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Fooder presents at the World Food Forum within Cibus 2024

At the World Food Forum, Fooder introduced itself to other industry players through Gianni Galaverna from the University of Parma.

Event date


Published: 05/21/2024
In Parma, on 8th May 2024, the fifth edition of the World Food Forum (WFF) took place, hosted by Cibus, the flagship event for the Italian agri-food sector. Fooder, the network of public institutions, universities, and enterprises from Emilia Romagna dedicated to education and innovation in food systems, introduced itself to other industry players through Gianni Galaverna from the University of Parma, the project coordinator.

"The Challenges of Food Systems’ Sustainability for Businesses and Supply Chains – A Global Approach, from Soil to Human Health" was the theme of the 2024 Forum, where the three major research projects funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) presented their objectives and work pathways to companies: the National Center for Technology in Agriculture Agritech, the Extended Partnership OnFoods Foundation, and the METROFOOD-IT Research Infrastructure together with the National Agri-food Cluster CL.A.N.

The sharing of research, production, and innovation experiences aims to increase and strengthen collaborations between public and private sectors, committing jointly towards a new model of food production and healthy, safe, and sustainable nutrition. This involves not only technology transfer but also scientific culture, with continuous training provided at all levels. Education must indeed be updated and in line with the latest sector findings, allying the fields of education, the production sector, and territorial governance.

Embracing this vision, the Fooder project aims to create an internationally recognised hub for training and research, capable of attracting talent and resources for the development and internationalisation of the agri-food sector.

At the core of the Forum's debate was Italy's role as an international food excellence. To maintain this leadership position, it is crucial to develop a safe, sustainable, and quality food supply chain, attentive to production autonomy and food sovereignty. Among the many topics discussed were the impacts on food systems, the current geopolitical situation, and how the ability to meet these complex challenges is strongly linked to science and technology, with a particular focus on investing in young researchers and talents and forming partnerships.

During the conference, important experts from the agri-food and scientific fields, representatives of food companies, and members of national and European institutions intervened. After the welcome and introduction addresses, which were attended by Franco Mosconi - President of the Parma Fairs, Paolo Martelli - Magnificent Rector of the University of Parma, Cesare Azzali - Director of the Parma Industrial Union, Paolo Mascarino - President of Federalimentare and the National Agri-food Cluster CL.A.N., and Vincenzo Colla - Councilor for Economic Development and Green Economy, Labor, Training, and International Relations, Emilia-Romagna Region; the conference began with a series of presentations, coordinated by Sara Roversi - President of the Future Food Institute. Among the guests, besides Gianni Galaverna, Fooder coordinator: Danilo Ercolini - Scientific Director of the National Center for Technology in Agriculture Agritech, Daniele Del Rio - President of the OnFoods Foundation, Claudia Zoani - Coordinator METROFOOD-IT, ENEA - Department of Sustainability, Circularity, and Adaptation to Climate Change of Production and Territorial Systems.

Gianni Galaverna, University of ParmaThis year's World Food Forum at Cibus 2024 is a very important opportunity to promote synergy between the research world and the entrepreneurial world in the agri-food sector, promoting research and innovation as fundamental tools to address current and future issues. Equally important is the training of professionals capable of tackling new challenges, adjusting university and post-university education, and promoting a new alliance between the education sectors, the production sector, and territorial governance, with a positive and new synergy between public and private even in this context. The Fooder project, promoted and supported by the Emilia Romagna Region, aims to create an internationally recognised training and research hub capable of attracting talent and resources for the development of the entire agri-food sector. The Fooder Association, among all regional universities and companies, promotes the design and implementation of university and post-university courses in English, to increase the internationalisation of the region itself, the productive world, and attract new talents, thus characterising the Food Valley as an international reference point for university education in the agri-food sector. The project started in 2022, and is already yielding its first results with the launch of two international courses that have attracted numerous students from around the world.

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