As a research institute covering a broad spectrum and as a partner of the industry, the DIL has an implicit interest in promoting the scientific exchange within the scientific field, as well as the transfer of technology from research into practice. For this reason, the institute is the initiator and partner of numerous local and (supra-)regional projects.
The Niedersächsische Kompetenzzetrum Ernährungswirtschaft (NieKE), the Lower-Saxony Competence Centre for Food Economics, concentrates competences and know-how in all areas of agricultural and food industry for the entire federal state of Lower Saxony. Until 2017, the initiative is overseen by the University of Vechta and the DIL. Its aim is to mobilize existing innovation potentials and to develop new ones for the region’s agricultural and food industry. The initiative’s emphases lie on aspects such as food processing, food safety, food quality and issues such as bio-economics and sustainability. Connecting actors along the value-chain and the advancement of qualified junior staff are further aspects important to the initiative.
It is important to promote the exchange between research, economy and politics and to face the region’s current as well as future challenges with adequate measures. As a partner, the DIL participates in organizing thematic workshops, specialized work groups and an annual industry conference for Northern Germany; within the State’s initiative, it functions as a centre for technology transfer.
The Business- und Innovationspark Quakenbrück (BIQ) is a joint project between the Artland Commune, the Landkreis or district of Osnabrück, the Wirtschaftsagentur Artland GMBH (WAAL) and the German Institute for Food Technology (Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik e. V., DIL) for the advancement of the region as a location for innovation and industry. The BIQ helped create many opportunities for growth and employment in the regional economy. Its aim is to develop an environment for innovative business ideas which offers good conditions for business creation as well as the necessary capacities for the realization of technology-based projects.
Because of its proximity to the DIL and the multifunctional usable areas of roughly 3000 square meters, the BIQ is the starting point for businesses, new entrepreneurs, and research cooperations along the entire value-chain in the agricultural and food industries.
The Food and Health Society, founded in 2011, has addressed itself to the task of promoting science and research, paying particular attention to food and nutritional research. By coordinating research activities and the transfer of results into the relevant economic fields, the society pursues the target of enforcing a sustainable use of resources and of contributing to improve the consumer’s health. Considering the limited research capacities and resources, Food & Health set itself the task of using them more expediently within the competition of European research projects.
Founding members from Leibnitz University Hanover are Prof. Dr. Ralf Günter Berger (Institute for Food Chemistry), Prof. Dr. Andreas Hahn ( Institute for Food Research) as well as Dr. Thomas Scheper und Dr. Sascha Beutel (Institute for Technical Chemistry). Dr. Peter Winterhalter and apl. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Engelhardt from the Institute for Food Chemistry at Technical University of Braunschweig and DIL director Dr. Volker Heinz are the society’s other founders.
The DIL’s European engagement is mirrored in the number of related research activities and technology networks. Since winning the tender for the Food Economy Initiative of the State of Lower Saxony in January 2014, the DIL also functions as the region’s key centre for technology transfer. Within the Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM), the central innovation programme for the mid-sized sector by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the DIL keeps continuously developing its project activities. Current research foci lie on the areas of process technology, process analytics and robotics.
In the DIL’s pre-competitive research, the activities’ foci lie on the areas of Bio-Economics, Process Technology, Structure & Functionality, Robotics and Process Engineering. The variety of projects from different disciplines shows the thematic range of the research activities as well as the successful expansion of the institute’s competences.
Since 2015 the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL) cooperates with the Institute for Product Quality – ifp from Berlin.
The ifp is an independent and neutral lab as well as competence center for modern analytics in the areas of food, feed and pharma. Additionally the ifp – with its 220 employees – is involved into several R&D projects and develops diagnostics for the application in research and test laboratories. Die partnership conncects the broad spectrum of analyses and the specialized methods of the ifp with the technological know-how of DIL in the areas of process development and sustainability assessments. Food producers can benefit from this combination of strengths because they receive analytical as well as process-oriented support and advice. Complex problems can thus be solved efficiently.
The cooperation of the two institutes creates a nationwide service network with a continuous availability, fast reactions and a client-centric service in all regions.