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AARHUS will have its FOOD Lab in 2020

Aarhus University (Dept. of Food Science and iFOOD Centre for Innovative Food Research) together with the City of Aarhus, Agro Food Park and the Region Midt awarded this September as a Food Citylab under the FIT4FOOD2030 initiative.

2019.09.26 | Camilla Mathiesen

Aarhus University (Dept. of Food Science and iFOOD Centre for Innovative Food Research) together with the City of Aarhus, Agro Food Park and the Region Midt awarded this September as a Food Citylab under the FIT4FOOD2030 initiative.

The AARHUS FOOD LAB for citizen engagement will be coordinated by Aarhus University, the Food Science department and Milena Corredig, targeting to foster the connection with local communities on the key issue of getting food systems ready for the future through research and innovation. The Aarhus FOOD LAB will organize at the first and second quarter of 2020 two workshops with citizens and consumer organisations as well as relevant industry actors on the citizens’ mandate for change in the food system. Specifically, the workshops will focus on establishing a mechanistic understanding of the links between food and well-being, and how foods can deliver functionality beyond simple nutrition.

Professor Milena Corredig, director of IFOOD explains:

-There is an increasingly large gap in our society between the upper middle class and the poor, while the high pace of urbanization is leaving behind the elderly and the marginalized. At Aarhus University (AU), a network called NFORM has recently received funding to focus on finding sustainable new food solutions by developing new partnerships between AU departments, public stakeholders, international collaborators, private companies and the citizens. The goal of this 2 year SDGs network is to create strong research evidence for developing new foods that will contribute to maintaining the physical and mental health and well-being of the individuals, preventing or improving chronic conditions, at any stage of life. Thus, the Aarhus ‘Food Citylab’ will build on existing events and actions of NFORM project to deliver competence building for the Aarhus FOOD community.

The timing for the Aarhus ‘Food Citylab’ is good since, the Business Region Aarhus started the process with the local RTD performers, industry and policy players to build the new Smart Specialization Strategy around FOOD and Agriculture, but would like to maximize the input from citizens feedback and enhance the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approach of local FOOD ecosystem.

Thus, by becoming a FOOD LAB of the FOOD2030 project, we foresee receiving:

  • Training & educational modules with innovative methodologies for transformation and capturing learning from the citizens opinion on the aforementioned challenges, into impactful policy R&I and RRI activities
  • Visibility at the EU level

Milena Corredig says:

We don’t have to look far around the world to find needs & solutions that can originate from the local communities and which can successfully contribute in tomorrow’s sustainable food supply. But, we need impactful, targeted, connected activities and investments in all three pillars of the knowledge triangle (Research for Innovation, Education and Business Creation) with a base pillar of Communication within, between and outside, and we need astrong focus on Entrepreneurship, RRI and the Consumers Trust.


The workshops will bring together a diverse audience from all walks of life to discuss the following key challenges in 2 groups:

  • Diet related health conditions and popular awareness of diet and health linkages
  • More conscious consumers, interested in what they eat and the impact of the food they eat on their health and the environment.
  • Access to proper nutrition, not only due to socio economical barriers, or natural disasters, but also geographical distances, or due to barriers like difficulties in swallowing or chewing, and lack of appetite.
  • Social behaviours and influences.
  • Demographic changes, migration, urbanization, social inequalities and marginalization also caused by mental health conditions.
  • Climate challenges and access to sustainable bio resources.


The proposed awareness activities are  aligned with the FOOD 2030 policy goals – and with a specific focus on the following priority target groups: Kids and young people (0-18 years), young adults and seniors.


For further information, please contact

Head of the IFOOD Centre:

Professor Milena Corredig

Email: mc@food.au.dk

Phone: +45 22 71 91 32


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