FoodLab Concours Ecotrophelia Europe Student Agri-food Innovation Awards

The Foodlab project will create a European incubator for both innovative projects and the creation of food companies.

Foodlab aims to develop innovation, particularly at start‐up and SME levels. It will facilitate the transfer of innovative projects by preparing :

  • The company personnel to understand the challenges of innovation
  • Teachers / researchers to better understand all the industrial constraints
  • Students to understand and rationalize the difficulties of getting new products onto the market and develop their entrepreneurial spirit.

Main advantages of FoodLab :

  • Foodlab will create sustainable bridges between academia and the food industry stakeholders
  • Foodlab will develop entrepreneurial skills through self-teaching/learning
  • Foodlab will Increase the employability of students by SMEs
  • Foodlab will improve the transfer of innovation for companies in a sector in search of improving competitiveness.

Foodlab will be developed on a web platform that will host

  • The Foodlab information necessary for learning and training
  • The Foodlab tools and guidelines to help future entrepreneurs, with modules dedicted to the promotion of interactions with food companies
  • The Foodlab technical centers of investment funds (business angels).


The FOODLAB project is dedicated to the development of a new learning and teaching methodology and the related tools to improve the transversal competences of students and develop entrepreneurship. In order to tackle these issues, the Foodlab consortium is composed of 15 partners from 6 different countries (France, Hungary, Italy, The Czech Republic, Slovenia and Spain). The objective of this Foodlab consortium is to share knowledge covering all research, development and production activities towards the delivery of new courses. The Foodlab European FoodBusiness Transfer Laboratory, supported by a web-platform, will allow fostering interactions between students and stakeholders in food innovation to improve entrepreneurship in this sector.

The FOODLAB project fits with several specific objectives:

  • To improve transnational cooperation between education, training providers and other stakeholders: the Foodlab shared web-platform will be developed allowing for the creation of a common work area and for centralizing dedicated learning and training tools developed during the project. Interactions fostered between reputed HEI and companies will profit the whole European food sector by creating value and maintaining or creating employment;
  •  To strengthen entrepreneurship: theoretical and practical training courses will be proposed by Foodlab both to students and to company staff in order to allow cross-fertilization of ideas and experiences. With the help and advice of Foodlab professionals, in close contact with Foodlab experts in different fields (food design, regulations, intellectual property rights, funding, etc.) students and entrepreneurs will receive support for developing an innovative project from concept definition to the elaboration of proper and convincing business plans
  • To increase the international dimension of education and training: every Foodlab partner involved in education and training will bring their own competences and experience to create a pan-European structure aiming at fostering innovation;
  • To disseminate best practices: the Foodlab project will notably result in a white book addressing this question in Europe.

Moreover the benefits of this multinational Foodlab initiative will be spread via Universities participating in ECOTROPHELIA and notably through the networks of several European food federations gathered together in the European Economic Interest Group SPES. This will be helpful to disseminate the results of the FOODLAB project within the food/drink sector and to other sectors, as this initiative can lay out the bases of a new approach to teaching and learning innovation.
Thus through the Foodlab European Foodbusiness Transfer Laboratory the FOODLAB project will allow important European stakeholders in the food sector to establish deep and reliable professional ties that will bridge the gap between academia and industry within the next decades.

Benefit for users
Students & teachers: an open license to universities will allow the free access to all the Foodlab educational contents;
Entrepreneurs/startups: Foodlab contents and data will be made available to develop entrepreneurship and help young people to overcome their concerns about starting a company in the food sector;
SMEs/industrials: as lifelong learning is one of our aims within the FOODLAB project, industrials will be able to access to most of the content developed by Foodlab through licensing or paying services.

Industrial needs centralisation & Networking
The strategic goals of this Foodlab activity are, on one hand, the identification and centralisation of current innovation needs in food companies, and, on the other hand, the establishment of contact between interested companies and students of ECOTROPHELIA network.

Lead Foodlab partner SPES GEIE: “ The main objective is to act as a determinant bridge between companies and universities”.

Development of new educational content, methodologies, and organization in Foodlab
The idea behind this activity is to concentrate on innovation projects carried out by students with the support of companies, professors, external experts, technicians as well as many other stakeholders for bridging academic and food-business worlds. A European Foodbusiness Transfer Laboratory will be created by FOODLAB in order to allow the implementation and improvement of the project-based guided self-learning dynamic, a pedagogical approach which proves to be very efficient for projects like ECOTROPHELIA.
Lead partner ISARA: “The main objective of this part of Foodlab is to increase the added value of the HEI dedicated to food innovation and of companies which will be created or which will make use of students’ results”.

Development of FOODLAB shared web-platform and e-tools
The main goal is to develop a specific Foodlab web-platform for European Food Innovation network (including a reliable intranet for learning contents, network database), an e-learning tools and an evaluation e-forms for the feed-back of people.
Lead partner CCIV: “the specific IT tools and virtual work-space will be determinant for the success of the project and the sustainability of the initiative”.

Creation of European Foodbusiness Foodlab Transfer Laboratory
The overall objective is to analyse and select the best methods to transfer innovative projects to business in order to facilitate entrepreneurship either by high-qualified students and SMEs in food sector.

Lead partner UCSC: “Investment in education and training is essential to boost growth and competitiveness. In particular, the development of entrepreneurial skills by Foodlab will not only contribute to new business creation but also to the employability of young people".