Impressions from “Skills for new product development in the food industry 2021” workshop
Skills for new product development in the food industry was an international, interactive workshop organised for professionals (at practice competency level), who wanted to gain new knowledge on new product development in food industry.
During the week-long online training, that took place from 13th to 17th of September 2021, 52 professionals from RIS countries had the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills related to new product development and project management, which are essential for successful, innovative, and competitive businesses in the food market.
The workshop was planned to be a blended-learning training, but due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it was delivered online.
Topics and methodology of the training
The involvement and close collaboration of experts representing eight project partner institutions, namely, the University of Warsaw (work package leader), Aarhus University, Technion, Campden BRI, CSIC, PepsiCo, Elea and BeYou, a unique training programme, aimed at presenting the process of new product development in the food market in a holistic and very interactive way was developed. The workshop was based on a series of exercises and simulations including computer-based simulations, e-tours, prototyping, engaging group assignments, case studies, practical hands-on sessions, live food processing, and sensory analyses.
The workshop offered five interrelated modules: "Consumer-centric approach & design thinking in NPD", "Simulation-based training using the Project Team Builder simulator", "Food industry scenario during the COVID-19 pandemic", "NPD from the perspective of companies: PepsiCo & Elea - selected case studies", "Sensory evaluation and its role in food product design".
The main objective of the workshop was to share up-to-date knowledge on new product development and appropriate tools that would help participants to turn their ideas into action and thus contribute to the development of new innovative products and solutions in the food market.
What do the participants say?
Did this succeed? The answer is yes! It is confirmed by the results of the post-course evaluation survey, posts shared by participants on multiple social media channels (mainly LinkedIn) as well as interviews with participants who were willing to share their impressions.
I am an educator and scientist at the Lodz University of Technology. I have supervised students’ projects, which most often result in the development of new food products. At the same time, I have pursued actions required to obtain and sustain alliances with the representatives of food industry, to whom our university provides R&D services.
I feel the NPD Course has had a great impact on both my professional and personal skills, boosting both my confidence in my designer and management skills, as well as giving me some solid knowledge about the process.
Recently, I have been supervising three student-led projects, which have benefited greatly from the NPD training. They are mostly devoted to the development of students’ research, design and teamwork skills.
Two of the projects are directly food-related and they have resulted in the development of three unique products, one of which was tested with and is considered by an existing start-up. The third one has just obtained grant funding and we are at the prototype development stage, and it is already gaining attention from the industry.
After the NPD Course, I can offer my students more merit-driven guidance and confidence in our actions. What is more, I can support the transfer of the developed product and technologies into the industry. - Iwona Majak.
What did other participants say?
I enjoyed this training very much, learned a lot, and had the opportunity to meet some new interesting people and experts from the food industry. I would highly recommend this training to my colleagues.
Great week, great hosts, great energy! Thank you all for your time whit us!
Even though these were quite intensive days, full of new information and it was an online event, this workshop was organised quite active for the participants and with full of activities to put in practice what has been explained just before them. I found it quite dynamic! So congratulations!
Loved the energy and the spirit of the organizers as well as the ability of the speakers to convey information!
The training was extremely useful!
Waiting for the next one!