Innovation in the food industry is crucial for meeting the expected increase in food demands worldwide emanating from the increasing world population in the coming decades. Investments in food innovation are essential to qualify the South Baltic Region (SBR)food industry to take part of the expected potential in new and increasing markets and thereby securing and maintaining global competitiveness and growth in SBR food industry.
The small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) are characterized by enterprises with approximately 15-20 employees, often with low innovation capacity. Only 20% of food SMEs’ innovation are based on cooperation between food SMEs and innovation actors (including knowledge institutions).
Half of food SMEs innovate in cooperation with customers, business partners etc. and innovation capacity is significantly higher for SMEs cooperating with innovation actors. Especially the many SMEs in the food sector are strongly challenged by low innovation capacity and absence of cooperation with innovation actors.
At the same time the food industry is challenged by missing focus and knowledge to adjust to future trends converting future challenges into growth potentials within e.g. sustainability, health and vegetable proteins but also of an aging population, population growth and migration as well as larger focus on integrated food systems and consumer centric approaches.
The project SBFOODINNO.eu meets these exact challenges by developing concrete food SME driven innovation activities between food SMEs and knowledge institutions. The activity themes are:
- Food Innovation in SME’s – with focus on vegetable proteins
- Public sector driving food development – with focus on municipalities and hospitals
- The Food Innovation Toolbox – A knowledge brigde platform
Such SME driven activities are seldom offered in the traditional business development system. The project provides profound practice-based innovation addressing how to support food SME development as well as demonstrating how knowledge institutions can play an important role in food SME development as an add on to business development accessible for food SMEs.
Thereby the project expects to reach and support a larger number of food SMEs which are not covered by existing business development structures and -services today.
Project Manager & Information Manager
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