DIP4Agri Final Conference
Universidade Católica Portuguesa completes the DIP4Agri project, which aims to train higher education institutions in innovation and entrepreneurship, in the areas of deep tech and valorization of agri-food by-products (dip4agri.eu).
On the 18th December, the project final event was held at UCP, where Manuela Pintado, the project Coordinator, presented the main achievements of the project. Luís Rochartre (Senior Advisor at Planetiers New Generation), Tiago Duarte (Managing Partner at Simplyeast Portugal), Deolinda Silva (Executive Director at PortugalFoods) and Benedita Chaves (Director of R&D and Innovation at Lipor) were invited speakers at this event and focused on the importance of innovation and value creation from residues and by-products, for promoting the urgent change towards a higher environmental and economical sustainability, in different important economical sectors and as a society.
Innovation and sustainability
Luís Rochartre referred to the various challenges we face and the need for a rapid change to improve the sustainability of our actions on the planet. Tiago Duarte presented the work developed by Simplyeast Portugal, which values by-products from the brewing industry, namely the use of surplus yeast as an ingredient in new food products. Deolinda Silva presented several examples of innovative products that are being developed and commercialized and that show how R&D and Innovation is present in several Portuguese companies in the food sector. Benedita Chaves showed the diversity of innovative products, with applications in agriculture and industry, which are developed by Lipor, through different valorization processes, and which contribute to increasing the circularity of materials from different origins.
Deep Tech Innovators Program
The Deep Tech Innovators educational program was carried out this year, between September and December, and included the participation of doctoral students, researchers and professionals from the agri-food sector, who developed innovative business solutions to real problems of national and international companies. The three best teams resulting from the program received mentoring to develop their ideas and presented their deep tech-based solutions on December 18th. The teams proposed ideas for valuing waste from agricultural activities, with the aim of increasing the competitiveness of companies and promoting sustainability and the circular economy in the sector. The CROP Insulation team proposed to valorize pruning waste from olive trees by integrating these materials in an innovative and more efficient and sustainable insulation panel. The Olivers team proposed new pots for plants nurseries, by creating better growth conditions for the plants and less impact on the environment, by also integrating pruning waste from olive trees. The 4.0 Waste team, developed a valorization process for the melons left in the field, with irregular shape or skin, by producing fruit based innovative products, using a mobile processing unit.
CROP Insulation, The Olivers and 4.0 Waste teams (bottom to down).
Best business solution
The DIP4Agri project awarded a prize worth 5,000 euros to the best business solution presented during the event. This solution was developed by the CROP Insulation team, and proposes to value the waste produced during the pruning of olive trees, from companies in the olive oil production sector, specially important in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO FROM DIP4AGRI FINAL EVENT HERE!
Sustainable entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector
By developing projects such as DIP4Agri, UCP together with the DIP4Agri consortium partners, intends to contribute to the creation of value at universities (HEIs), promoting the culture of entrepreneurship and technological innovation and improving the circularity of agri-food systems. This project was promoted by the EIT HEI initiative (https://eit-hei.eu/), founded by the European Union. The EIT HEI Initiative aims to support HEIs with expertise and coaching, with funding and access to the EIT innovation and financing ecosystem, the largest in Europe, enabling them to develop innovation action plans that complement the needs of each HEI.