Over 3 days, Valorial guided a delegation of 8 visiting organisations from France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Greece through a packed programme of activities around ingredients and innovations for circular economy, with the support of the ClusterXchange mobility scheme. This programme has been run in parallel of the annual business convention dedicated to nutrition and health in the food and feed sectors, NutrEvent.
The 5 board members of the I4CE platform – Wagralim, Flanders’Food, ATE, Clust-ER and Valorial – initially came to Valorial to gather the board members and platform partners for a series of meetings and working groups. For the record, the I4CE acronym stands for Ingredients for a Circular Economy, a platform and a network has been launched in 2016. I4CE is identified as an “inter-regional partnership gathering clusters, companies (mainly SMEs), researchers, innovators, economic developers, who are specialised in the agri-food sector, and more particularly in the production of innovative ingredients (nutritional, functional), produced from bio-based raw materials (conventional, unconventional, new) or through new techniques valorising side streams (by-products/co-products) intended for food processing industry and non-food applications”. For more information, please visit the I4CE website page.
After the mission kick off at Valorial, I4CE Board members and B-resilient project partners all gathered at the premises of Rennes Metropole, a local authority part of the Région Bretagne that is very active in the deployment of initiatives in favour of sustainable agri and agro food chains. Indeed, the whole delegation joined a number of local SMEs for the launch of the annual pre-NutrEvent session organised by French and Belgian clusters to help companies to identify EU calls on which they might be interested in exploring further. Indeed, the aim of this session if to allow SMEs and clusters to explore in a practical way the opportunity to work on EU calls (tenders). Two National Point of Contacts (NPC) offered their recommendations and advice to guide potential partners to build on an EU project. As in previous years, French and Belgian clusters Valorial, Biotech Santé Bretagne, Wagralim and NLS Clubster joined forces to animate and capture the main areas of interest and strengths that SMEs operating in the sector of food, nutrition and health could bring to the table by applying to an EU call. The first day ended with a Franco-Belgian networking event in the heart of Rennes.
The second day was dedicated to several working groups respectively led by I4CE board members and Wagralim as a leader of the B-resilient project. During the day, successful laureates of the first B-resilient call had the chance to meet with project partners and exchange around valorisation of the biomass in practical ways. For the record, 4 French companies will benefit from the support of the B-resilient programme among 27 European applicants: Upcyclink, Saumextra, Aqwi and Terremo’logic. To find out more about the B-resilient programme, please visit the ECCP platform.
On the last day, Valorial took the delegation to Valorex for a site visit. Valorex is a company that produces and offers their customers a range of high nutritional benefits feed for livestock (upstream). At the consumer side, Valorex is behind the Bleu-Blanc-Coeur initiative that aims to provide final consumers with sustainable, healthy and quality food products (downstream). In fact, Bleu-Blanc-Cœur is a sustainable farming and food approach aimed at improving the nutritional and environmental quality of our food, by diversifying and balancing animal feed with fodder and seeds of nutritional interest that are naturally rich in Omega 3 (grass, alfalfa, linseed, broad bean, etc.). The initative has been replicated in several EU countries like in Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The aim of Valorial was to successfully combine a number of activities targeting different stakeholders into a comprehensive programme, enabling all visitors to come together for a number of networking events. The completion of this mission with the support of the AURORA project demonstrates Valorial’s ability to support both new and long-term collaborations at the EU level while giving visibility to the key players of its ecosystem and members of its network.
There is still a space to support short-term exchange via the AURORA project! If you are searching for new partners in Europe and if you are a cluster/SME/BSO, please do not hesitate to reach us.
If you want to discover more about the initiative and actions carried out by Rennes Métropole on food transition matters, you can browse this page – in French only: Towards a sustainable agri and agrofood chain
Published on Oct 26, 2023