I-CON Interreg Central Europe project: Crowd Design Platform – a tool for Food Design

We all know that a way to the excellent design is not easy and at the same time expensive. However, it does not have to be this way! Crowd Design Platform (CDP) is a great I-CON tool for food SMEs. Sometimes they want to change packaging design, logos, promotional materials etc. On the other hand, sometimes they just need new ideas for affordable price.

After successfully completing many pilot projects, I-CON consortium is convinced that CDP is a very useful tool for obtaining new design by taking just few steps. The most crucial part is definitely a brief. Good brief is an important part of a good design, so the SME needs to provide designers as many information as possible about needs, wishes and/or about the company itself. CDP offers the upload of documents, for example the existing design, logo, etc.

Within a few hours, SME can get first designs. At the end of the project, 20 sometimes even 80 designs are sent to the SME, which depends on the selected package and difficulty of the design (e.g., logo can be easier to design than the packaging for a specific food product).


The last step is to choose the favourite design, but it is important to keep in mind, that as a company, you can always request the designer to change something if needed.


Thus, use the Crowd Design Platform to design your business! 

I-CON Interreg Central Europe project: Atlas Mapping Tool

The I-CON project stands out to put together food SMEs needs and solution providers, enhancing their own potentials along the food value chain in order to increase SMEs competitiveness and above all to create a sustainable socio-economic multiplier effect. More than 200 SMEs analyzed by the partners, more than 70 good practices and solutions identified, more than 72 funding opportunities on food sector innovation collected, thanks to an effective international cooperation between 10 partners from 7 central European countries (Austria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Germany and Italy).


I-CON Atlas Mapping Tool is the online tool of the project providing a visual depiction of joint possibilities and enables to understand how well regions and SMEs are able to access the resources and opportunities necessary for meeting their basic needs and advancing knowledge. This user-friendly tool consists of six main panels of which some have additional subcategories to choose from and the search bar with filtering options. All of this is accompanied by the interactive map. The main panels are:

1. Organizations

2. Projects

3. Funding Schemes

4. CDP Labelling Tool (DesignCrowd – Freelance food label design platform) 

5. Good Practices & Solutions

6. I-CON Facilitators

“I-CON: Improving COmpetences and skills through Food sector InNovations”

Period:                 01.06.2016 – 31.05.2019

Duration:             36 months

Coordinator: Pomurje Technology Park

Partners: CCSI-Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises Slovenia, Business Upper Austria, Campden BRI Hungary, STRIA-South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency, CNA Regional Association of Emilia Romagna, UNISEF Industry Association Service & Training of Treviso and Pordenone, University of Hohenheim, Polish Chamber of Food Industry and Packaging, and Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

FOODforce position paper "Food System Approach"

Food has a twin identity: it has an important role in the unprecedented global challenges we face. But, on the other hand, it can be a central component of the solutions for these global challenges and thus also meeting the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals. A well-established Food System Approach is essential to come up with the game changing solutions needed.


However, the Food System involves complex interactions among the different actors in the different parts of the value chain and value net. We see that actors of the value net often work in do not work together, do not meet each other, thus act as independent silos. As such, the role of consumers and citizens as consumers are strongly undervalued. This makes the impetus to encourage stronger involvement of European citizens an even bigger challenge.


A transition from the current unsustainable food system to a healthy, circular and resource-efficient paradigm is essential. Such transitions will be hugely complex, since the multiple patterns of food production and consumption are closely interconnected and changing one aspect can easily have major unintended consequences. Therefore substantial actions are needed which must be driven both by science as well as the values and engagement of European citizens’.


FOODforce network ( has identified and synthesised three major gaps “Lines of Actions” and two overaching suggestions for Horizon Europe Project design, to turn the complexity of today´s unsustainable food System into a healthy, circular and resource efficient future food system. Based on that, a FOODforce position paper "Food System Approach" has been developed. The main objective of this position paper is to give clear and tangible suggestions, based on Hands-on experience of FOODforce members, to EC Policy officers for designing programmes in the Framework of Horizon Europe, in all inter-connected aspects of research, innovation, business creation, rural development and a sustainable Agri-Food system, and as such contributing to the FOOD2030 strategy.

FOODforce position paper "Food System Approach"
FOODforce position paper Food System App
Adobe Acrobat Document 287.0 KB

Transforming the EU Agri-Food Sector

Joint declaration to transform the agri-food sector in Europe into a more competitive, sustainable and trusted sector, securing the production of safe, nutritious food that every consumer loves.


The European Technology Platform ‘Food for Life’, FoodDrinkEurope, the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST), EIT Food, Food Nexus and FOODforce have issued a declaration to

transform the agri-food sector in Europe into a more competitive, sustainable and trusted sector, securing the production of safe, nutritious food that every consumer loves.


These organisations, key stakeholders in the agri-food sector representing farmers, food producers, academia and other actors in the food industry, share a common vision to create a broad,

pan-European movement with the citizen at its heart, connecting and leveraging all actors and initiatives underway.


The signatories of the declaration call on the European Commission and Member States to support this strategy through a comprehensive program in FP9, targeting technological solutions in food

security, sustainable farming, food safety and healthy nutrition.


Please click the file below to download this declaration.


Adobe Acrobat Document 243.9 KB

New H2020 project: SMARTCHAIN  "Towards Innovation - driven and smart solutions in short food supply chains"

On the 1st of September, the new H2020 project SMARTCHAIN: "Towards Innovation - driven and smart solutions in short food supply chains" will be officially launched. The kick off meeting will take place on the 17th and 18th of October at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany.  


SMARTCHAIN is an ambitious, 3 year project with 43 partners from 11 European countries including key stakeholders from the domain of short food supply chain as actors in the project. The central objective is to foster and accelerate the shift towards collaborative short food supply chains and, through concrete actions and recommendations, to introduce new robust business models and innovative practical solutions that enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the European agri-food system.


Using bottom-up, demand-driven research, the SMARTCHAIN consortium i) will perform a multi-perspective analysis of 18 case studies of short food supply chains in terms of technological, regulatory, social, economic and environmental factors, ii) will assess the linkages and interactions among all stakeholders involved in short food supply chains and iii) will identify the key parameters that influence sustainable food production and rural development among different regions in Europe.



The project aims to establish 9 national communities of short food supply chains (Innovation and Collaboration Hubs) in different partner countries (France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland) and a virtual innovation hub in order to facilitate stakeholder engagement, bringing farmers and consumers together in a trust-enhancing environment enabling them to generate demand driven-innovations.


Combination of scientific and practical knowledge and the use of innovation workshops will enable the development of practical innovative solutions as well as the promotion of a framework for different forms of collaborative short food supply chains in urban and rural areas. SMARTCHAIN will generate concrete actions for knowledge transfer, through the organisation of multi-stakeholder workshops and training activities for farmers and short food supply chain entrepreneurs.


More detailed information


Project Duration: 09/2018 - 08/2021

Coordinator: University of Hohenheim

Participating countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland

SUSFOOD2 ERA-NET BIOCARB-4-FOOD Kick off meeting (7 September, 2018, IATA-CSIC, Valencia, Spain)

The European project BIOCARB-4-FOOD "Extraction and characterization of BIOactives and CARBohydrates from seaweeds and seagrasses FOR FOOD-related applications" will officially start the 1st of September 2018. The kick off meeting will take place on the 7th of September in Valencia, Spain. 


BIOCARB-4-FOOD proposes to explore, in close collaboration with industry, novel, environmentally friendly and efficient extraction techniques (ultrasound, microwave, enzymes and their combinations), combined with the exploitation of the remaining biomass, rich in bioactive compounds, to sequentially obtain novel carbohydrate-based extracts and fibers (nanocellulose) from seaweeds and seagrasses. This SUSFOOD2 project will characterize structure, technological properties, toxicity and bioactivity of the fractions obtained from the various extraction technologies and a life cycle assessment (LCA) will also be conducted for proving the sustainability of the procedures.


The project is expected to contribute to improved process efficiency, development of ingredients with high added value from already commercialized seaweed species and from under-exploited sources (seagrasses) which can positively impact in the competitiveness of seaweed, food and non-food companies at EU scale by a better valorization of raw materials.


Project Duration: 09/2018 - 08/2021

Coordinator: IATA-CSIC (Spain)

Partners: Nofima AS (Norway), Teagasc (Ireland), University of Hohenheim (Germany) and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden (Sweden)


First Organic Food System Programme Press Release

Organic Food System Programme Earns Recognition by United Nations Action Framework Positioned for a Busy Next Five Years Around the World


The Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme of the United Nations’ 10-Year Framework on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) has endorsed the Organic Food System Programme (OFSP) as one of its eight  Core Initiatives. Organic food systems are posed as a model for sustainability and can serve as living laboratories for continued learning and improvement, integrating science and research with real-world examples. With our partner organizations and involved individuals on all continents OFSP helps share the benefits of organic practices with interested initiatives and across all of society.
As a prominent example and manifestation of 
Organic 3.0, it brings organic out of its current niche into the mainstream, and positions organic systems as part of the multiple solutions needed to solve the tremendous challenges faced by our planet and our species. OFSP’s contribution to the UN-10YFP is structured through its commitment to 8 concrete deliverables over the next 5 years, combining scientific study with practical implementation that spreads healthy consumption patterns and ecologically sound production systems around the planet.
OFS as model and living laboratory
David Gould, Program Facilitator at 
IFOAM – Organics International: “We need to change the thinking from food chain to food system. More people need to be aware of the connection between farming and eating, and together with more institutions play an active role in bringing healthy food to the table. They should be enabled to make informed choices and incentivize better practices.”
Jostein Hertwig, member of the steering committee and CEO of 
BERAS - International in Sweden: “The real potential of the Organic Food System Programme flows from the close interrelations and processes between scientists, actors in the food chain, NGOs and authorities, in working together for practical implementation at local levels. Starting with the dedicated networks of FQH - Food Quality and Health, IFOAM – Organics International, and BERAS, this in an invitation for others also to join.”
The Organic Food System Programme is comprised of a growing number of partner organizations and individuals seeking to transform communities toward true sustainability based on regenerative production practices, healthy diets and sustainable lifestyles. By aligning with its like-minded initiatives of the 10YFP’s Sustainable Food Systems Programme, new opportunities for synergy and positive impact are on the rise. OFSP welcomes more collaboration. Specifics are detailed on our website:


G-STIC Student & Research Challenge 2017

The G-STIC 2017 Student & Research Challenges encourage students and junior researchers to come up with innovative ideas on new technological solutions that hold great potential for achieving the SDGS (Sustainable Development Goals).


 These Challenges provide a unique opportunity to join the dialogue on technologies for the SDGs. In addition, participants can win a free participation in G-STIC 2017 (Brussels, Belgium - October 23-25), where you can meet and discuss with international science, technology and innovation experts.



February 15th - May 15th: Registration & Submission
May 15th - June 30th: Participation in online peer review


If you are interested you can find a flyer with more information below or you can visit the official website.


vation experts.

Adobe Acrobat Document 3.1 MB

FoodConnects - EIT Food (Sustainable Supply Chain from Resources to Consumers)

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) announced the winning team selected to set up EIT Food, a new pan-European partnership bringing together leading businesses, universities and research organisations. Its mission: to boost innovation, growth and job creation and put Europe at the centre of a global revolution in food.


FoodConnects – winner of EIT Food (Sustainable Supply Chain from Resources to Consumers) – is a consortium of 50 partners from 13 countries, including PepsiCo Inc., the University of Hohenheim, Fraunhofer, the University of Cambridge, the Polish Academy of Science, Robert Bosch GmbH, the Autonomous University of Madrid and Sodexo SA. Thomas Hofmann from the Technical University of Munich, the key coordinating partner, said ‘We are thrilled to win. Our partnership will put Europe at the centre of a global revolution in food innovation and production. We will do this by delivering products, services and ideas that will contribute to the safety and sustainability of food across Europe. EIT Food will support the creation of 350 start-ups in the next seven years to help us achieve our goals.’



The winning team was selected following a competition launched in January 2016 and a thorough evaluation by external experts and the EIT Governing Board.


‘The main factor behind the decision was the potential to create innovations needed to address critical challenges for today’s societies. EIT Food is an excellent partnership that will generate growth and job creation, the top priority for President Jean-Claude Juncker’s Commission. Our task now is to rapidly launch this partnership so that they can boost innovation,’ said Peter Olesen, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board.

EIT to boost set up in the first year


To facilitate EIT Food’s launch, the EIT will provide the winning partnerships with a start-up grant of up to EUR 4 million to ensure that it is fully operational as soon as possible. Provided that they achieve the expected results, EIT Food could receive funding in the range of EUR 400 million from the EIT over the coming years. In addition, it is expected to attract significant funding from other sources of private and public sector investment, multiplying the investments made by the EIT.


EIT Food - Press release
Adobe Acrobat Document 751.6 KB
EIT Food - Fact Sheet
Adobe Acrobat Document 141.0 KB

"Open to Innovation Conference"

The TRADEIT and Trafoon Networks invite you to a joint closing conference titled - Open to Innovation: Networks for the sustainability of Traditional Food Sector in Europe. This event will share a vision for the future development of the SME food sector in Europe.


This vision has emerged from 3 years of regional engagement with SMEs, SME associations and researchers across Europe. The conference will present outcomes, best practices and recommendations from the TRADEIT and Trafoon projects with a special focus on:


  • Vision for the Development of SME Food Sector in Europe
  • SME Case Studies: Successes and Impacts of the TRADEIT & Trafoon Projects
  • Best Practice Developed on Knowledge Exchange to SMEs
  • Integrating Entreprenneurial Thinking into Food Research Centres
  • Role of Networks and Intermediaries for the Support of SMEs


The TRADEIT and Trafoon Networks are composed of key actors in the food sector, including food producers, regional SME networks, food industry associations, enterprise development experts and leading research and innovation centres from across Europe.


For more information and registration, please visit the Website


October 19-20, 2016, Brussels, Belgium 

Conference brochure and agenda
Conference Brochure with Agenda.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.6 MB

Call for Organic Innovations is now open!

Innovation is crucial for the development of the organic sector. By launching a Call for Innovations, TP Organics invites farmers, researchers and companies from the organic and other sectors to propose innovative solutions to one of the following needs of the organic sector:


  • Innovation for animal health and welfare in organic production systems
  • Increasing productivity and quality in organic arable farming
  • Improving the transparency of the organic value chain


These are the themes of 2016 Call that are based on the priority topics identified by the TP Organics Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. The call closes on 12 September 2016. The authors of the best solutions will have the opportunity to present their innovation at the second edition of the Organic Innovation Days on 6 December 2016 in Brussels (first edition).

Book Publcation: Regulating Safety of Traditional and Ethnic Foods

The book Regulating Safety of Traditional and Ethnic Foods (ISBN 9780128006054) has now been published and is available from the Elsevier store and other retailers.


Key features:

  • Addresses the need for balance in safety regulation and retaining traditional food options
  • Includes case studies from around the world to provide practical insight and guidance
  • Presents suggestions for developing appropriate global safety standards


Follow this link for detailed information.

Release date: November, 25, 2015

Trainee in the area of food safety (BEUC)

BEUC is offering a trainee program in the field of food safety for period of 6 months.


BEUC has a membership of 41 well respected, independent national consumer organizations from 31 European countries. BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for these          organisations and its main task is to represent their members and defend the interests of all Europe’s consumers.

The program includes:

  • Monitoring key developments at EU level on food safety issues
  • Helping develop position papers and briefing on food safety issues
  • Conducting specific research on topics related to food safety
  • Attending conferences and meetings on food safety organized by the EU institutions and other stakeholders.


Please find attached the flyer for the announcement.


Submission deadline: January 31, 2016


Flyer Trainee BEUC
Adobe Acrobat Document 183.4 KB

Publication in Science and Public Policy

The manuscript ‘Worst case scenarios’ vs actual processes of food & health research funding decision-making in Europe (Khan et al. 2015) has been submitted to Science and Public Policy journal (SPP)!

Book Pre-order: "Regulating Safety of Traditional and Ethnic Foods"

The first edition of the book "Regulating Safety of Traditional and Ethnic Foods" is now available for pre-order on the Elsevier Website under the following link.



Regulating Safety of Traditional and Ethnic Foods, a compilation from a team of experts in food safety, nutrition, and regulatory affairs, examines a variety of traditional foods from around the world, their risks and benefits, and how regulatory steps may assist in establishing safe parameters for these foods without reducing their cultural or nutritive value.

Many traditional foods provide excellent nutrition from sustainable resources, with some containing nutraceutical properties that make them not only a source of cultural and traditional value, but also valuable options for addressing the growing need for food resources. This book discusses these ideas and concepts in a comprehensive and scientific manner.


Release Date: December 11, 2015

Questionnaire for the identification of needs and challenges of food companies

European FooD-Studies and Training Alliance

The ERASMUS+ Knowledge Alliance project will establish an independent “EuFooD-STA Centre” (virtual platform plus physical hubs) as a legal and organisational frame for international and sustainable collaborations between industry and academia in the food sector.

Involved are 7 universities, 2 food companies and 7 multiplier organisations and training providers based in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and UK.

The independent “EuFooD-STA Centre” will enhance on the one hand innovative education & training for students, targeted towards the needs of the industry and thus increasing their employability and on the other hand innovative continual professional development (CPD) for academic and company staff by facilitating experience exchange.

These will be achieved by:

  • work and training experiences through industrial and university placement
  • promoting of best practices of already existing training materials and methods
  • joint academic/company tutoring and supervision
  • joint development of guidelines for the design and implementation of joint “industrial master” curricula
  • joint development of a CPD programme and certification scheme for company and university staff
  • joint development of trainings material, modules, courses, etc. to improve existing academic curricula and CPD training
  • development of a digital library consisting of tutorials, recorded webinars, online courses, etc., a multilingual database and an e-learning platform

To achieve our goals first of all we need to identify the needs and challenges of food companies.

Please help us by filling out a short questionnaire about the needs of your food company.

The questionnaire is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Greek, Italian and German.


Industry partners can train their staff and make use of placement of researchers who can collect practical experiences.

University partners can train their teaching staff, tune their study programmes, make use of modules from other Universities or new modules developed in collaboration with Industry and other academic partners.

The independent “EuFooD-STA Network” is open to other Universities, food companies and multiplier organisations & training providers.
To be involved, please fill in the membership application form.



Food science clarified -Taste of Science, a free magazine

Taste of Science is a web-based platform that provides information in the form of small articles about different food-related subjects to support small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). The website is realized by TRAFOON's partner organization TRADEIT and The European Federation of Food Science & Technology (EFFoST).


Their website also features an event-ticker that shows the most recent and upcoming food conferences  workshops and events.


Taste of Science 

Book Release: "Food Waste Recovery: Processing Technologies and Industrial Techniques"

This book acts as a guide to recover valuable components of food by-products and recycle them inside the food chain, in an economic and sustainable way. The book investigates all the relevant recovery issues and compares different techniques to help you advance your research and develop new applications. Strong coverage of the different technologies is included, while keeping a balance between the characteristics of current conventional and emerging technologies. It is also an essential reference for research outcomes.


The book was organized and coordinated via Food Waste Recovery Group of ISEKI Food Association, which is the biggest network worldwide in the field of food waste recovery.


More information about the book can be found here

TRAFOON Successful Open Innovation case:

Dirfis Mushrooms in close collaboration with scientists from the University of Hohenheim (Stuttgart) Germany developed dried mushroom products, naturally-enriched with vitamin D in a sustainable way using a innovative solar drying technology.

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Priority environmental contaminants in seafood: safety assessment, impact and public perception
Priority environmental contaminants in seafood: safety assessment, impact and public perception

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 613912