The future is now – General Assembly June 2017

Two new partners were announced and there were important and enthusiastic discussions, when 100 delegates from 12 European countries were present at the General Assembly.

This year’s second general assembly took place in Brussels on 21 June. First, the future activities and priorities of FoodNexus were addressed, when President Rob Hamer set the scene with the message “the time for a change of the food industry is now – not in the future”. One of the topics discussed was how FoodNexus should continue to ensure alignment of agendas with other European initiatives, in order to influence the decision making to foster this change.

Then, Yara ten Pas from Unilever took the audience through the findings of the recently carried out survey for matchmaking – the first of its kind in FoodNexus, but not the last. She promised that partners would not only be matched with each other, but also with topics relevant to H2020-calls. In the time to come, the team will give feedback to partners on a one-on-one basis.

And then, the obtained milestones and prepared future plans of the five Ready-to-go projects were presented by the project leaders. Here, special attention was given to the “FoodNexus Startup Challenge”, launched in May. After primary rounds across Europe and a European final will take place on 13 December in Wageningen. The newly appointed leader, Thomas van dem Boezem from the incubator Startlife in Wageningen, was proud to present the newly lauched on-line platform for start-ups to sign up – you can find it here.

Gert Meijer, Chair of the ETP “Food for Life”, was invited and gave a presentation on the process that “Food for Life” is now undertaking. He was very delighted to see the motivation and commitment that could benefit the implementation of the strategy as set by the ETP “Food for Life”, and gave the message that there are plenty of future collaboration perspectives with FoodNexus. “There is also a clear common understanding of the priorities for future collaborations in the European Food sector”, he said.

In the afternoon, the delegates split up in six workshops in which partners committed themselves to plans for joint activities. Some of these foresee external funding applications, while others are working towards financially self-sustainable business-models.

After a successful day, the chairman thanked the many people who – despite the June heat – had made a difference by coming to Brussels and committing to the consortium’s common vision of preparing the food industry for the future. Now.

Gert Meijers presentation can be found here

FoodNexus presentations from the day can be found at Projectplace