The Federation of Hellenic Food Industries (SEVT) and the Hellenic Technological Platform “Food for Life” co-organized on Thursday, December 5, the workshop “Research and Innovation: Growth Pillars for the Greek Food Industry” in downtown Athens, Greece.
Main priority of SEVT and the Food for Life platform is the promotion of research and innovation in order to tackle the challenges in the food sector. Within this context, the aim of the event was to raise and discuss the policies, strategic directions, actions and synergies that need to be developed, so that the food sector can follow the modern course of the economy, society and the world, utilizing research and innovation and activating the necessary investments.
Development and challenges
As Mr Evangelos Kaloussis, Chairman of SEVT suggested in his welcome speech, the Greek F&B industry is a behemoth of 1,225 businesses, 360,000 direct and indirect employees, €15 billion in turnover and €5 billion in exports. He also talked about the four pillars of development -competitiveness, extraversion, research and innovation, and new investments- and underlined the many challenges (climate change, food waste, new food and nutrition trends, etc.) the sector has to tackle in order to keep going forward and evolve. In addition, Mr Kaloussis discussed how innovation and research can help advance the F&B sector not only locally but also internationally, and how the Academic community and the food industry can work together to create synergies that will benefit all parties.
The challenges the Greek food sector has to overcome in order to improve its export and import balance numbers, were also pinpointed by Mr Nikos Vettas, Chairman of the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE), who presented the institute’s latest survey regarding the Greek economy and the country’s F&B sector, in particular.
Compelling workshops & panel discussions
A series of interesting workshops, B2B meetings between food idustries and universities / research institutions, and panel discussions also took place during the event. Namely, A. Tsakanikas, professor at the National Technical University of Athens, monitored a talk regarding “Financial tools and initiatives for the boosting of research actions and innovation in Greece”, which was followed by a presentation of successful case studies of collaborations between F&B companies and research institutions.
The seminar concluded with four workshops with the participation of representatives from food businesses, universities, start ups as well as relevant institutional bodies. Their subjects: “Research, development, innovation: Success factors for industries”, “Modern skills and professions in the age of Industry 4.0”, “Foodstuff reconstruction: Information and best practices” and “Health claims and traditional products: Strengthening their added value”.