Food bioeconomy cluster cooperation ( Joint action 2.3.1.)

First web meeting between Latvian high added value and healthy food cluster and Heidenr biocluster (Norway) representatives:

Kristaps Ročāns (Vidzeme Planning Region/Latvian high value and healthy food cluster)

Øyvind Nordstrand (Hedmark County Council)

Peter Bavngaard Thrane (NCE Heidner Biocluster)

Brit Rønning Johansen (NCE Heidner Biocluster)

The aim of the meeting was for both clusters to get to know a little bit more about each others and to see if we could identify some potential opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration. There is funding available to cover visits to Norway/Latvia.

The clusters were presented by Kristaps and Brit. The Latvian food cluster is organised as an independent membership organisation. Heidner is also a membership organisation, being facilitated by Klosser Innovation, but operating independently, with a 5-year funding as a National Centre of Expertise through the Norwegian national cluster programme. Both clusters are operating in the field of bioeconomy value creation, focused on food production. Per today the Latvian food cluster is mostly offering business support to the members, but aims to evolve into a more mature cluster organisation with focus on facilitating innovation and cluster collaboration. The utilisation of residues and side streams and innovation/value creation related to this seems to be obvious common interests (also ref. the previous EU-applications). Of special interest to Heidner might be plant production (plant breeding, horticulture, nordic berry processing). Heidner is a value-chain cluster, with members from the whole food production value chain (from breeding, farming to industry and the use of residual materials). Cluster collaboration activities are focused around four main areas: international commercialization, innovation, sustainability and new enabling technologies (i.e. digitalisation, genetic technologies).

Clusters discussed the need to identify some concrete collaboration opportunities that our member companies are interested in, before we decide on a concrete visit to Norway or Latvia. Therefore we agreed to do a little bit more «homework» and outline specific information on topics:

Biorefinery under construction – focused on medicinal plants/cosmetics. Is research collaboration, contract research, contract manufacturing a possibility?

Aloja Starkelsen – Culinaria database (tastelab).

Organic fertilizer – rain worms.

Nordic berry processing

Possible collaboration for new EU-applications is interesting

Possible Latvian - Norwegian – Finnish collaboration/EU-projects?