On 4 November, the INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory together with nine Portuguese and Spanish higher education institutions signed a consortium agreement for the creation of the Iberian FoodTec Lab (IFL), a «laboratory of excellence» in the area of food safety.
The Iberian FoodTec Lab «has the mission of implementing a collaborative Iberian agenda to promote multidisciplinary research initiatives, prepare diagnoses on the food situation in Portugal and Spain and contribute to the development and implementation of public policies». With this initiative, it is also intended to «encourage the exchange of experiences, dialogue between academic institutions, companies and international organizations and promote an equitable and healthy sustainable diet, contributing to the increase of international competitiveness».
The agreement was signed at the INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, within the scope of the 33rd Luso-Iberian Summit, an event that took place in Viana do Castelo. This agreement was signed by the Polytechnic of Bragança – where the IFL’s headquarters will be located –, the Polytechnic of Viana do Castelo, INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, University of Vigo, University of Salamanca, University of Valladolid, the University of Minho, Portuguese Catholic University, University of Porto, and the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro.
According to Lorenzo Pastrana, Lorenzo Pastrana Research Group Leader at INL, “the agri-food sector represents, on average, 15% of the GDP in the northwest of the Iberian peninsula. Moreover, in these regions, intense activity in R&D and innovation is being carried out in different entities of the scientific and technological ecosystem, delivering excellent performance indications in many scientific ranks. The Iberian FoodTec Lab (IFL) was born to enhance knowledge in food and health and boost the transfer to the productive sector. For this purpose, the leading Universities in the region and the INL will join and coordinate capabilities to generate impact in the food sector. INL is one of the founders of this initiative that will allow the Food for the Future cluster, to foster the implementation of their applications of nanotechnologies to produce personalized, healthier and safer foods and reduce food waste.“