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InnovateFood Challenge 2017

InnovateFood is an innovation conference taking place in Aarhus, Denmark on August 29th to September 1st 2017. As part of the conference Danish Food Cluster and Foodjob Nordic are presenting the student Challenge; InnovateFood Challenge

InnovateFood Challenge is for students and graduates, and the case competition focuses on the increasing demand for better and healthier food. This year the Student Challenge includes 6 company cases from the food value chain: Arla Foods, Chr. Hansen, InVALUABLE, Fermentationexperts, Tulip/ DC Ingredients and KMC. Each company gets a team of five students, who each represent a field of study. For example, Arla is looking for students in the field of social and behavioral science, communication, marketing and environmental science.

The Student Challenge
It is open innovation at its best, giving the students the opportunity to work with real-life company challenges. 30 students are going to solve and develop the future of food in close collaboration with the Danish food industry in just three days. During the challenge, the groups will receive constructive feedback from a coach representing the company that has set the challenge. On the last day of the conference, the students will present their case in front of an exclusive panel of international experts, judges and industry professionals.

The Recruitment Process
Mads Kinch Clemmensen, head of the recruitment process and director of Foodjob Nordic explains; “It has been overwhelming to see so much talent joined for this event. All the students have been extremely motivated and have applied for this competition as an actual job position. We asked them to write a motivated cover letter, and tell us why food innovation is their passion and what they can contribute with in this type of innovation collaboration.”

And the Winner is…
The students worked intensely on the case from Wednesday to Friday morning, where they presented their solution to the jury. The jury rated the students’ solution on the challenge from five criteria: creativity, potential, 360 perspective, strategic fit for the company and implementation. And finally, Friday afternoon the winner was announced – Team Tulip/DC Ingredients was honored on stage as the winners of InnovateFood Challenge 2017.

“It has been very interesting to follow the considerations and reflections the students have had on the way in the process – and no doubt that there has been presented some new ideas during the three days. I’m very impressed with the students’ approach towards the case and also the many fields they have implicated in the whole project”, says Tina Roed Garza, Senior Manager in International Marketing & Bets in Tulip Food Company.

The team’s solution was a business plan and a prototype on how Tulip’s new snack for school children should look, taste and be marketed. The jury emphasized the many details the students had considered during the three days. They had considered the choice of processing of the product, a name for the new product, packaging and how the product could be marketed in stores and on social medias.

“We got a really exciting and interesting “out of the box” suggestion on how Tulip’s lunch box products with our meat proteins could look and be marketed as “Cool for School”, says Director of Technical Sales Morten Hoffmann Kyed from Danish Crown Ingredients.

Read more on innovatefood.dk and see pictures from the conference on danishfoodcluster.dk/innovatefood