The main objective of the InnoFood strategic research program is to contribute to increased and sustainable growth in the food industry through increased innovativeness in the food value chain. Research resulted in a stronger practical and theoretical foundation for innovation taking the increased digitization and rapid market changes into account.
WP1 Innovation in the Norwegian food industry: The book "From Insight to Effect" was launched in early 2017. The book is mainly for the Norwegian food industry and we describe strategies for innovation suitable for a high-cost country like Norway based on Nofima's projects and experiences. A chapter has been written for the book "The New Digital Norway" published by the Norwegian Academy of Engineering Sciences for use in Norwegian schools.
Open innovation - Research to understand open innovation in Norwegian cereal industry has been carried by using quantitative and qualitative methods, which has resulted in a scientific article. The same PhD researcher also studied how regulations (eg the EU's new food regulation) influence innovation and openness. The results show that these regulations increase the costs of the innovation processes and provide a "closed" approach to innovation. Researchers of InnoFood have during this period participated as a knowledge partner in and the sector project "Matfloken" where companies worked together for finding sustainable food innovations. We studied the use of design thinking methodology and showed its usefulness to achieve openness and collaboration.
Design Thinking (DT) - We apply and study the effects of DT in research projects. The results show positive effects towards multidisciplinary collaboration in the projects and a stronger innovation focus. Knowledge of the use of DT and innovative innovation models and tools have been used in several project applications during this program period (NFR, EU H2020). Researchers in InnoFood also collaborated with NMBU School of Business to develop a Master's program in Design Thinking.
Innovation in small businesses - a PhD fellow in InnoFood started in 2018 and the PhD?s topic is "The role of small-scale producers for innovation in the Norwegian food industry". The work is based, among other things, on interviews and data from small-scale producers that were obtained last year through collaboration with master's students from NMBU, School of Business. Several publications in progress.
Consumer Involvement - We are developing methods to achieve a more user-oriented innovation process. How to properly involve the elderly in innovation processes is studied and knowledge of the food habits of the elderly is established. Using a qualitative approach, we look at the relationship between theory and empirics. DT is used as a methodology. Based on insights from focus groups, we have developed 26 future images. In additional research we link consumer attitudes and values with data for consumers' food choices.
WP2 Sustainability as Innovation Driver: A PostDoc started in 2018 in the topic ?How does sustainability affect innovation in the food industry??. A literature study and document analysis were completed, and a report is available. A literature review has been prepared based on «innovation, ecology, packaging and sustainability». Literature studies and industry interviews show that work with sustainability became more and more systematized in the industry since 2016. We find indications that sustainability is a driving force for innovation.
WP3 Heterogeneous Networks: Previously reported results from the experimentarium based on 44 future images describe the possibility of value creation from Norwegian residual raw materials in 8 short stories. These have been passed on to several of the strategic programs for further work in research and project applications. In 2018, a fellow associated to InnoFood graduated on "Contextualizing individual absorptive capacity: business activities on innovation and individual capabilities for new knowledge and innovation".
WP4 Dissemination and user involvement: InnoFood was very active in user-oriented dissemination towards the food industry with contributions in trade magazines, conferences, seminars and mass media. The book "From Insight to Impact" was launched and several hundred copies were distributed or ordered from the target audience. We held several lectures and seminars about the content of the book and conveyed "best practices". Industry startup seminar, reference group meetings and several innovation seminars were held between 2017 and 2020. User involvement takes place through innovation workshops, experiments, interviews etc. New creative methods for communication of research results were developed and used (film, exhibition, interaction, and co-creation). 90 scientific and popular scientific presentations, 114 media articles, 22 scientific articles, 20 conference papers, and 5 master's theses have been published.
Kunnskapsplattformen bidrar til økt verdiskaping og bedre transdisiplinære samarbeidsprosesser (inkl. RRI). Dette førte til nytt samarbeid med bedrifter og akademia og flere nye prosjekter.
Utnyttelse av Big Data som kilde for innovasjon og utvikling av analytiske metoder brukes i innovasjonsarbeid og effektiviserer PU- og innovasjon. Forståelse rundt bærekraft som innovasjonsdriver førte til en tydeligere definisjon av bærekraft i bransjen og gir mulighet for nye innovasjonsaktiviteter.
Arbeid med heterogene nettverk førte til bedre samarbeid. Vi har brukt design thinking, prototyping og fremtidsscenarioer i forsknings- og industriprosjekter. Forskning på forskjellen mellom akademia og industri og en brobygging mellom disse førte til bedre overføring og implementering av forskningsresultater.
Vi har utviklet og testet nye måter for brukerinvolvering og kommunikasjon, f.eks. involvering av barn i innovasjonsprosesser, filmer, og oppevelsebaserte arrangementer for kunnskapsdeling.
The main objective of the InnoFood strategic research program is to contribute to increased and sustainable growth in the food industry through increased innovativeness in the food value chain. Research will result in a stronger practical and theoretical foundation for innovation taking the increased digitization and rapid market changes into account.
Innovation models and tools will be evaluated and developed applying a consumer centric perspective according to the industry context. We will utilize Big Data as source for innovation ideas and develop analytical methods for idea evaluation. We will work with existing and new heterogeneous networks to understand interaction and knowledge transfer and utilize the findings for improved collaboration to create innovations. This research program is complimentary to the other strategic research programs at Nofima, research cases will be shared, and relevant innovation competencies will be transferred.
With our research, we will address the food industry's need for more innovation to keep up with a rapidly changing competitive environment. Despite this recognized need, R&D investment is comparably low in the food and drink industry: 2.2% vs. 5.1 % in the entire Norwegian industry (NILF 2014). A traditional focus on new products despite a very high product failure rate within the first year after launch is requiring more attention to actual consumer needs and new dimensions of value creation. Furthermore, the role of SMEs and local food producers becomes increasingly important, and there is political focus to increase market size of local food, which requires innovation and which we aim to support through facilitating SME collaboration.