Challenges and opportunities in food engineering: Modeling, virtualization, open innovation and social responsibility
. Journal of Food Engineering 2016
, 2-8. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Food engineering should shed its historical mindset, embrace new challenges and opportunities that the 21st century holds. Unabated scientific progress and breakthroughs highlight mounting challenges with some vital paradigm shifts. Four main challenges have been identified: modeling, virtualization, open innovation (OI) and social responsibility (SR). The shift from empirical to physics-based food modeling is paramount to benefit from new sensor technology, proliferation of the 'Internet of Things', and big-data information. An overriding part of modeling continues to be food uniqueness and complexity, consumer needs and expectations, health and wellness, sustainability and SR. Virtualization is to significantly benefit from expanding computational power, dedicated software, cloud computing, big data, and other breakthroughs. Collaboration and partnerships with all innovation ecosystem stakeholders are paramount. Academia's role as a 'startup university' requires revising its intellectual property models, curricula rejuvenating, OI, creativity, employability and SR. Food engineers are at a verge of a very prosperous future. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Food engineering: Attitudes and future outlook
. Journal of Food Engineering 2016
, 71-80. Publisher's VersionAbstract
A global web survey was conducted collecting academia and industry perceived attitudes, identifying curriculum gaps, challenges and opportunities of food engineering (FE). Participation criterion was: "A person who has one or more formal degrees in FE, and/or an equivalent degree in another field and whose job description includes/included FE activities". Respondents with formal FE education was lower than 25%. More than two-thirds of the respondents holding a formal BSc or MSc in FE selected other domains for their higher degrees, and 56.7% indicated that FE should become a part of another study program. Traditional FE topics were preferred over health, nutrition and wellbeing, innovation related to firm's activities, marketing molecular biology. FE profession should undergo a self-examination required to ensure its future growth and impact in addressing forthcoming challenges in the food sector, and concurrently make paradigm shifts in its vision in the pursuit of excellence and innovation. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Open Innovation Opportunities Focusing on Food SMEs
; Innovation Strategies in the Food Industry: Tools for Implementation; 2016; pp. 41-59. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The food industry, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), is facing increasingly complex challenges, more regulation, as well as fierce local and global competition. Open innovation (OI) can enhance innovation options by accessing external assets and collaborations with unique opportunities, facilitating partnerships, and alleviating hurdles such as limited resources, R&D expertise, skills, etc. Highlighted topics include: adapting OI for the food industry's special needs, with a focus on SMEs' unique challenges, and the roles of academia and intellectual property. Examples provided depict SMEs with typical OI utilization and the steps required to initiate and develop new concepts. Specific recommendations include: collaboration, creation of a four-helix innovation ecosystem (industry, academia, government, and private sector), metrics to quantify academia's social responsibility, and revised curricula promoting OI to encourage SMEs involvement. OI presents a unique opportunity for all stakeholders, especially for SMEs, to proactively engage in meeting future challenges and opportunities. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.