Author: Helena McMahon
TRADEIT NETWORK PROMOTES FOOD INNOVATION
Between 2014 and October 2016, the TRADEIT team will organise workshops & events across Europe to support traditional food producing enterprises, especially those in the dairy, meat and bakery sectors. The project aims to kick start innovation and knowledge sharing in an accessible and practical way.
Traditional foods represent a growing segment of the EU food market. Consumers are increasingly aware of the food chain, the value food provenance and the benefits of purchasing locally. This expanding market brings its own particular set of challenges. The predominantly small- to micro-scale food companies are typically under-resourced which limits opportunities for involvement in innovation and knowledge sharing. These activities are regarded as key for achieving the growth and competitiveness required to capitalise on the current market opportunities. TRADEIT was set-up to help small and medium-sized traditional food enterprises toward achieving innovation, growth and competitiveness for a sustainable future.
Over 50 Events
In total, over 50 training events and workshops are on offer for small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe. These events address pricing strategies, labelling, marketing, food safety, product development, plant design, business models and supply chain. The events bring together small and medium-sized enterprises, experts and technology providers. During brokerage events, enterprises can network, explore emerging trends, acquire new technologies and develop partnerships. Themes that are addressed in 2015 are: meat, dairy, food safety, quality, packaging and sustainability. Several companies are already exploring new partnerships as a result of attending a TRADEIT event. Interested in attending one of the events too? Join the TRADEIT network and get involved.
The TRADEIT network is a wide European network that consists of food researchers, policy organisations, consumers, technology providers, entrepreneurial networks and small and medium-sized enterprises. Small and medium-sized enterprises in the network benefit from the TRADEIT support and event offering and also provide input to the project. For example, 320 traditional food enterprises in Europe recently identified their most important needs. This information was used to inform the design of current project events.
Many companies are now exploring new partnerships
Want to get involved in the TRADEIT network? For free subscription, go to www.tradeitnetwork.eu and receive the specific information that is relevant to you. In addition, you can contact one of the nine local hubs in Europe. Local hub advisors are available to discuss your business, your needs and to explore how TRADEIT can develop and deliver support, tailored to the needs of your business. They can also provide more information about upcoming workshops or other events that you can join.
TRADEIT is developing a priority listing of the research and innovation needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, which upon completion will be presented to the European Commission in the form of a research and innovation agenda. The objective is to influence future funding programs for the benefit of the traditional food sector. Innovation, business and technology requirements of small companies are very different from those of larger food producers. If you have an idea or topic for future research that can help your business or the sector we are really keen to hear from you - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nine regional hubs for support of your business challenges
Entrepreneurial mind-set for researchers
In addition to the events that are directed at small and medium-sized enterprises, an intensive entrepreneurial academy will take place in Italy in 2015 and in 2016 in Germany to provide researchers with an entrepreneurial mind-set and skills to collaborate with industry. Food researchers will learn how to commercialise research outputs, because they develop the technologies of tomorrow.
Last but not least, the TRADEIT team developed the present magazine ‘Taste Of Science’. Taste Of Science communicates emerging trends and technologies that are relevant and accessible for small and medium-sized enterprises in the food sector. The TRADEIT network sources the articles of the magazine.
TRADEIT an EU funded initiative
TRADEIT stands for: Traditional Foods, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology Transfer.
For whom: Food producing enterprises across Europe, especially food producers in the dairy, meat and bakery sectors.
Objective: Facilitating innovation, growth, competitiveness and a sustainable future for traditional food enterprises.
Reason: Innovation and knowledge sharing is key to achieving the growth and competitiveness. However, only few traditional, craft and artisan food producers have the capacity for research.
How: Establishing a network, organization of events and the development of the magazine ‘Taste of Science’. All are directed to share knowledge and insights on how to support production of authentic products that meet 21st century standards. Regional Hubs offer trainings, workshops and technology related events tailored to the needs and request of the enterprises at a regional level.
Areas of interest: Traceability, food safety, nutritional content, sensory value, supply chain management and sustainability.
When: From 2014 to 2016.
Funded by: European Union.
Partners: Nineteen partners across Europe. Nine partners are ‘hubs’ to facilitate enterprise support on a regional basis: Ireland, UK, Spain (2x), Portugal, Italy, Germany, Poland and Finland.
Coordination: Helena McMahon, Institute of Technology Tralee, Ireland.
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