Food Innovation Roundtable Meetings with Lithuanian food SMEs and innovation stakeholders

Monday June 3, 2019

Food Innovation Roundtable Meeting with Lithuanian food SMEs at Kaunas University of Technology

From the left: Solveiga Grigaleviciute (Director at Ingredientas and Saldu desertine), Saule Serafiniene (Sales Development executive at Urbanfood), Paulina Streimikyte (Co-founder and product developer at Innofoods – AVOO), Ieva Ragauskiene (Project Manager at Ekofrisa), Jolita Kausiuviene (Project Supporter at University College Absalon, Denmark), Michael Christiansen (Project Manager at University College Absalon, Denmark), Alvija Salaseviciene (Director of Food Institute of Kaunas University of Technology, LT), Tadas Puronas (Deputy Director at Sveika Energija), Vaidas Raila (Director at Ekoproduktas), Jeanette Purhagen (Researcher and Project Manager at Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, Sweden) and Emilis Monstavicius (Manager at Innofoods – AVOO).

Prior to the meeting six Food SME were contacted for more information & dialogues about the companies in order to plan the meeting with the best outputs. At the start of meeting SBFOODINNO project was presented: the activities and share the knowledge & results with focus on potentials of vegetable proteins and food system mappings. Later on SME were asked to bring out the need for food innovation, sharing good practice & finding obstacles and opportunities for food innovation. Finally, it was discussed and brought input to relevant topics to a larger Food Innovation Toolbox event at Kaunas University of Technology on 19-20 September 2019.

 

 

Meeting with Giedrius Bagusinskas, Director of Lithuanian Food Exporters Association and Coordinator of Smart Food Cluster

From the left: Michael Christiansen (Project Manager at University College Absalon, Denmark), Jeanette Purhagen (Researcher and Project Manager at Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, Sweden) and Giedrius Bagusinskas (Director of Lithuanian Food Exporters Association LitMEA and Coordinator of Smart Food Cluster)

Smart Food cluster was established in 2013 on the basis of the Joint Activities Agreement of the Lithuanian Food Exporters Association LitMEA. It unites 27 members representing different food industry sectors and has among its activities focus on developing innovativeness by encouraging the expansion of the cluster, integration into international networks by attracting new members and increasing the innovative potential. Also, uniting needs of the members for fundamental and industrial scientific research in initiating joint R&D activities. Nevertheless, Smart Food cluster is one of the founders of the Eastern Europe Food cluster network and a reliable partner of Lithuanian institutions responsible for export and innovation development. Now we working on finding and planning future activities in SBFOODINNO project context.

 

Tuesday June 4, 2019

Food Innovation Roundtable Meeting at Kaunas University of Technology with Lithuanian Ministries, Chamber and Innovations Centers 

From the left: Almantas Kranauskas (Head of Department, Nutrition and Physical Activity Division, Ministry of Health of The Republic of Lithuania), Jolita Kausiuviene (Project Supporter at University College Absalon, Denmark), Michael Christiansen (Project Manager at University College Absalon, Denmark), Gitana Alencikiene (Food Scientist at Food Institute of Kaunas University of Technology, LT), Alvija Salaseviciene (Director of Food Institute of Kaunas University of Technology, LT), Daiva Besagirskaite (Project Manager at Lithuanian Innovation Center), Agne Jaraite (Head of International Relations and Protocol Department at Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts) and Zigmas Medingis (Deputy Director of the Department of Economics at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania). Missing in the picture – Mindaugas Bulota (Head of National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at Kaunas University of Technology)

Gitana Alencikiene, Food Scientist at Food Institute of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) started with a presentation about Lithuanian food sector innovations. Later Mindaugas Bulota from the National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre continued and presented Implementation of innovations, Case study of KTU. The other theme “Support for business innovation in Food sector” was presented by Agne Jaraite (Head of International Relations and Protocol Department at Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts) together with Daiva Besagirskaite (Project Manager at Lithuanian Innovation Center) as these two institutions are closely collaborating with each other.

One of the best outcomes of the meeting was, that we were able to share the contacts of the participated specialists in order to answer coarse matters SME noted on the previous day meeting, e.g. export rules in a different EU markets, checking the reliability of the abroad companies etc.

Meanwhile Zigmas Medingis (Deputy Director of the Department of Economics at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania) presented Fit4Food2030 project, where Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania and Kaunas University of Technology are among the project partners. It turned out, that Fit4Food2030 project has a parallel activities with SBFOODINNO project, where Fit4Food2030 project focuses on city labs and policy labs, while SBFOODINNO project is working on SME labs activities. All in all, the different labs merge into a single document that clarifies and compares Food Innovation Policies and Initiatives in Lithuania and other EU countries.

It was also agreed on with A. Jaraite from Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts and D. Besagirskaite from Lithuanian Innovation Center, that SBFOODINNO project and its activities in autumn will be presented in the newsletters and websites also during the meetings with food SME in order to attract more participants, establish bigger network space and present SBFOODINNO project activities and results. As mentioned above, one of the events is Food Innovation Toolbox on the 19-20th September and fair MADE in Lithuania, where SBFOODINNO project is present together with Enterprise Europe Network for LT food SME brokerage on the 11-13th October.

 

Meeting with representatives from Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, National Food cluster and SMEs Melyne and Innofoods – AVOO

Dr. Ramune Bobinaite, who is Senior Researcher at Institute of horticulture, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Technology at Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry presented innovation process, equipment and told about how start-ups are born her.

From the left: Jonas Viškelis (Co-founder at Melyne), Michael Christiansen (Project Manager at University College Absalon, Denmark), Paulina Streimikyte (Co-founder and product developer at Innofoods – AVOO) and Dr. Ceslovas Bobinas (Chief Researcher at Institute of horticulture, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Technology at Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry)

Ceslovas Bobinas, who is also representative of the National Food Cluster told it was established in 2006 and joins 22 members, where Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry is one of them. It was also mentioned activities and services research center provides, such as analyses of grain and flour quality, energy crops and various biofuels, digestate, plant quality indicators, microbiological analyses, testing of plant breeding material under controlled conditions, chemical composition of fruits, berries and vegetables, biologically active compounds and technological properties etc. It is a strong scientific research, experimental base, that develops high-quality, health-friendly products.

He also talked about the only one in Lithuania Open access center, that services are focused on helping to create new innovative products, find solutions, make trial lots, meet other SME and make researches alone or together with the center’s specialists with a purpose on creating something small but unique.

National Food Cluster has a purpose of moderating the activities of the companies of the cluster in developing and manufacturing innovative products, also cooperating with research and educational institutions seeking to achieve common goals.

Finally, after all the presentations it was discovered, that SBFOODINNO and Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry together with National Food Cluster have the same main objectives: support for development of food industry and enhancement of greater competitiveness, innovativeness, entrepreneurship and partnership among the SME, public sector and knowledge institutions. In order to continue collaboration, National Food cluster with its member was invited to participate and make presentations in the autumn 2019 events in Lithuania starting with Food Innovation Toolbox event 19-20 September in Kaunas.