Editorial InTouch: Geared to success
22 March 2017 – TiFN is currently revising its strategy in order to be best prepared for the future and to continue to be the most significant pre-competitive research platform in food and nutrition in the Netherlands. The focus of the new TiFN themes will be on nutrition & health, sustainable food systems and consumer engagement. The challenges in this themes are multifaceted and no simple solutions are to be found.
Typically matters TiFN should dive into and where we can create our greatest added value for our partners. This exciting and highly interactive strategy process will be completed in June 2017 and we look forward to share the result with you at the AgriFoodTop on June 7th. Please save the date!
In past months, we have launched a number of new projects. A clear sign that TiFN has successfully transformed since completing its FES period last year. For example, the new Sustainable Ingredients project, led by Marcel Meinders, which will focus on creating textures based on mix of animal and plant based proteins and working with less refined – and therefore defined – ingredients. A crucial step towards a more sustainable way to produce food. Most recently in the health area, we have set up a hugely challenging project addressing the individual health level, viz. Unravelling the biology behind perceivable consumer benefits, or in brief Glucose (M)apping, led by Ellen Blaak. If successful, the outcome of this project will be of paramount importance to individual health counselling programmes. We are building on many years of experience in metabolic processes, but also made a deliberate choice to neglect individual differences no longer, but to embrace them in our research approach. Danone, DSM, FrieslandCampina, Fromageries Bel and Unilever are investers in these projects, and I hope to see others joining soon. NWO and TKI Agri&Food are the public funders of these projects, but also of the other new projects in the TiFN portfolio. TiFN is grateful for their confidence and support. The total portfolio currently mounts to a total value of about 30M€.
Even though we are reviewing our strategic purpose, the TiFN values of Industrial relevance and scientific excellence still stand strong. Additionally, we have made societal relevance our third core value in a more prominent way. As before, TiFN project teams are still characterized by their critical mass: a mix of young and experienced scientists combined with professional experts. The project plans are thorough by design and flexible if needed; investing parties devote senior management to supervise the projects closely from start to end. Geared to success, and of course, a lot of fun along the way!
TiFN has welcomed quite some new people in the past months. Please read the article on Wouter-Jan Schouten (ex BCG), our new Theme Director Sustainable Food Systems. Rob Beudeker is the new Theme Director Nutrition and Health, and combines this with his position at DSM. Aafke van den Boom joined us in augustus 2016, and you can read about her as well in this newsletter.
You will also encounter Krijn Rietveld in this newsletter, a valued new member of the TiFN Board, and, together with Margrethe Jonkman, interim chairman of the Board. In the newsletters to come, we look forward to introduce you to all Board members of TiFN and their organizations, involved in the TiFN projects.
Finally as you may know, I will be leaving TiFN shortly to become director of FNLI, the Dutch federation of food producers. As such I will continue to strive for a strong industry that contributes to a healthy and sustainable society to the benefit of all consumers. So good-bye, thank you so much for the great cooperation. I wish TiFN all the success in the future, and I am looking forward to see you all soon again!