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FoodTech Challenge 2016

After three intense days at FoodTech Challenge in MCH Messecenter Herning we have found a winner of the international case competition for students and graduates.

FoodTech Challenge is a three days open innovation competition for students and graduates and is held as part of the FoodTech Fair in MCH Messecenter Herning and sponsored by Damstahl a/s. 50 students and graduates participated in FoodTech Challenge to solve ten specific and unique cases developed by the Danish food industry. Mads Kinch Clemmesen from FoodJob Denmark, head of the recruitment, tells; “The field of applicants has been very international this year. More than 1800 students and graduates applied for the prominent seats in this year’s FoodTech Challenge and we have received applications from more than 80 different nations – among others Korea, USA, Ghana and Nepal – this case competition is indeed a popular and international competition“.

During the three days the participants were briefed by company representatives and guided by a team facilitator to come up with a solution for their case. The 10 teams worked with a business model in special designed offices called ‘cubes’ and on the third day they were to present their solution to a panel of judges. The five teams that scored the highest points on their presentation were chosen to pitch their ideas on stage in front of an audience. Those five teams represented; DuPont, AAK, Scandi Standard, KMC and Barry Callebaut.

And the Winner is…
After three days of intensive work, Team AAK was chosen as the overall winner of FoodTech Challenge 2016. The team have been working with a case regarding the future of healthy plant-based dairy products. Their winning solution was to produce plant-based dairy products on the base of algae oil, which is both sustainable and healthy. “If everybody desire to eat ice cream in 2050, we cannot solely be using milk from cows. We must exploit the planet’s resources much better. To do so, we can make plant-based dairy products as a replacement of the conventional everyday dairy products“, said Nellie Rindorf from Team AAK, about their winning solution. Representing the judges Alan Friis from Tech4Bizz concurs; “It was important for the judges that the winning solution was realistic, ambitious and still realizable to the company“. He continues; “Team AAK had a solution that considered a broad and practical perspective, with a sustainable solution on ice cream for everybody in 2050. This solution appealed to the company’s vision and the Team had a holistic understanding of the framework presented by the company – that’s why Team AAK were the winners of FoodTech Challenge”.

Everybody are winners!
The competition was also very close. The judges were impressed and Alan Friis elaborates; “The last five teams who pitched their solutions on stage were very close – only 8 points separated number 1 and 5 on scale where 100 points was the maximum. That said, all 50 students who participated in FoodTech Challenge were winners, because they were selected among 1800 applicants – and that’s something to be very proud of”. Also the companies are winners; “Generally I think it’s amazing how much inspiration and concrete value the companies gain from the participant’s three days of work and also how deep, detailed and realistically the participants worked with their case and company“, Alan Friis says and continues: “The company representatives I’ve talked to at FoodTech Challenge said that many of the ideas, their teams have had, have opened up for new thoughts, markets and some are even going to be implemented right away”.