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From project organization to powerful network organization: the evolution of Food Tech Brainport

Jos de Boer has been director of Food Tech Brainport for 2 years. How does he look back on these years and how does he see the coming period?

“Food Tech Brainport was a project organization 2 years ago. We participated in various national and international projects in line with our mission: without waste, healthy food for everyone. Nothing has changed about that mission, but the way in which our organization is set up has. We have expanded the team, increased our clout by binding people to us who all have a nicely filled backpack. Specialists who have a lot of experience with and knowledge about the (innovative) food processing industry, but who have also built up a large network of technology providers, food processing companies and research and educational institutions.

Professionalize and increase effectiveness

Our organization has been professionalized: we connect and advance companies that are active in the food processing industry. We have made further connections with the business community, research and education. In addition, we have expanded and strengthened our network with partners, some of whom we have welcomed as residents at our location. Food Design Solutions, BeefyGreen and Carezzo, for example. We have also developed a food processing factory together with partners. This factory offers the possibility of testing (which combination of technologies is optimal), scaling up (how can I scale up faster and bring it to market), and production (how can I make my product as efficient and sustainable as possible).

Develop partnership model based on best practices

Are we there then? No, not nearly as far as I’m concerned. We are currently working on further developing our partnership model, based on the best practices that we have built up in recent years. We also look at the specific needs of our (potential) partners. I hope that in the near future we can welcome more companies from the food processing industry and technology providers in our network and in the food processing factory to see even more beautiful things happen.

Watching companies grow

The moments where I really look with pride at what we’ve built together? When I see a company flourish, actually conquer the market (in a positive sense) with a concept to which we have contributed. Peel Pioneers, the peel farmer of the 21st century, for example. They recently received an award from the Province of Noord-Brabant. Another example: BeefyGreen, makers of vegetarian semi-finished products and hybrid burgers. A company that has centered all activities in our premises, from development to production and sales. Thanks to the direct lines to technology providers and ingredient suppliers, they can switch quickly and produce efficiently. Those are the moments that make you realize: this is what we do it for.”

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