ASKFOOD (Alliance for Skills and Knowledge to widen Food sector-related open innovation, optimization and development) is a 32-month Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance project (E+KA2: Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices), co-financed by the European Union.


Coordinated by the University of Teramo (UniTE), the project started 1st January 2018 and will end 31st December 2020. The project partners aim at updating the HE programmes in Food Science & Technology (at national, European and International level), improving professional skills of future food technologists and scientists, so as to foster agri-food companies innovation.


Thanks to the involvement of relevant stakeholders, the ASKFOOD Consortium will focus on the economic sectors which influence the F&D Industry in order to:

 

Implement an interactive platform and dynamic networking for multisector knowledge sharing;
Early discover trends and related emerging skills;
Implement common tools and organisational framework to ensure long-term sustainability of the network and project activities.

 

The project is focusing on diverse activities and the following products have already been implemented or are currently in progress:


  • FORECAST AGGREGATOR

To define future trends influencing knowledge skills in the food sector, ASKFOOD consortium identified eight ground-breaking forces able to shape the competitive scenario in the next years: Technology, Economics, Market habits, Policy and regulatory framework, Environment, Science, Transformative industry, and Social dynamics (TEMPESTS). These forces will change the current reference points for the sector, as well as the future demand for skills and jobs. 

 

The Forecast Aggregator is an interactive library, describing and analysing the eight forces of the TEMPESTS. Regarding future developments, the Forecast Aggregator tries to anticipate the resulting new skills and future professional profiles, which emerge in the food sector and food-related sectors.

This link directs you to the Forecast Aggregator:



  • SMART ATLAS

In the age of shared knowledge and knowledge sharing, many open-source resources meet the emerging needs for skills in the food sector. The ASKFOOD Smart Atlas activates and re-uses material from eight different types of resources: 1) massive open online courses (MOOCs); 2) training centres; 3) EU project results; 4) research centres; 5) acceleration programmes; 6) crowdfunding/ crowdsourcing platforms; 7) start-ups and 8) innovation marketplaces. 

 

The research, at the base of this Smart Atlas, does not serve for comparative or ranking purposes. The Smart Atlas acts as a source of inspiration or a platform for finding self-training tools to expand personal know-how. At the same time, it functions as a way to increase knowledge sharing in the food industry.

 

The following link directs you to the Smart Atlas: https://www.askfood.eu/tools/smart-atlas/maps/    


  • REVERSED INCUBATOR

The Reversed Incubator combines an innovative platform (supporting the entrepreneurial spirit) and new training models (encouraging the participants to rethink business). This tool integrates alternative training methods, and it aims to improve the industry-oriented professional skills of students, teachers, and industry professionals. Furthermore, it favours the integration of science and technology skills into the industry: through an open ecosystem, it connects talents, ideas, and entrepreneurial initiatives. Besides, connecting Academia and business, it will enhance the value of the entire value chain of the food-related sectors. The following link directs you to the Reversed Incubator: https://www.askfood.eu/reversed-incubator-0


  • TRAINING GAP IDENTIFIER

The Training Gap Identifier is set to be launched soon. This interactive tool will measure the gap between the current and the emerging skills. The Training Gap Identifier is an online self-test based on 40 professional profiles. Depending on the achieved points and according to the strategy and position a company wants to perform on the market, trainings are advised. In this way, training programmes can be individually adapted.


  • INNOVATIVE TRAINING ACTIVITIES

In the context of food-related sectors, different target groups (i.e., MSc programmes, and Continuing Professional Development) will work following these approaches: gamification, reverse mentoring, and personal learning. Learners and teachers will evaluate the methodology they used to enhance their skills and competences. As a result, a complete portfolio will be available, describing innovative training concepts, methods, and tools. Furthermore, detailed guidance for renovating and adding value to internal training strategies will be provided.


  • PERMANENT OBSERVATORY

The Permanent Observatory on Innovative Training will monitor and analyse the latest innovation trends (skills, knowledge, and competences) in food-related sectors. It is a multi-sectorial and multidisciplinary environment: in fact, it helps members to develop innovative training schemes, to meet future innovation trends in the food and food-related sectors.


  • DIGITAL BUSINESS e TRAINING ECOSYSTEM (DBTE)

ASKFOOD will soon launch the Digital Business and Training Ecosystem (DBTE): an open and co-created platform to support the aggregation and interaction among partners and ASKFOOD stakeholders. The main interest is sector-specific clusters; in fact, the virtual platform will help them for their training, innovation, and networking needs. The DBTE will also include the Mobility and Talent Marketplace, a virtual permanent section for collecting ideas and opportunities. Briefly, the DBTE will act as an information provider, contributing to the business planning of clusters that require education.

 

 

Universities, research centres, professional associations, Institutions and Industries could benefit from project results, having the possibility of interacting not only regionally or nationally, but at European level.


Regular updates about ASKFOOD are available online on the project website https://www.askfood.eu/,  on Federalimentare website or in the newsletter Informalimentare. For further information, please contact Mr. Maurizio Notarfonso (notarfonso@federalimentare.it) or Ms. Giorgia Sabbatini (sabbatini@federalimentare.it).


Project Partners: University of Teramo (IT), Federalimentare (IT), BOKU (AT), University of Hohenheim (DE), Cyprus University of Technology (CY), Wageningen University (NL), University of Zagreb (HR), Cassiopea di Di Falco Germana sas (IT), LVA Group (AT), FoodDrinkEurope (BE), SEVT (GR), ISEKI-Food Association (AT).