Action for the Future in the German-Dutch Food Industry
In October 2015, the steering committee INTERREG/EDR gave the go-ahead for the Food2020 project, initiated by the German Institute of Food Technologies, (DIL) in Quakenbrück. The project has a budget of 5.2 million Euro.
Food2020 intends to prepare the food industry in the German-Dutch border region for 2020. The activities initiated by Food2020 aim specifically at cross-border cooperation between companies, realised by experts and research facilities working closely with business, in order to stimulate the transfer of technology and innovative developments. Topics under discussion include "The development and use of new processing methods", "Sustainability in food production" and "Improving work conditions". At the same time, measures are planned to recruit qualified workers, guaranteeing the economic stability of the region's food sector.
Food2020 will implement specific measures to counter the impending shortage of qualified staff. Staff training plays an important role here. However, steps are being taken to attract new employees in the border region. The project's goal is to progressively establish a model region for a viable food industry in the project area.
Feasibility studies and innovation projects
25 cross-border feasibility studies and ten innovation projects are being funded, in which companies develop new products, processes and services in collaboration with scientific institutions. By way of example, some of the projects deal with developing innovative products using insects as a basis, improving industrial hygiene in production by deploying new types of surfaces and innovative cleaning procedures, or establishing a modular system for employee advanced training in small and medium-sized companies in the food sector.
The project, which is planned to run for two and a half years, is being coordinated by DIL and carried out with eight partners from the German-Dutch border region. The German project partners are NieKE (Agrifood State Initiative), FPI (Food Processing Initiative) and GIQS. In the Netherlands, the business development agencies NOM (Investerings- en ontwikkelingsmaatschappij voor Noord-Nederland), Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost NV, LIOF (NV Industriebank) and BOM (Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij) are involved in the project, as well as the Agro-Food Network Food Valley NL.
As part of the INTERREG V A-Programme Germany-Netherlands, FOOD2020 is being co-financed with funds from the European Fund for Regional Development, the Lower Saxony State Chancellery, the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Industry, Medium-Sized Companies and Trade, the Dutch Ministry for Economic Affairs as well as the Dutch provinces Drenthe, Flevoland, Fryslân, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Overijssel. It will be supervised by programme management in the Ems Dollart region.