Future Offensive in the German-Dutch Food Industry
In April 2018, the steering committee INTERREG/EDR gave the go-ahead for the second phase of the FOOD2020 project, initiated by the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL) in Quakenbrück with a budget of 4,4 million Euro granted. The project includes various funding opportunities for companies and associations in the border area. GIQS is one of seven regional project partners of the DIL and responsible for the region North Rhine-Westphalia.
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 within the companies. The aim of FOOD2020 Phase II is it to respond together with the companies to existing and new social and societal challenges in the industry. Topics that are being edited include “food security” "sustainable food", “food safety”, “healthy food” and “social innovation”.
FOOD2020 Phase II is intended as a continuation of the successful activities from FOOD2020 Phase I. In particular, the positive results from the innovation projects relating to the topics of product and process innovation, as well as sustainability, show that positive impulses help SMEs achieve outstanding and ground-breaking results. Successful feasibility studies from Phase I have provided ideas for new innovation projects.
Due to the successes in FOOD2020 Phase I and the diverse ideas of SMEs from the product region, FOOD2020 Phase II will focus on innovation projects: The plan is to carry out five cross-border innovation projects (each around 270,000 euros budget) and 14 innovation projects “light” (each around 135,000 Euro budget). The SMEs in the project region receive 50% funding and research institutions can expect a higher subsidy rate.
In addition to the innovation projects, there will be accompanying measures again. On the one hand, there will take seminars and events for the further education and protection of young talents place, which provide information about current and relevant topics in the industry. On the other hand, accompanying measures are planned, with the focus not only on the mere dissemination of information on new technologies and new solutions for existing and future challenges. Thematic think tanks will be established, which work together in small groups over several sessions. With creative formats, new concepts, business cases and solutions for questions within societal challenges that companies can implement in their companies will be developed. Participating SMEs from the project region can receive financial support to participate in the interactive workshops.
Ten specialist seminars with an average of at least ten participants and at least seven participating companies and ten think tanks with an average of four participating companies are planned.
The project, which is planned to run for two and a half years, is being coordinated by DIL and carried out with six partners from the German-Dutch border region. The German project partners are FPI (Food Processing Initiative) and GIQS. In the Netherlands, the business development agencies NOM (Investerings- en ontwikkelingsmaatschappij voor Noord-Nederland), Oost NL (Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost Nederland), LIOF (Limburgse Ontwikkelings- en Investeringsmaatschappij) and BOM (Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij) are involved in the project.
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 ministery for Bundes- und Europaangelegenheiten und regionale Entwicklung, the North Rhine-Westphalian ministry for Wirtschaft, Innovation, Digitalisierung und Energie, the Dutch ministry for Economische Zaken en Klimaat 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.