EIT Food Education Programmes at Queen's
FROM LEAF TO ROOT: Holistic Use of Vegetables
EIT Food – Education project
"From Leaf to Root: Holistic Use of Vegetables"
Description & Background:
Many vegetables including sweet corn, artichokes, potatoes and cabbages are not holistically used in food production although they are safe to consume (with or without further processing). In some cases, more than 50% of the nutritional valuable material is left in the fields or not further valorised. This is due to several reasons including harvesting procedures having been designed for conventional products, consumer unawareness, and a lack of holistic product concepts. The idea of “From Leaf to Root” is that student teams from 3 universities will tackle these challenges by developing prototypes/products based on plant parts that are to date not or only very infrequently utilised, thereby promoting both a more sustainable use of resources and healthier nutrition.
The students who will participate in the “From Leaf to Root project” will i) get a solid understanding about the primary production sector
(harvesting methods and requirements), ii) learn to create sustainable solutions that are convenient for consumers and feasible for retailers, iii) absorb the model of challenge-based problem solving, as well as concept, prototype and business case development, and iv) develop multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary working skills by tackling the challenges in teams of 5 students.
Goal of the project:
- Creation of new products, using the unutilised part of vegetables (sweet corn, artichokes, potato and cabbage);
- Elaboration of a complete business case, including costs of the total (logistic) chain and market potential of the new food product;
- Development of a marketing plan, with the focus on communication strategies towards the consumer;
- Presentation of the total food concept to a professional jury panel.
The project is funded by EIT FOOD, a consortium representing the food industry within EIT, the European Institute for Innovation & Technology. Universities participating in From Leaf to Root: Queen's University Belfast (UK), University of Turin (Italy) and Hohenheim University (Germany). Companies involved in From Leaf to Root: DIL (Deutsches Institut for Lebensmitteltechnik), Colruyt Group, Grupo AN, Nestle and Agricolus.
What is in it for you?
"From Leaf to Root" offers an exclusive opportunity for students to work in close relation with industrial partners on relevant business challenges.
The project will help to strengthen networking and communication skills, problem solving & technical skills, cross disciplinary and project delivery skills. These skills are key in a professional working environment and will enhance students competitiveness regarding future employment in food organizations and research.
The educational aim of the project is to ensure that the universities and companies build future leaders within the food industry, but also to ensure that participants have a holistic view of business processes that incorporate aspects of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
"From Leaf to Root" provides an exciting, intensive learning period for the students and develops innovative solutions for food losses. Students will be exposed to working on a real case, with the opportunity to develop solutions that may lead to financial and sustainability benefits. The students will have an opportunity to learn from experts in retail, the food industry and marketing, which will be an added value, not only for their CV but also for the development of their social and entrepreneurial skills.
Six teams will participate in the "From Leaf to Root" contest and each team will present their total concept to a professional jury panel at the end of the contest. The winning team will have the chance to commercialise their product idea through innovation grants.
Recruitment at the universities will begin in February 2020.
The contest will start with a kick--off meeting on 8th April. Due to current uncertainty around Coronavirus, this will be a virtual meeting. This will be followed by an intermediate event at QUB in Belfast in June. The final pitches and close of the project will take place in Turin in November. *Travel will depend on the Coronavirus situation and the guidelines issued by the government.
Each participating team consists of 5 students. The aim is to have, as much as possible, multidisciplinary teams and therefore all disciplines are welcome to apply.
For Queen's University Belfast: Students are requested to submit a CV and a letter of motivation to: email@example.com
FROM WASTE TO WORTH - Food Solutions project
Global Food Venture Programme 2019
Calling all PhD Students! The application phase for this year's EIT Food Global Food Venture Programme is now open.
“The flagship Global Food Venture programme is EIT Food’s dedicated offering for doctoral students working on challenges in the food sector in Europe. The Global Food Venture Programme enables highly qualified PhD students from across Europe to turn their innovative research into successful business propositions.” Please see the newsletter below for further information. Deadline is 15 April 2019.