A group of delegates from New Zealand will visit Europe next month to look for partnerships on food processing technologies for products, preservation and food safety.
The FRIENZ project (Facilitating Research and Innovation cooperation between Europe and New Zealand) will pay for a selected team to travel across Europe for 12 days starting on March 31, 2014.
Michelle Wickens, project officer, FRIENZ, told FoodProductionDaily.com the purpose of the tour is to promote opportunities for collaboration in research and innovation with New Zealand, to strengthen existing parternships and create new ones with European research organisations.
Wageningen University Research
Some of the firms it plans to visit include The Institute of Food Research, in the UK, INRA, Paris Wageningen University Research in The Netherlands and The German Institute of Food Technologies in Germany.
The purpose of the group is to lift the ratio of exports to gross domestic product to 40% by 2025, of which food exports play a large role.
“New Zealand is a small open economy dependent on information exchange,” said Wickens.
“We are looking to develop a greater understanding of the conditions needed to stimulate the engagement of private sector and commercial enterprises in NZ and EU schemes.
“Participants are expected to establish on-going relationships and collaboration with their European counterparts in the theme area.
“These relationships will make an important contribution to a reciprocal tour of European research and innovation partners to New Zealand planned for later in 2014.”
The FRIENZ project is a three year European Commission FP7 initiative in partnership with the New Zealand Government.
VTT Innovation and Knowledge Economy
Partners include the Royal Society of New Zealand, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Euro Research Support, The French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), The German International Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, The Finish VTT Innovation and Knowledge Economy.
Wickens said New Zealand has considerable capacity in food science, food processing and food safety and it has an agricultural economy whose exports in food equate to 55% of all exports.
“We see food innovation as a way of increasing our exports,” she said.
“The New Zealand Governments Business Growth Agenda (BGA) is an ambitious programme of work that supports New Zealand businesses to grow.
“The country has a lot to share and gain from international connections, therefore we see the European Union as a premium location for collaboration.”
FRIENZ EU tour
FRIENZ will focus on the following institutes and conferences; The Fouling and Cleaning in Food Processing conference at Cambridge University, from March 31-April 2. The Institute of Food Research, Norwich and The University of Nottingham and Reading Scientific Services all in the UK.
INRA, Paris (a joint research unit for Microbiology and Food Process Engineering) and AgroParisTech – Food Processing and Engineering.
Wageningen University Research, Food Valley (food and biobased research) and FeyeCon in The Netherlands and The German Institute of Food Technologies in Quakenbrück, Germany.