The consortium behind EUFRUIT has been granted an EU grant through the Coordination and Support Action with the help and guidance of Nordic Innovators. The EUFRUIT project intends to build a bridge across the ‘valley of death’ in the European fruit sector by taking a multi-actor approach and so increase the connectivity and efficiency between research outcomes and implementation of knowledge.
The overall goal of EUFRUIT is to increase the competitiveness of the European fruit sector through improved productivity, sustainability and quality of fruit across the fruit chain. The key stakeholders who will gain value from the project are researchers in the fruit discipline and knowledge end-users, namely fruit producers, consultants within the horticultural sector, fruit storage facilities, distributors, retailers and consumers of the fruit.
The fruit sector is dominated by national initiatives resulting in fragmentation of both research and of the translation of knowledge into innovative solutions. There is thus a strong need for a coordinated effort to scan and synthesize knowledge, e.g. to extract best practices, and to support knowledge sharing and stakeholder engagement across the entire fruit chain from the grower to the EU level. The EUFRUIT project is able to provide a network of experts from 12 European countries who can create the optimum framework for knowledge sharing and implementation at a European level.
Through the EU grant, EUFRUIT intends to establish a framework and a systematic approach for identifying, exchanging and implementing new knowledge. This will also secure the future as a quick and open implementation process can increase the speed with which knowledge can be converted into value when the project has ended. EUFRUIT will achieve this by ensuring organisation and through approaches that involve a range of both research and industrial stakeholders. In so doing, it is possible to overcome barriers for implementation of knowledge and technologies in the fruit sector.
The project was officially launched March 3-4, 2016 at its first meeting in Brussels, Belgium. See press release here.
“Collaborating with Nordic Innovators was a positive experience”, said Michelle H. Williams, Head of Department of Food Science at Aarhus University. “Internally we identified the right call for our EUFRUIT project, but we turned to Nordic Innovators to partner us in developing the EU proposal. Following our first meeting, NI developed a pre-funding application (EUopSTART) securing us with support funding for developing the main Horizon 2020 proposal. NI were invaluable as partners in the development and writing the EUFRUIT project proposal for the Coordination and Support Action (CSA). They were an essential resource in coordinating the 21 project participants across 12 countries. NI was very professional and efficient in their approach; I plan to work together with NI in future applications and highly recommend NI to my academia colleagues.”