The crEATe ecosystem kick-off event gathered relevant actors together to ideate new solutions around food, which focus in promotion of people's vitality, sustainability, and customer experience and restaurant solutions. In addition, inspiring keynote speeches were heard and a tour to the TestEat research and pilot restaurant was organised. crEATe innovation ecosystem kick-off event was organised at IBM premises on 24.1.2019. The event gathered more than 40 participants representing researchers, food, health and wellbeing, and health technology industries.
VTT's research professor Kaisa Poutanen introduced the ecosystem. "Food always matters: in addition to individuals' vitality, energy and health, food has impact on public health. Food has also significant role in sustainability and in our planet future. That is why we need to think what we can do together." said Poutanen. "Technologies offer many opportunities: we are expecting for example decentralised food production and delivery systems and servitization of food."
crEATe ecosystem focuses on three impact areas: People's vitality, Sustainability, and Customer experience and restaurant solutions.
The, orchestrators of crEATe, VTT, IBM and Fazer, have established a research and pilot restaurant TestEat in order to tackle the challenges related to the three impact areas. The research and development work is carried out in real life settings. "This is important since new innovations must be accepted by consumers" emphasised Poutanen.
Antti Hagqvist from Virta-valmennus gave a keynote speech about the meaning of variance in order to increase vitality and performance. "All life, starting from the movement of waves, are based on variance, the natural movement of energy. Also human requires recovery after stress. Change is achieved through actions" says Hagqvist.
Henri Alén, who develops new and sustainable food solutions, praised Finnish raw materials. "Their quality is based on scarcity and short growth season. Finland has a chance to be the model country in food production and food culture." Alén's restaurant Ultima has implemented unusual raw material production methods. For instance, they use aeroponic poles to grow potatoes, hydroponic plant growing, cricket lamps and spirulina algae. According to Alén, in future Finnish food will be based on:
- clean water, nature and natural resources
- new food production technologies
- utilisation of urban areas in food production
- premium food products instead of bulk
- circular economy and ecological food production
Jarkko Ahonen from Apple emphasised customer-centricity in development of successful products and services. "Things should be made easy for consumers!", stressed Ahonen. He also mentioned that consumers are more interested in the result than the process of achieving it. This should be the starting point of research and development actions.
Finally, the participants innovated ideas related to crEATe challenges within each impact area. Several interesting ideas were pitched and some of them will be taken further within the ecosystem.
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