Generation Food was launched on Wednesday 25 September. The result of a collaboration between the province of Flemish Brabant, Boerenbond, PROEF, EIT Food, KU Leuven, UCLL, KBC, City of Leuven and Rikolto.
The partners - all active within the agriculture and food sector - want to combine their expertise and network in this way to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship.
During the launch event, Joris Lohman (Food Hub, NL) came to speak in front of a packed venue about the importance of co-creation and cooperation. Two elements that are strongly interconnected in the design of the project and the methodology of the innovation trajectories. The project partners signed a project charter, which describes the guiding principles for the project.
'Through this extensive cooperation, we make use of each other's strengths. Today's food and agricultural challenges are not easy to solve, it is only through cooperation that we can achieve our ambitions', explained project coordinator Thibault Geerardyn. (Rikolto). 'We mainly target people with ideas, students and (potential) entrepreneurs who want to roll up their sleeves. We want to include these people in innovation projects. Participants go through a process that goes from a vague idea to testing a developed concept.'
'Through the provincial funding regulations for sustainable climate projects, the province of Flemish Brabant supports projects that help us achieve our climate objectives,' said Bart Nevens, Commissioner for the Environment. 'This 2-year climate project will receive EUR 68 000. This is aimed at stimulating sustainable agriculture and consumption, with attention to short-chain initiatives and innovation that contributes to climate neutrality.'
Generation Food stems from Leuven's local food strategy and implements one of the seven strategic objectives: stimulating innovation for sustainable agriculture and nutrition. With bottom-up (social) innovative projects we want to make the food system in and around Leuven more sustainable and honest. The role of a new (young) generation of starting entrepreneurs is crucial.
Would you like to contribute to the story of Generation Food and/or participate in the innovation projects? The first Hackathon will take place on 9 and 10 November in Leuven. More information here.