Feeding the Planet consortium just got back from USA, an intense business trip that allowed the consortium to gain an in-depth knowledge of innovation, cluster policies and business initiatives on American food processing, agriculture and green technology segment. In addition to this exploratory approach, excellences and expertise from Wageningen, Montpellier and Milan were also promoted towards United Nations and charities foundations.
4 main targets were addressed:
1. New York
The consortium had the privilege to meet the FAO Liaison Office to the UN, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the the UN Secretary General for Food Security and Nutrition. Innovation policies and business support were also explored together with the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, Food X and the Ford Foundation.
In Chicago the Institute for Food Safety and Health opened its doors to Feeding the Planet, with a specific focus on the Illinois Food Cluster Hub. Other organizations involved were the University Technology Park IIT, IFT - Institute of Food Technology, DCEO - Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, iBIO - Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization , the World Business Chicago and ChicagoNext.
3. Sacramento – Davis
AgStart program by SARTA, Sacramento, offered Feeding the Planet consortium an interesting insight on the newest industry-cluster-focused program, promoting innovative sustainable agricultural technology and supporting companies entering new markets. On the other hand, the most important stakeholder involved in Davis was the University of California Davis, with a specific focus on innovation and perspectives in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Also main trends and schemes in Technology Transfer and New Ventures were explored, searching for best practices and evaluating their transferability.
4. San Francisco
The mission closed in San Francisco, with a specific approach related to business creation, support and development, with the contribution of Mixing Bowl Hub and Imagine H2O.
The mission was in the end successful, both on an exploratory (understanding local ecosystems to benchmark and ) and promotional levels (promotion of meta-cluster expertise in local agri-food and environmental segments), and it will hopefully lead to further cooperation among EU and USA metaclusters.