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DKK 103 million to pave the way for future food research

A group of Danish universities and companies are working together to set up a joint high-tech laboratory centre, FOODHAY, which aims to develop healthier, more sustainable foods and reduce food waste. FOODHAY is an important step towards greener food, says the Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science, Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, whose ministry is contributing a total of DKK 51.5 million (EUR 6.9 mill.).

New knowledge about food and ingredients to improve the quality of food as well as its health benefits. Research into consumers’ senses and behaviour to help producers and stores present the healthy and sustainable aspects of food better.

These are just some of the goals of the research infrastructure, Open Innovation FOOD & Health Laboratory (FOODHAY), which has received a grant of DKK 51.5 million (EUR 6.9 mill.) from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

The consortium behind FOODHAY is headed by Aarhus University (AU) and the consortium is also contributing an equivalent amount, so that the total investment will be approx. DKK 103 million (EUR 13.8 mill.). In addition to Aarhus University, the consortium consists of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the University of Copenhagen, Arla and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI). The new research facilities will be divided between them.

Strong collaboration on new opportunities

This will give Danish food researchers and companies new opportunities.

Michelle Williams, who is head of the consortium and the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University is extremely enthusiastic. A significant part of the new infrastructure will be in the department's 6,800m2 new laboratory and office buildings at Agro Food Park near Aarhus.

"The investment is strong support for the quality and relevance of ?our research and teaching initiatives, and will have a direct impact on our ability to deliver new knowledge, technologies and innovative solutions within food and ingredients. The new equipment supports our strong research collaboration between the universities and with the food industry, and together we’ll help Denmark deliver innovative, healthy and sustainable food products for global consumers," says Michelle Williams.

She emphasises that the joint long-term vision, and five years of strong and open collaboration between DTU, the University of Copenhagen, DTI, Arla and AU laid the foundation for the grant from the ministry.

Healthier and more sustainable food products

Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science, Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen says:

"There is great potential in healthier, more sustainable foods: for businesses, for our health, and for the climate. For example, far too much food today ends garbage bins, because it has passed its sell-by date. With FOODHAY, researchers have an important platform to develop new knowledge that can prolong food shelf-life, with research rather than chemicals."

The FOODHAY partners will have the most advanced instruments and laboratories, forming a national research platform that can examine raw materials and ingredients down to the tiniest component. This is vital in developing new and green sources of protein.

Several companies and organisations are supporting and will participate in research at FOODHAY, which is the result of a proposal from the Danish Roadmap for Research Infrastructures in 2015.


Head of Department Michelle H. Williams
Department of Food Science, Aarhus University
Mail: mw@food.au.dk
Mobile: +45 2517 0049