CSIRO first non-European organisation invited to join EU food innovation group

Posted by James Ferre on 18th August 2009

CSIRO has become the first organisation beyond Europe to join ‘HighTech Europe’ – a consortium of 22 research agencies, industrial federations, universities and equipment manufacturers which encourages the uptake of innovative and emerging food processing technologies.

Coordinated by the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL), HighTech Europe plans to develop protocols that enhance the availability of innovative technological knowledge to small and medium-sized businesses in the food manufacturing industry to strengthen them for global competition.

“They see CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences (CFNS) as a valuable external collaborator,” CSIRO’s HighTech Europe Project Leader, Dr Roman Buckow, advised. “CSIRO, and Food Science Australia before it, have gained wide international recognition for research on emerging food processing technologies such as ultra high pressure, cool plasma, pulsed electric field and ultrasonics.”

Over the next four years, CSIRO will contribute to the consortium’s work by undertaking an assessment of innovation transfer capabilities between research agencies and the Australian food industry.

“Seeking opportunities, tackling obstacles, assessing funding options and using lessons leant from industry in Europe as well as Australia will be the basis for establishing new routes to innovation implementation,” Dr Buckow said.

“Tools to be assessed and developed could include the ‘knowledge auction, implementation award and exhibition transfer’.”

Biotechnology, information processing and communication technologies are considered areas with high innovation potential.

The relationships between these sources of innovation, basic food engineering operations (separations, structure formation, stabilisation, and packaging) and the underlying scientific principles (physical, chemical and biological) will be assessed by the program.

Special attention will be paid to ethical, legal and social aspects of innovation and their impact on consumer perceptions of high-tech food processing, CSIRO added.