TECHNOLOGICAL PLATFORMS "FOOD FOR LIFE"
European Technology Platforms (ETPs) are industry-led, public/private partnerships encouraged by the European Commission to drive innovation and unite stakeholder communities in reaching strategic research objectives of key European industry sectors. The main goals of the ETPs are to strengthen the European innovation process, improve knowledge transfer and stimulate European competitiveness across the food chain.
ETP ´Food for Life´ was created in 2005 under the auspices of the FOODDRINKEUROPE, following the principles of the Lisbon Strategy.
The main goals of the ETP are:
- Increase R&D strategy.
- Coordinate research in Europe and prevent duplication.
- Promote SME participation, specific programmes and networks.
- Focus, align and collaborate transnationally between stakeholders.
- Increase multidisciplinary / cross-sector education.
- Optimise knowledge capture and dissemination of knowledge between Member States and towards SMEs.
As a direct result of the SRA national consultations organized between April 2006 and January 2007, a number of countries (35) have taken the decision to establish 36 National Food Platforms. They represent a valuable means of networking of stakeholder communities at the national level and provide an efficient channel for two way communication with the ETP ´Food for Life´. These National Food Platforms, and any other that will be formed subsequently are being actively networked so as to exchange experience and best practice, link individual stakeholder groups across national boundaries and provide support and assistance to new and emerging platforms.
The National Technological Platforms are:
- The voice of the National Food Industry .
- The response to the major european and national challenges.
- A valuable means of networking stakeholder communities of the agri-food sector in the MS through the coordination of research, development and innovation activities at national level (bottom-up approach).
- Providing an efficient channel for two way communication with the ETP.
Both ETP ´Food for Life´ and NFTPs have forged strong links with industry, academia and researchers in order to prioritise the major research needs for the EU and national food and drink industries and to secure the appropriate indicated what resources might be needed, where they might come from, and what other non-research issues will have to be addressed in order to ensure the European Research Area for the food sector becomes a reality.