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”The large interest in the start up community shows that the Foodtech Innovation Network meets a real need”

Posted on februari 7, 2024

Foodtech Innovation Network external evaluator Dr Maria Tunberg, has followed the network since the start and shares her insight and reflections on the process and its results during its first three years of operation. 

Jobs are created, and new sustainable food is on the market. Foodtech Innovation Network plays an important role in this development and showcases a positive impact on the foodtech scene in Sweden. I say this from the perspective of the external evaluator of this project. Being an evaluator means acting as a sounding board to the project managers, following up on the project’s proceedings, and not the least supporting knowledge transfer between different projects. I have hence had the pleasure of following their journey from day one. 

My main take away from their journey is that the network and the start up support provided in the project clearly fills a gap in the innovation system. The large interest in the start up community shows that the project meets a real need among foodtech companies. 

Part of the secret sauce seems to be the project management’s exceptional skill in finding a balance between structure and flexibility. Structured in terms of administration, project meetings and coherent and professional communication. Flexible in terms of quickly adapting to the needs of the network members. The project management has put pride in creating a model where the companies constitute the core and other stakeholders has to adapt to the need of the businesses. By doing this, the team has managed to provide companies with what they need, when they need it, and with great precision. 

Foodtech Innovation Network’s focus on new and sustainable food products and services is also very timely. It fits well into other trends in our society such as increasing focus on healthy food and low environmental impact from food production and consumption. 

I also want to highlight all the positive feedback the project has received from the companies in the network. Interviews and surveys among the network members show how the support from the team has helped many companies along their growth journey and given them contacts and opportunities that they would not have had otherwise. 

Foodtech Innovation Network has hence helped many foodtech companies to grow and introduce new sustainable food products on the market. From my perspective, this is an important contribution as healthy, sustainable and locally produced products are important aspects of a resilient and prosperous region. 

Maria has extensive theoretical and practical experience of organisational change management, she is especially skilled in issues located in the intersection between digitalisation and sustainability. Maria holds a PhD in Business Development from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Find all results and lessons learned from three years of work to increase innovation power and accelerate the growth of small and medium sized enterprises within the field of foodtech in the report below.

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