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Innovation in personalised Nutrition through Cluster cooperation in the Silver economy

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - INCluSilver (Innovation in personalised Nutrition through Cluster cooperation in the Silver economy)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2020-02-29

There is an increasing demand for healthy food products among elderly people. However, all humans are different from each other and need different kind of food to stay healthy. This is called personal nutrition. It is based on the fact that individuals respond differently to various food depending on their physical/ genetic structure. Personalised Nutrition offers a new approach for helping citizens to adjust their dietary behavior via suggestions on food choices and eating patterns that fit their individual needs and preferences. The problem is that there is a lack of products that promote elderly to eat according to their personal nutrition needs. This gap is adressed by INCluSilver through supporting small and medium sized enterprises that have innovations that can fill these gaps. This create a double gain for society. First by providing elderly with products that gives them personal nutrition so that they stay healthy. Secondly that some of the SME’s developing these innovations grow and employ people. The overall objective is to support collaboration between actors within agro-food, health, creative industries and IT in order to create the right conditions for generating innovative ideas in the field of personalised nutrition for the elderly.
We began with building knowledge about the area of personal nutrition and the elderly. We identified stakeholders in the nine countries that participate in the project which resulted in a group 1691 stakeholders. They came from different sectors and consisted of Healthcare Professionals, Elderly, Researchers and Policy Makers. Together they identified some key barriers to personalized nutrition, challenges to innovation, perceptions of personalized nutrition risks and benefits, and consumer concerns. These barriers were compiled in reports that were disseminated to SME’s within the partner cluster networks and reached companies within Agrofood, IT, Creative Industries and Health.
The SME’s received knowledge and insights about problems caused by the barriers and by that also possibilities for innovations that would solve the problems and reduce the barrieres within personal nutrition. We also recruited 20 experts from the stakeholders and carried out an intensive workshop with them during two days in Ireland to get a deeper knowledge and insight about the problems and barriers. The findings that were generated through this workshop were compiled in reports that were disseminated to SME’s in all nine countries.

The reports were communicated to SME’s that were interested in developing innovations with the cluster and university networks in the project. We arranged two networking and training events. The first event took place in the beginning of the project in Budapest and the second event took place during the second half of the project in Paris. On the Networking and Training Events SMEs received knowledge and possibilities to form partnerships. To be able to attend the meetings they could apply for a travel voucher from the project. We also tried to build a digital meeting platform. However, it was very hard to get SME’s to participate in that platform while we still had to pay for it. We therefore move the meeting place to LinkedIn. The last task we did to increase insight’s and knowledge in the SME’s about demanded innovations in personal nutrition were that we arrange systemic meetings with a stakeholder who told their story, their problems and their wishes for solutions and SME’s participated in those occasions discussing what they could do. The systemic meeting was digital. By this activity we received results that were a set of specific possible solutions to a problem or barrier. For example, one challenge for the elderly is their appetite. One of the systemic meetings therefore aimed to answer the question” Why don’t I feel like eating anymore”? This topic was discussed between participating small and medium sized enterprises that later on applied for vouchers to develop and implement the innovations that would solve the problem.

The voucher scheme made it possible to develop and implement all ideas that were generated among SME’s to improve personal nutrition among elderly. We carried out five application rounds and granted in total 88 vouchers to 78 unique SME’s in the nine participating countries. cross –sectoral innovation projects selected under the IVS M1-M18 reached 39 cross-sectoral innovations projects, 13 cross – border projects where SME’ from different countries cooperated in developing innovations. 37 new products and services within personal nutrition’s for the elderly. These projects and product/services were within food that is easy to chew, to help you fall asleep, to measure your blood pressure after eating, to develop food from algae, to present the food in an appetizing way in elderly care homes and many more. During their development phase the project arrange a series of innovation support services were the enterprises can participate in webinars where they learn how to develop a business model, to go international, apply for funding and financing, branding and incubation. 52 unique SME’s has participated during the project. The results have been disseminated through the project website visited by 17.800 unique persons. Our LinkedIn group has 336 members and we have 220 followers on twitter. The project has been presented in several conferences and workshops in Europe during the project period.
The stakeholder analysis and the intensive expert workshop resulted in some very deep insights about the challenges and opportunities within the personal nutrition area to elderly in nine European countries. This knowledge and insights created the base for the Personal Nutrition report (can be downloaded on inclusilver.eu) that went deeper and found obvious gaps in the value chain that could benefit from innovations. We spread this knowledge to more than 1600 stakeholders, 55 SME's from Greece, Italy, Sweden, UK, Spain, Hungary, France, Denmark and Ireland participated in the two innovation events in Budapest and Paris where they received knowledge about the opportunities for innovations within personal nutrition. They later applied for vouchers from our Innovation voucher scheme to develop their innovation. Several products have been developed; a chocolate bar with lemon balm that decrease worries and make it easier to fall asleep, a healthcare solution that analyses food intake data and bodily fluids, as well as the emotional, social, and physical aspects of the user’s life to help the elderly person to make the right food choices for a healthy life, a green Burger innovative vegetable products and packaging solutions for the elderly population and many more. In total it resulted in 30 different supported projects with 51 unique SME*s receiving support We also assisted 24 unique companies to develop and scale up their innovation with the aid of financing, internationalization, incubation, development of business model and branding. We expect to support 90 unique SME's with the best innovations that promote health for the elderly before our project is finished and estimate that 50 of them will scale up their innovation before the projects ends. The impact for society is twofold. Firstly, the projects create a better and more healthy life for the elderly in Europe. Secondly our project promotes scaling up SME's to grow with their innovation and develop economic growth.
Elderly couple eating healthy