Do you want to recruit the best employees for your company, boost your innovative thinking and get a new perspective on relevant company issues? These are some of the outcomes, which our members benefit from by participating in the FoodTech Challenge.
The FoodTech Challenge took place this week at the FoodTech fair. Foodjob is hosting the challenge, where 10 companies and 25 students from 10 different countries participate. Next year the similar InnovateFood Challenge will take place during the event InnovateFood on the 31th of August and 1st of September 2017. This event will soon be unveiled in its full extent.
Recruitment of the best employees
The recruitment process is central to the company’s success, since employees are vital resources of the firm. One of the benefits that DuPont gains from participating in the FoodTech Challenge is recruitment of talented employees. According to the Technical Fellow at DuPont, Niall Young, the challenge is an ideal way to gain a full impression of the students: “We get the opportunity to interact with the new upcoming students. This is a great way for us to interact with them and work and talk with them, but also figure out how they are as a person”.
Boost the innovative thinking
“If you as a companies don’t start to think out of the box, you will lose market share at some point. Today, companies are faced with different demands, which is why the standard way of doing things, well that is simply not enough”, states Sales Director at Barry Callebaut, Preben Dinsen.
Several of the companies expresses how the participation in the FoodTech Challenge provides them with new innovative perspectives on company related issues. Preben Dinsen believes that Barry Callebaut benefits from the new way of thinking that the students bring to the table: ”We participate in the challenge, because we believe that you get a new perspectives on things, which can open our horisont and the new generation has a completely different way of thinking”.
As a company, your way of thinking can sometimes be constrained by the customs and standards of either your industry or company. According to the Technical Fellow at DuPont the participating students are not constrained by these, and therefore more free to think in new directions: “When you are part of a large organisation, your way of thinking can be affected by the organisations “standard way of doing things”. When you are not part of it, you are more free in your way of thinking”.
KMC also benefit from the inputs from the students. CEO of KMC, Nicolai Hansen, considers the students a great source of inspiration: “We see it as a source of inspiration to gain new ideas and inputs for the project”.
Many competences on one relevant issue
A very unique aspect of the FoodTech Challenge is the composition of the teams. Students with different professional backgrounds are grouped together in a team – a type of open innovation.
CEO of KMC considers this kind of cooperation to be very important, as he believes that it will be a necessity in the future for an increasing amount of companies: “More and more companies discover that it becomes more difficult to solve complex problems, why they are forced to seek collaboration partners. This type of open innovation is also part of the FoodTech Challenge, where many different competences are grouped. I believe that this could be the future way of working”.
The Innovation Manager at DuPont is also very positive towards the holistic composition of the teams, as it is equal to the company’s way of working: “It is the same type of working that we do here in DuPont. We work in teams and across departments of the company. It is important to us to work across several competences”.
Furthermore, the participation in the challenge also benefits the companies by providing them with valuable inputs on a current issue in the company.
“We provide them with a case that represents issues that we are dealing with at the moment and the output of the challenge is also something that we will consider in the further process of the project”, states the Sales Director of Barry Callebaut.
Better suited for the corporate world
The FoodTech Challenge doesn’t only create value to the companies but also the students, as it makes them better suited for the corporate world.
“When you enter the corporate world, you will have to work with people from different professional fields, and you will not always get an opportunity to try this, when you study. Here in the challenge you are forced to work with people, who have different backgrounds and come from different professional fields” expresses Preben Dinsen, Sales Director of Barry Callebaut.
According to Niall Young, Technical Fellow at DuPont, the real-life challenge also forces the students to work solution-oriented, which is something that the students can learn from the challenge: “It is okay to dream big, but at some point you need to return to reality. This is the type of learning, which we can provide the students with. They may have a fantastic idea but within the constraints of the company, it may not be realistic, and the students will need to adjust the solution in relation this”.
FoodJob is a Danish, international recruitment agency specialized within the food sector. Their clients include both large global brands, leading Scandinavian food companies and specialised food suppliers.
InnovateFood.dk gathers industry, sciences and students in a two-day innovation event that brings focus on the future challenges of the food sector. Together the partners will explore new answers to the challenges. InnovateFood is also the place to meet and network, for getting inspiration or partner up in new innovative collaborations. The event will take place on the 31th of August and 1st of September 2017, so save the date! More information will be available soon.