Author: Sophie Hieke
Inspirational technology exhibition
The Food Tech Innovation Portal (Food TIP) is a free online knowledge portal that collects and provides an overview of the latest technologies, testing facilities and services in food processing across Europe.
The Food Tech Innovation Portal (Food TIP) provides a central address with bundled information for people interested in new technologies, opportunities, ‘open innovation’ and networking in the field of food processing. It can enhance the competitiveness, especially that of small and medium-sized companies without R&D departments. Developed within the EU-funded Network of Excellence HighTech Europe, the portal was launched in 2013 and is continuously expanding. The portal contains several relevant sections for SMEs.
In the ‘Technologies’ section, an array of relevant technologies is showcased: from those already on the market to the latest research on novel technologies. Technology datasheets explain where and how to apply technologies within food producing firms. In addition, the sheets provide information about limitations, advantages, companies with expertise and related infrastructures and additional sources of information.
Profiles and facilities
After registration on the portal, companies and R&D centres have access to all information and can interact via the portal with other members. For example, in the ‘Profiles’ section, information about research institutes, companies and associations are given, completed with personal contact information and expertise. The ‘Facilities’ section provides information about openly accessible infrastructure, such as machineries, laboratories, services and so on.
The ‘Innovation Guide’ offers information and support for the whole innovation process, from pre-feasibility to market launch. Technical, legal, financial, management, and marketing aspects at European level are explained. The guide helps identify suitable R&D activities, innovation activities and support tools, with the overall aim to optimize innovation activities as a whole. Last but not least, you can find an updated list of upcoming events in the field of food technology in the ‘Events’ section.
How to use the portal?
The “Google Translator” at the bottom of each page is there to help you understand the content. This translator does not always give you a good translation, but can still be useful. If you click on a specific technology or tool in the alphabetic list in the ‘Technologies’ section, you are taken to the technology data sheet. As a next step, you could click on the tab ‘Related Facilities’ and click one of these facilities to receive additional information on how they use this tool or technology. Here, you will also find the contact details of this facility, in case you would like to get in touch. And there is much more to discover!
The Food TIP portal is accessible to everyone. Certain functions are available only after free registration to the Associated Membership Platform (firstname.lastname@example.org). Associated members can enter their own contact data, technologies, and infrastructure. They can use the portal as a networking platform and generate new business contacts. You are welcome to visit http://www.foodtech-portal.eu and sign up for free to get full access.
Food TIP stands for: Food Tech Innovation Portal.
For whom: Food producing enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises, technology providers, and researchers.
Objective: Facilitating innovation in the food sector by providing information on relevant technologies.
Reason: Innovation and knowledge sharing is key to achieving growth and competitiveness.
How: Online portal that collects and provides information about technologies, labs, facilities, contact persons and events. The portal serves as a connector between members and aims to facilitate networking, to exchange knowledge.
Areas of interest: Food technology, new product development, innovation.
When: 2010 till present.
Funded by: HighTech Europe.
Partners: Developed by a network of 22 partners from academia, research and industry.
Coordination: Kerstin Lienemann, DIL, Belgium.
Network: so far more than 100 companies and institutions have joined, one third of which are SMEs.
Registration: gives the opportunity to engage in the network and to receive the newsletter.
Food TIP was one of the results from EU project HighTech Europe. HighTech Europe started in 2009 as a network of 22 partners from academia, research and industry as part of the FP7-KBBE funded network of Excellence. It was thought that scientific developments in the areas of biotechnology, nanotechnology and information and communication technology (ICT) can lead to more innovative food products and an increase in global competitiveness. Both business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies in the food and drink domain would benefit.
Aims HighTech Europe
As such, the main aims of HighTech Europe were to (1) identify knowledge for innovation potential to be used by small and medium-sized enterprises, (2) achieve a durable integration of European research & development activities into high-tech food processing, and (3) establish a sustainable network to support these objectives over the long-term. In 2010, the Associated Membership Platform (AMP) was created, in order to enlarge the existing HighTech Europe network. As registered users of the Food TIP, they can add and edit knowledge and information on the portal and regularly receive the newsletter of the network.
While the funding scheme for HighTech Europe officially ended in 2013, the HighTech Europe network as well as the Food TIP portal are still available to members and external stakeholders, with worldwide access. As such, the portal serves as a connector for other EU-funded projects such as i3-Food and RICHFIELDS, to bring together key players in the food technology and research landscape.