Danish Food Cluster receives funds to strengthen SMEs

A new partnership has been granted 12 mio. Dkr. from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science to secure sustainable growth in Denmark.

Danish Food Innovation is the name of a new food innovation network, who recently received 12 million Danish kroner from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science to reach an ambitious goal within 2 years: Making the growth layer of the Danish food cluster better equipped to face a global future and to secure sustainable growth in Denmark.

The innovation network also has a goal of contributing to a stronger cooperation between the actors of the industry, which is why Agro Business Park, Knowledge Center for Food Innovation (VIFU) and Danish Food Cluster are the three partners of the network.

The Danish food cluster is a global success story that has a great impact on Denmark’s economy, but the cluster is also pressured by global challenges. That is why we need to work together on ambitious goals,” says Chairman of the Danish Food Innovation board, Vice President in Chr. Hansen, Esben Laulund.

He points out Denmark’s strong tradition of collaboration and innovation as means to turn the food cluster’s challenges into business opportunities and making the growth layer better equipped to answer to new demands from consumer and to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

With the new network – lots of great initiatives are in store for the members of Danish Food Cluster:

The activities that we are doing for our members are geared up with more activities in the innovation network, especially for the SMEs, so more knowledge is generated for the benefit of both small and large companies ­– activities and knowledge that cover areas chosen by the industry themselves. And when the two years are over, we can keep the great initiatives and network running in Danish Food Cluster. With the new network, we have truly become the one point of entry in the food cluster,” says Lone Ryg Olsen, CEO, Danish Food Cluster.

The core tasks of the network will be strengthening the many small and medium sized enterprises in the food industry who has potential to come up with new solutions and become the export-engines of the future. This will take form in collaboration with a range of knowledge institutions and other actors in Denmark, who are partners in the innovation network.

The goal for Danish Food Innovation is new knowledge, new partners and international alliances, and the many strong partners together with the extensive experience of the three organisations, we are more than ready for the job,” says Esben Laulund.

Focus: Challenges of the industry

Six strategic challenges are the basis of the food innovation network – challenges identified by the food industry in the publication World-class Food Innovation towards 2030.

The six focus areas:

  1. Innovative products for the global consumer
  2. Food security 2.0
  3. Foods for a healthier life
  4. Efficient and agile food production
  5. A faster and safer way to market through big data
  6. Supply of high-quality raw materials in a circular economy

We look at the six challenges as opportunities, because through research and innovation-based solutions they can be turned into key business opportunities,” says Esben Laulund.

A total of 23 applications were submitted, and Danish Food Innovation was among the selected applicants. The project period is 01.12. 2018 -2020.

Read the publication World-Class Food Innovation towards 2030 here.

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