TiFN delivers 200 PhD’s to the food sector in 21 years

12 October 2018 – Today, TiFN delivers its 200th PhD candidate. Mariya Tarazanova, like all these other young innovators, was trained to bridge the gap between science and industry. The thesis that Mariya Tarazanova defended today at the University of Groningen provides insights and tools that allow the food industry to improve existing or formulate new, fermented, products without changing production processes.

 Tarazanova is one of the first scientists in the world to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms of lactic acid bacteria interacting with food matrices. As a member of TiFN, the food technologist made her first acquaintance with advanced microbial genetics, bioinformatics, and cloning software. “I learnt a lot about the theory, and about translating the outcomes into daily industry practice”, she says. With such a focus on microscopic mechanisms, Tarazanova found it difficult, at times, to step back and look at the bigger picture. “My supervisors and industry partners helped me by asking questions that needed deep reflection.”

 For 21 years TiFN has been leading the way towards effective public private partnerships to create impact for food science and industry. TiFN, formerly known as WCFS, was founded in 1997 as a Technological Top institute by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and industrial partners with the aim to strengthen the impact of scientific research for the food industry. 21 years later TiFN has helped hundreds of scientists to produce important, breakthrough innovations that are now the basis for the development of a healthier and sustainable food products worldwide. This emphasizes the success and importance of the original approach of joint programming of science impact for societal issues as an alternative to current open tendering programs.

Tarazanova is the 200th TiFN PhD fellow. On this occasion, managing director Ronald Visschers presented her a trophy: “We are extremely proud of the work of Mariya. it is a wonderful example of how TiFN shapes projects: in close consultation with industry and science, the PhD student works on industrially relevant subjects in a scientifically excellent way.”

Today, TiFN is a thriving international community of industrial and academic partners. The experts join in the well-established TiFN way of working to define and execute public-private research that are valuable to the food industry. Mariya Tarazanova is a perfect example of a PhD candidate that is reaping the fruits of the TiFN platform. In the past years, an average of 10 TiFN PhD candidates defended their thesis. Visschers: “We only have been able to do this with the ongoing financial support of industry and government, in particular the ministry of Economic affairs. Over the past 20 years, they have invested seriously in our platform. The investment pays of every day now in science, in a healthier and more sustainable food chain and in experts that can lead the way between scientific excellence and industrial relevance.”