As defned in EURAB on January 04, 2004 a European Technology Platform [ETP] is a major, pan-European mission-oriented initiative aimed at strengthening Europe’s capacity to organize and deliver innovation – strengthening the European-wide innovation process. An ETP will bring together relevant stakeholders to identify the innovation challenge, develop the necessary research programmes and implement the results.
As envisaged by the European Commission, the development of ETPs can help to ensure that European investment in R&D rapidly and effectively:
delivers benefts to the European citizens,
creates competitiveness for European companies,
ends the situation in which high EU R&D investment often produces fewer that expected benefts, and
helps to give shape to the European Research Area [ERA] on a sector-by-sector basis.
In recent years, more than 30 ETPs have been initiated, covering sectors as diverse as Steel, Sustainable Chemistry, Textile and Clothing, Plants for the Future and Large Wing and Fuselage. Some of them have narrow goals and some have broader perspective for example ETP “Food for Life” which has have relevance to every part of the agro-food chain (agriculture, food, human health).
European Technology Platforms (ETPs) are industry-led, public/private partnerships based on the
principle of mutual beneft and encouraged by the European Commission to drive innovation and unite stakeholder communities in reaching strategic research objectives of key European industry sectors.
ETP Food for Life was created in 2005 under the auspices of the Confederation of the food and drink Industry of the EU (CIAA – http://etp.ciaa.eu) which is now called FOODDRINKEUROPE, following the principles of the Lisbon Strategy. The main idea of the platform is to direct the innovation process in Europe, improve the knowledge transfer between research institutions and industry and stimulate the high level of Europe’s competitiveness in food sector.
In Ukraine in 2006 due to the initiative of several scientists (Prof. Nadiya Boyko, Uzhhorod) and with support of the National Information Point (NIP, Director – Olena Koval, Kyiv) the process of creation of National Technology Platforms and in particular Ukrainian National Technology Platform “Food for Life” according to the standards of operating European Technology Platforms was initiated. The idea of the platform creation appeared during the meeting organized by NIP in Ukraine with the participation of the Directorate E of the European Commission on the Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology priority (Dr. Christian Patermann) and with direct consulting assistance of Dr. Roger Fenwick from Food Research Institute (Kyiv, February 9-10, 2006).
The main foundations for the development of the National Technology Platform in Ukraine were elaborated at:
Thematic meeting “Ukrainian initiative in development of ETP’s: Ukrainian Technology Platform “Food for Life” (Uzhhorod, October 29-31, 2006) at which representative of the European • Commission participated. The meeting was organized by the Center for Transborder Scientifc Cooperation of the Uzhhorod National University (hereinafter – CTSC, Director – Prof. N. Boyko) with support of NIP of Ukraine. At the meeting the decision to create UNTP and to represent in networks of similar ETP’s was made; the platform was included to the register of the similar platforms (http://etp.ciaa.eu/asp/nftp/index.asp).
Thematic seminar “Development of National Technology Platform (NTP) “Food for Life” in Ukraine: Agro-Food Platform” (Uzhhorod, • May 12, 2010) organized by CTSC of UzhNU with support of NIP of Ukraine and Ministry of Education of Science. Dr. András Sebök, member of ETP “Food for Life” board, and Dr. Federico Morais, FIAB Innovation and Technology
Department Director, representative of Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation participated in the work of the seminar.
Thematic seminar “Role of Ukrainian National Technology Platform (NTP’s) in facilitating FP7 participation: on the example of Agro-Food Platform” (Uzhhorod, December 6-7, 2010) organized as a part of implementation of EU project “Joint support offce for enhancing Ukraine’s integration into the European Research Area” (JSO-ERA) (project coordinator, director of NIP in Poland, Dr. Aleksander Bakowski) and by regional FP7 NIP contact point – CTSC of UzhNU. ETP “Food for Life” was represented by a member of its Board, Dr. András Sebök. Brokerage event “Innovative research in food and health protection” held in Uzhhorod on July 20-21, 2011 which was oriented at participation of small and medium enterprises in activities of emerging platform.
The abovementioned meetings were aimed at working out the agenda for the offcial establishment of NTP “Food for Life” in Ukraine and in particular at:
creation of working group (coordination council) for development of a conceptual approach for successful achievement of Platform’s goals in Ukraine;
harmonization of Platform’s organization structure and fnancial support;
determining main instruments of Platform’s work in Ukraine for creation of the corresponding infrastructure;
initiation of an active cooperation with government, business and research institutions for development of national policy aimed at food safety and food quality. During the abovementioned meetings the experts
developed, presented and discussed the plan of Ukrainian National Technology Platform “Agro-Food Plaform” as a:
- voluntary association of separate thematic clusters (headed by experts in the corresponding felds) with organization and work groups, representatives of stakeholders form political, research institutions and industry (innovation infrastructure);
- Instrument to strengthen the innovative potential of Ukrainian SMEs and their effciency in the following years of FP7 (2011-2013) and in FP8.
During the meeting held in Uzhhorod on April 27, 2012, the fnal version of Ukrainian NTP “Agro-Food” prototyped from ETP “Food for Life” was proposed and discussed. All heads of clusters supported the fnal version of the Platform, approved and proclaimed it.