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First edition of Challenge Labs gathered over 30 participants

The first RIS Challenge Labs workshop took place in Warsaw (Poland) on the last weekend of October.

15 Nov 2019
EIT Food North & East

Thirty four food enthusiasts with backgrounds in food technology, marketing, business, psychology and IT came together to solve current and future challenges of the food industry. During intensive two and a half days, participants had to develop solutions which would both enhance the transparency of the food chain and increase consumer trust.

The group was first introduced to challenges in the food sector presented by the industry experts. After that, participants learned about design thinking and human centered design methodologies that would help them solve these challenges.

Equipped with great tools, Challenge Labs’ teams discovered the needs of the customer personas by interviewing Warsaw residents, created customer’s journey and storyboards and finally built tangible prototypes of their ideas. Their teamwork was supported by advice and feedback from the industry professionals with expertise in food processing, marketing as well as international logistics and sales from companies such as MASPEX, Danone, CEDROB, MOWI and Asia Pulp & Paper.

After participants pitched their solutions and showed the prototypes they built in one day, the jury had to choose three best ideas and award them with the prizes of €2000, €1000 and €500. Great motivation and professional pitch decks prepared by all teams didn’t make it an easy choice for the jury. The presented solutions included a home food container indicating the shelf-life of food; a local restaurant managed by the community rewarding customers based on the sustainability of their choices and an app which can plan shopping and make it as healthy and quick as possible.

Finally, main RIS Challenge Labs prize was awarded to FreshTacka team that invented a biodegradable packaging for meat that extends its shelf life with the help of probiotic bacteria.

In 2019 RIS Challenge Labs workshops will also take place in Valencia (Spain) and Syracuse (Italy). The program will come back next year to solve more food industry challenges by ambitious students and professionals!

Here you can take a look at the event's gallery.

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