing trust in the food system, cut food in 10 years and getting many more EU consumers to adhere to WHO recommended nutrition standards.
In the second plenary session of the day, Matthieu Vincent from DigitalFoodLabs gave a few interesting statistics on innovation in the food sector. Investment in food in the EU is only 16% of global funding, while the global market is 25%. Most investment goes into delivery and retail, rather than food science. Examples of food innovation in Europe include Peas&Love (urban farming), EKIM (pizza robot), Vivino (wine app), Deliveroo (delivery service), Piccolo (baby food), EDAMAM (coaching). The countries leading food innovation in Europe are Germany and UK, followed by France, The Netherlands and Sweden.
Didier Bonnet from Cargill presented the Student of the Year awards to the following six winners: Silvia Brandner (1st Prize PhD.), Tom Bernaerts (2nd prize PhD.), Piyush Kumar Jha (3rd prize PhD.), Ozan Karataş (1st prize MSc.), Feng Xu (2nd prize MSc.) and Qinhui Xing (Popular Vote). Cargill sponsors this event to support and encourage the next generation of food scientists. As part of their prize, the winners will be visiting the Cargill's R&D Centre in Vilvoorde, Belgium.
EFFoST also presented Beate Kettlitz the Science to Society Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development of European food science and technology research through her promotion of the European Technology Platform 'Food for Life' to the widest possible audience of funding agencies and researchers.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Prof. Élisabeth Dumoulin to acknowledge her outstanding leadership, vision and pioneering efforts in food processing research and in developing international postgraduate programmes in food science and technology.
Wageningen University and Research will be hosting the 33rd EFFoST International Conference. We hope to see you in Rotterdam, 12-14 November 2019!