Leuven Workshop

Polysaccharides as Sweet Spot for Innovation, September 17th and 18th, 2018

Participants of workshop in Leuven with Arenberg castle in the background.

KU Leuven and EPNOE organized a workshop in Leuven in cooperation with European Institutes of Technology (EIT) of Food and Health with attendance of 50 participants and relevant contributions of industry. The workshop was a unique opportunity to look at current innovation and future trends for polysaccharides in food, health and materials and to learn about numerous initiatives for collaboration within European funding opportunities and initiatives such as EIT Health and EIT Food. The workshop had four sessions and 24 talks. The first session focused on Innovation potential of polysaccharides according to industry and academics and also about opportunities in European calls and EIT activities. The strategy of innovation and technology transfer of KU Leuven and insights about the future of EPNOE were also presented. The second session had focus on Polysaccharides and Food with presentations from Cargill, University of Nottingham, Jan Dlugosz University in Czestochowa, Food and Biobased Research Wageningen and KU Leuven. The first day of the workshop ended with a reception and networking at the hall of the Thermotechnical Institute.

The second day of the workshop started with session of Polysaccharides and Health and had presentations of Dow, UPM Biochemicals, MineParisTech, University of Nottingham, Wageningen University and Research and Maastricht University. The final session was about Polysaccharides and Nanotechnology with presentations from Sappi, VTT, INRA, TITK and University of Innsbruck. The event was a great success and the core message was that Polysaccharides have outstanding opportunities in emerging bioeconomy while its relevance in European call texts is still overlooked. Our community needs to be more active in promoting the potential scientific and technological breakthroughs of Polysaccharides in Food, Health and Materials. Polysaccharides are common denominators for combining chemical engineering, chemistry, material science, bioscience, biotechnology and medicine to create a completely new generation of sustainable products and we have to benefit of this feature.

The local organizers were Pedro Fardim, Paula Moldenaers and Wim Thielemans.

Pedro Fardim