University of Copenhagen and DTU pave the way for more collaboration on food research
DTU and University of Copenhagen have mapped their strengths in research into healthy and sustainable foods, which they, together with companies, can use to solve the complex challenges facing the Danish food cluster, and which are reflected in several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Picture: Lennart Søgård-Høyer
Who can do what, when it comes to food research? This can be difficult to figure out. That is why three departments at the University of Copenhagen and the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), have taken the initiative to clarify which excellent food science research competencies are available at the University of Copenhagen and DTU.
The result is a mapping of the competencies at the universities that are needed to meet the Danish food cluster’s common strategy, which was published in 2017. The strategy describes a number of research-based solutions for global sustainable food production. The two universities employ approximately 520 food researchers.
Picture: Lene Hundborg Koss
Overview of the food science strengths
“We know that it can be difficult for the industry to get an overview of the areas of strength within food science at the different universities. So the purpose of the mapping is to provide this overview for the companies who have requested it,” Head of Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen (FOOD KU), Anna Haldrup says.
“We also wanted to share our competencies in relation to the strategic goals released by the industry last year in their strategy towards 2030, in order to make it even easier for the food industry and research groups to form collaborations that can also ensure the Danish food cluster a prominent position in global food production,” Head of Institute Christine Nellemann at the National Food Institute explains.
There is also the expectation that the mapping could be a starting point for more interdisciplinary collaboration between the universities.
Can inspire more and important collaboration
“In addition to providing an overview of food research, we also hope that this report will inspire more collaboration. We know that collaborating with research environments can strengthen the industry. And with the complex challenges we are currently facing in the food sector and as several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals reflect, collaboration has never been more important,” Christine Nel-lemann says.
“We also know that companies do not just want to work with a single associate professor or professor. They want access to larger areas of strength where there are many competencies within specific research areas at the university, where you work closely together and often also have more strategic and long-term perspectives. This is what we are now offering them,” Anna Haldrup adds.
Overview of the Danish food science programmes
The mapping also provides a good overview of the Danish food science educational programs. It shows where there are research-based programs in the area the individual student is interested in.
”Academic Excellence and Impact within Food Research seen from University of Copen-hagen and The Technical University of Denmark” clarifies the food science competencies at the De-partment of Food Science (FOOD), Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN) and the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS) – all at the University of Copenhagen – and The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.
Christine Nellemann, head of the National Food Institute DTU and Anna Haldrup, head of the Department of Food Science (FOOD) at the University of Copenhagen took the initiative for the survey.
The aim is to survey the largest Danish food science research communities and describe how they factor into the food industry strategy from 2017: World-class Food Innovation Towards 2030 – Bringing Danish Research Solutions to the Global, Sustainable Food Production. The report should make it easier for the Danish food cluster to find the right strategic partners within the universities.
Aarhus University wanted to make their own report, which complements the report from the University of Copenhagen and Technical University of Denmark, DTU.
UN's global Sustainable Development Goals
The way we produce our food has an impact in relation to several of the UN's global goals for sustainable development
1 No poverty
2 Zero hunger
3 Good health and well-being
6 Clean water and sanitation
7 Affordable and clean energy
8 Decent work and economic growth
9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
11 Sustainable cities and communities
12 Responsible consumption and production
13 Climate action
17 Partnerships for the goals