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First HealthFerm Stakeholder Board Meeting

First HealthFerm Stakeholder Board Meeting

On 20th January 2023, we had the pleasure to host our first HealthFerm Stakeholder Board Meeting. We had the opportunity to meet those members of the Board who have supported HealthFerm from the very beginning. In addition, we were also pleased to welcome new members of the sector to this community, including scientists from different remarkable institutions in the same area of research of plant-based and alternative proteins, coordinators of similar EU research projects, key organisations and policy makers within the sector.

The meeting took place in the afternoon, in an online format, which enabled us to bring together various actors from different countries and time zones worldwide. It was a great success.

The meeting started with a warm welcome and a presentation round by Andrea Ojembarrena, from Bridge2Food, and Christophe Courtin, Professor at KU Leuven and Coordinator of the HealthFerm project. The main goals of this first meeting were to present the project as well as the role of the Stakeholder Board, and to explore the kind of synergies that can arise from this collaboration.

Next, a short presentation of each of the work packages (WP), that outline the project activities, was presented by:

  • Nicholas Bokulich (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), WP1 presentation: Microbial resources for healthy food fermentations,
  • Kati Katina (UH, Finland) WP2 presentation: Fermentation technology for the production of healthy, tasty, safe and sustainable grain-based foods,
  • Kristin Verbeke (KU Leuven, Belgium) WP3 presentation: Health & microbiome-related impact of fermented foods,
  • Armando Perez-Cueto (Uni Umeå, Sweden), WP4 presentation: Consumer behaviour towards fermented food,
  • Léna Prochnow (Eurice, Germany) WP6 presentation: Maximising impact through Communication & Dissemination & Exploitation. Each of these presentations highlighted the WP leaders’ thoughts and expectations about the interactions and possible synergies with the Stakeholder Board.

From that point, the Stakeholder Board spoke. We listened to their comments and were immersed once again in a great discussion about future synergies. To finalise, the participants were introduced to the Stakeholder Board's future plans. To start with, they were asked to fill a form in which the coordinators would gather their thoughts, ideas and expectations. Our aim here will be to see how we can match the potential of WP leaders and the Board, in order to add value to this newly established project.

In the name of the entire HealthFerm consortium, we would like to thank all members of the Stakeholder Board for their support and enthusiasm for this new adventure. We would like to thank as well those members who were not able to join. We will be pleased to see you next time.

Let’s grow together and build a sustainable plant-based fermented food Ecosystem.

Image by redgreystock on Freepik