New research cooperation project between DIL and universities in Lower Saxony

Scientists from Lower Saxony join forces in a new association

DIL coordinates all activities

Quakenbrück. Apart from the research work conducted on behalf of clients from the food industry, Dr. Volker Heinz as head of the DIL has also significantly expanded the institute’s number of fundamental research projects. Now he takes the next step towards science and research.

Four university institutes from the State of Lower Saxony and the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL) founded the association "Food & Health Northern Germany" in Hannover on 10 September 2011. The aim of this association is the promotion of science and research under specific consideration of food and nutrition research topics. This objective shall be achieved by coordinating the research activities and transferring the research results to the relevant business areas with the aim to effectively improve employment of resources and consumers’ health.

Founding member are: from the Leibnitz University Hannover Prof. Dr. Ralf Günter Berger (Institute for Food Chemistry), Prof. Dr. Andreas Hahn (Institute for Food Science), Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheper and Dr. Sascha Beutel (Institute for Technical Chemistry); from the Technical University of Braunschweig Prof. Dr. Peter Winterhalter and apl. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Engelhardt (Institute of Food Chemistry) as well as Dr. Volker Heinz (DIL).

The board of directors of the not-for-profit association consists of five individuals. According to the statutes, the head of DIL will always be the chairman of the board. This arrangement also underpins that the DIL will be in charge of the coordination of all activities and projects conducted by the association. This also recognizes the DIL’s special function as intermediary between science and industry and documents the goal of transferring knowledge and research results to the domestic food and agricultural industries.

“The demands from the new scientific area “bioeconomy” require a more detailed organization and coordination of the research capacities and resources available in Lower Saxony in order to apply them in a more targeted way within the European research projects,” explains Dr. Heinz the background and objectives of this extraordinary scientific association.

The scientists involved have already cooperated successfully in the past in networks such as FAEN or the “Food Network”. Since the research funds provided by the State are more and more reduced, a new approach is needed in order to be able to maintain the excellent compatibility of the food and health research arena in Lower Saxony in the future without drawbacks.

The DIL also coordinates the European Network of Excellence "HighTech Europe” that aims at developing future-oriented innovation management projects and processes and at founding a European Institute for Food Processing. The network also held a workshop within the scope of the DIL’s iFOOD2011 conference on 11 October.