RE-food has aimed to develop an international partnership between Norway and India to contribute towards strengthening the global bioeconomy. The partners have developed integrated approaches to deal with the challenges in the field of bioeconomy to meet the growing global demand for food and feed ingredients. Re-FOOD has built a long-term cooperation between Norwegian partners SINTEF Ocean and NTNU and Indian partners Amity University, CSIR-CFTRI, IIT Kharagpur and associated partner BITS Pilani as well as other industry and governmental stakeholders. This partnership has included organization of joint symposiums; supervision of Master and PhD students; reciprocal exchange of researchers and students between India and Norway. Annual symposiums have been organized to disseminate the research, innovation and education results achieved by Re-FOOD as well functioning as an opportunity to create new contacts to strengthen the cooperation on bioeconomy.
The first project symposium was held at BITS Pilani, Goa in February 2018, and was organized jointly by IIT, BITS Pilani and SINTEF Ocean. The symposium focused on Sustainable Technologies for Food Processing and Preservation and had 51 participants, including researchers, professors, students, relevant industry and governmental stakeholders. More than 30 presentation were held during the symposium and 19 posters were presented. A book of abstracts was compiled after the symposium, including 26 abstracts within four different topics.
Three research exchanges were conducted during the project period. Mihir M. Hazarika from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT visited NTNU and SINTEF Ocean nov/dec 2017. Dr. Maitri Thakur from SINTEF Ocean stayed at IIT Kharagpur and Amity University, New Delhi during the months from November 2017 to February 2018 and collaborated with the researchers at these institutes. The INNO-Indigo project ReValue includes Amity and BITS Pilani so a part of the research stay abroad was used to collaborate on this project. Guro Møen Tveit from SINTEF Ocean stayed at Amity University, New Delhi and CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore Jan/Feb 2018 and she also worked on the ReValue project.
The second symposium was held in Mumbai in November 2018 and had 43 participants. This was a two-day symposium, which started with a visit to Kaiko surimi processing plant. The second day included presentations and discussions. 15 presentations were held by both researchers and industry participants.
In September 2019 an "Open Day" was arranged in Trondheim, in cooperation with the project ReValue. Several Indian partners participated at this seminar and they also visited both SINTEF and NTNU. In connection with this event, 5 PhD students, which also are co-supervised by SINTEF researchers, visited SINTEF and NTNU. They stayed between 1 week and 2 months.
The third symposium was held in Kolkata in December 2019 and had 54 participants. The symposium included five sessions with in total 20 presentations. Group discussions on the topic UN sustainable development goals were also conducted, including discussions about what is important to work with and how we could contribute. We also visited IFB Agro Industries Limited, who showed us their factory for processing of shrimps. After the symposium, several from Norway participated in a workshop in Kochi. The workshop was about "Cold chain in tropical countries" and it had 26 participants. After that, we were shown the research institute CIFT and we visited a shrimp factory.
Project participants have also participated in several other conferences and seminars, both to describe the work within our joint projects and to contribute within important global topics like bioeconomy, climate friendly refrigerants and increased collaboration between India and Norway etc.
Project activities and networking led to several project applications involving participants from both countries. In 2020 the project OMEGA started, financed by the Research Council of Norway. SINTEF Ocean, NTNU, Amity, and other partners will work on technologies allowing to maintain quality of marine ingredients and fortifying food products with them. Another project, INDEE+, has been granted by the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs. It is a project covering several activities supporting the Indian refrigeration and Air Conditioning sector in the transition towards more environmentally friendly technology to achieve the goals of the ratified Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol. INDEE+ is coordinated by NTNU and SINTEF Ocean, BITS Pilani and CIFT are among the partners.
The international collaboration with the challenges in the field of bioeconomy to meet the growing global demand for food and feed ingredients continues also beyond RE-food, in the new projects that has been mentioned, but also within other. Several publications have been submitted and will be published in 2021. Co-supervision of students will also continue in 2021.
This project has been very successful when it comes to collaboration between Norway and India. The Norwegian research institute SINTEF and university NTNU have had continuously communication with many Indian universities and research institutes throughout the project period. Three symposiums were organized, where all project partners and new relevant participants met. The project has resulted in several joint proposals and three new projects within the topic of sustainable utilization of food resources: ReValue, OMEGA, and INDEE+.
There have been several students involved in the project, which gives them education in international work and research, valuable for their further contribution in the field of research and innovation.
There are differences between the two countries, but there are also many similarities, which becomes clear only through cooperation and communication. This gives a very good foundation for long-term collaboration and further projects together.
Re-FOOD will develop an integrated approach to deal with the challenges in the field of bioeconomy with focus on sustainable utilization of food resources to meet the growing global demand for food and feed ingredients. Re-FOOD will focus on building a long-term cooperation between Norwegian partners SINTEF Ocean and NTNU and Indian partners TERI; CSIR-CFTRI and IIT as well as other industry and governmental stakeholders in both countries. This partnership will include organization of joint symposiums; joint Master and PhD programmes through dual supervision of Master students and PhD candidates; exchange of researchers between India and Norway and student internships in industry. An annual symposium will be organized to disseminate the research; innovation and education results achieved by Re-FOOD as well as an opportunity to create new contacts to strengthen the cooperation on bioeconomy.