The initiative aims to create a smarter, simpler food chain through a collaborative programme – pioneering new products and processes to improve efficiency, competitive advantage, and support sustainable production. As well as innovation and entrepreneurship, the new partner programme delivers an extensive, resource-rich infrastructure whilst supporting companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility and talent acquisition objectives.
The MAKEit partner programme is divided into three levels, each offering tailored benefits, which include a range of physical and virtual MAKEathons across Europe. The MAKEathons bring together like-minded individuals focused on collaborative creation, and are delivered with maker spaces through an ecosystem of over 100 partners in areas covering sugar, cocoa, seafood, fruit and vegetables, bread and bakery, dairy and meat supply chains.
MAKEit project leader, Dr Shima Barakat said: “Most companies within the food value chain aspire to innovate more to support sustainable production – but R&D activity remains under considerable budget pressure. Our new partner programme offers a collaborative approach that supports transformative innovation whilst reducing costs.”
MAKEit’s collaborative approach supports resource and knowledge sharing to co-create and begin to commercialise new and sustainable solutions for industry-defined challenges. Ideas generated in the MAKEathons yield physical prototypes, resulting in accelerated innovation and higher feasibility of the product concept. Utilising MAKEit resources and its maker community develops ideas from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 0 to TRL 3 or 4 in the equivalent of three days. The partner programme offers corporates a unique way to leverage Universities’ thriving innovation culture, revolutionary entrepreneurship, and create a positive impact on food sustainability.