Project

FFoQSI

Project

Jan 2017 - Dec 2021
The FFG programme line stipulates that COMET K1-Centres should be formed between

science and industry and that the work should be carried out on a competitive basis. The

proposed K1-Centre “Feed and Food Quality, Safety and Innovation (FFOQSI)” aligns

perfectly with this strategy, since it has brought together a network of scientific and company

partners acting synergistically as innovation leaders along the feed and food chain in Austria

and on a global scale. Due to the massive impact of food safety and food security issues on

public health, food supply is of the utmost importance for any populace. The challenges are

manifold and range from threats to the production of plant resources to pests and climatic

factors to a growing global population’s increasing demand for more food of high quality. Risk

assessors, policymakers and also companies rely on a steady output of scientific advances

in the areas of risk management and quality assurance. Novel technologies such as nextgeneration

sequencing and advanced physico-chemical analysis are going to revolutionize

the fields of molecular biology and sensing technology. FFOQSI will leverage these to

increase innovation and risk preparedness capabilities of company partners to heretofore

unattainable levels. As the first centre working in parallel with this important supply chain in

Austria, FFOQSI would create a unique hallmark of food chain integration in Europe and

beyond. The fact that a large number of company partners not only support the K1

application, but also are willing to finance a Centre of Excellence in agri-food chain research

indicates the urgent need for such a centre. This Centre would be embedded in the principal

research hub for agricultural sciences in Austria, thus creating synergy with already existing

initiatives. Its pioneering role will bring together complementary expertise in plant and animal

production (pre-harvest) with advancements in food processing (post-harvest), with regard to

processing either products of non-animal origin (PONAO) or products of animal origin

(POAO). The scientific programme of the proposed Centre bundles this expertise into three

complementary areas: The GREEN (PONAO) chain and RED (POAO) chain are to be

intertwined with an overarching technology element called the Innovation Platform (BLUE

AREA), which will bundle technologies for use in either pre-harvest or post-harvest quality

assurance, on either PONAO or POAO. By developing and promoting advanced

technological, microbiological and chemical approaches across 12 projects, this consortium

of six scientific partners and 34 company partners strives for science that goes beyond state

of the art. Such a massive investment into ground-breaking science represents a giant step

forward for all partners and is sure to spark novel strategic research directions in the many

disciplines tied into the entire food chain. Moreover, FFOQSI has also taken into account the

necessary structural measures for the integration of educative elements and for a

promotional strategy. To support these lines of action, FFOQSI has received support from

the Food Clusters of Upper and Lower Austria. Both bodies are highly active in knowledge

dissemination and represent more than 500 food-producing companies in Austria.