Main objectives of WorkPackage “Public sector driving food development” (WP4)

The objective in WP4 is to generate growth in food SMEs based on public food market which is often inaccessible due to public procurement. The Associated Partner (AP) Corporate Service (CS) in Denmark is introducing a new diet concept involving a transformation of regional procurement structure:

CS will act as case for developing and implementing ways to innovate and stimulate growth in food SMEs based on public market. Public markets demands, e.g. user perspectives, generates a possibility to change the public market’s procurement structure accessible for food SMEs.

WP4 sets up innovation interventions supporting growth in food SMEs arising from the public food sector. Innovation interventions will involve relevant participants and will generate learnings to be elaborated in triple helix platforms as best case and methodical learnings about food development in the public sector. Additionally, cross border activities between the partners will strengthen the value chain for SMEs in all participating countries.

Summary description of activities and main output delivables

Activities in WP4 will simultaneously be working with public sector driving food development based on cases from Skåne (SE) and Zealand (DK). In Region Zealand transformation of the procurement structure in AP CS’ food production is converted to accessible growth potential for food SMEs. Lead Partner ABSALON facilitates innovation interventions stimulating new products and processes, including investigations of user perspectives of a new diet concept in CS. The case thereby meets the demands of the public market and identifies future market potentials for food SMEs. Knowledge transfer activities stimulates potentials arising from the regional public food sector to new products, processes, cooperation etc in food SMEs, involving researchers, lecturers & students in innovation processes involving CS and food SMEs. Future procurement structures in CS’ food production generates a new potential for growth in regional food SMEs and the ABSALON innovation activities will present and develop potentials in the regional public market and stimulate growth in food SMEs.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) will simultaneously work with SMEs developing new products for (both consumer and) public sector, and transform theoretical knowledge into practical solutions to make concrete changes for SMEs in a new food innovation facility at SLU Alnarp that include R&D facilities available for students, researchers & SMEs. This will be based on public sector and food SMEs’ innovation needs or trends that paves the way for innovation generating growth in food SMEs, driving food development.

Cross-border activities with SME driven Innovation
Two cross-border activities will develop profound findings of the innovation potential for food SMEs connected to public market with strong impact for growth potential for food SMEs in the SBR public food sector in general. Relevant findings in WP3 regarding vegetable proteins will be implemented in WP4 with regard to innovative new aspects of food production with potential for the new diet concept. WP4 will show how knowledge institutions through innovation interventions and knowledge transfer activities can provide development resources available for food SMEs. Innovation exchange and cross-border workshops (inviting at least 20 relevant SMEs) together with relevant knowledge institutions, will generate innovative tools and knowledge exchange regarding how to innovate and strengthen the value chain in addition to support growth of SMEs.

The know­ledge transfer activities become an adaptable innovation format, supporting food SMEs in their development needs by activities seldom offered in the traditional business development system. In this context, WP4 provides profound practice-based knowledge addressing how to support food SME development as well as how knowledge institutions can play an important role in food SME development as an add on to business development. Thereby, this project expects to reach and support a number of food SMEs which are not covered by existing business development structures today.