The FOOD+i Industry Cluster, recognized as a “Innovative business group” by the Spanish Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Trade, and Bronze label by the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ESCA) was set up in 2009.
FOOD+i is therefore, a non for profit private association comprising companies, research centers and regional government institutions that aim to promote the competitiveness and the development of the Ebro Valley region (Spain) food industry through collaboration and innovation. The Ebro Valley region itself has the 8th food industry sector in Europe, in terms of turnover.
The Cluster’s partners are mainly industrial and scientific institutions (research centers). The association has a total of 78 industrial partners (74% SMEs 26% Large companies with a total turnover of 2,68 €billion and 10.576 employees) as well as 8 of the most important representatives from the world of science and research.
Manufacturers in the sector have defined 6 strategic development areas.
- New products and consumer
- “Healthy foods”/ Nutrional quality
- Food security._Quality
- Sostenibility_H2O, Industrial efficiency, By-products.
- Innovation plans_SMEs
The principal activities of the institution referred to I+D+I are:
Reinforce the innovation system (Push&Pull):
- In terms of the product and packaging →Product development and adaptation to new trends: convenience, functional, foreign and organic dishes, high-end and differential packaging, innovation and the supply of additives.
- In terms of processes → Product industrialization: economies of scales, convenience food, cost reduction, substitute products, high pressures and temperatures, waste recovery, reverse logistics, ICTs, etc.
Rework business strategies and access to new markets:
- Opening up of new markets and segments
- Marketing and commercial skills: internationalisation, specialised distribution, promotional activities at sales points, specialisation of food service segment
- Managing cross-channel strategies
- Distribution-based integration
- Funding growth