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Seeds&Chips 2017: startups, food trends and B. Obama

Seeds&Chips 2017: startups, food trends and B. ObamaOnce again, Milano is the international capital of food and food innovation thanks to Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit, taking place in Milano (Italy) from Monday 8 to Thursday 11, May 2017 at Fiera Milano-Rho, pavilions 8-12. The program features four days of conferences and workshops dedicated to the main issues linked to global food challenges and innovation, from new food production techniques and nutrition of the future to food security and the right to healthy, sustainable and accessible food for all; exhibition pavilions where startups, incubators, major companies and institutions and will present their innovative solutions; over 200 international speakers ranging from world industry experts and investors to policy makers who will exchange points of view on the greatest global challenges facing food production and supply.

The 44th US President Barack H. Obama will be the guest of honor at the third edition of Seeds&Chips and will be at The Global Food Innovation Summit on Tuesday May 9. On that occasion, President Barack H. Obama will hold a keynote speech as well as a conversation together with Sam Kass, Senior Food Policy Advisor and promoter of White House’s health-conscious revolution.

“Thanks this edition of Seeds&Chips and thanks to President Barack H. Obama’s extraordinary participation in the Global Food Innovation Summit, the city of Milano – and Italy – are once again the world hub of food and food innovation, a journey that began with Expo 2015,” stated Marco Gualtieri, founder and Chairman of Seeds&Chips.

“New technologies can offer us the solutions to tackle some of the major global challenges: food security, nutrition, combatting waste, sustainability and climate change. I believe that Italy can be a key player in this sector by joining innovation and our long-standing tradition of excellence in food. There are hundreds of startups, businesses and companies who are active in this field and at Seeds & Chips our overall goal is to gather them all under one roof with a synergistic action that will enable Milano and Italy to become an international reference point for innovation in food and food-tech”.

Conference Program

The tightly packed conference schedule features influential industry experts who will exchange points of view on the most significant scenarios concerning food production and supply. In particular, the special conference Feeding the Cities – Urban and Vertical farming is dedicated to sustainable farming in big cities and keynote speaker Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan, will inaugurate the summit.  The conference Food Security for developing countries instead will address the issue of food supply in developing countries.

Other in-depth sessions will range from hot topics in hi-tech such as big data, applications of 3D printing in food or technologies in the restaurants and supermarkets of the future, to the growth of sharing economy, the impact of millennials with the conference How millennials are changing the food industry or innovation in superfood, from smart packaging to circular economy.

In addition to Guest of Honor President Barack H. Obama, many distinguished international and Italian guests will be participating in Seeds&Chips, The Global Food Innovation Summit, including Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Sam Kass, Senior Food Policy Advisor to President Obama and promoter of the White House’s health-conscious revolution; Italian Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda; Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Maurizio Martin; Livia Pomodoro, President of the Milan Center for Food Law and Policy; Fabio Gallia, CEO of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti; Luigi Bonini, Senior Vice President, Global Product Innovation of Starbucks; Andrea Illy, President of Illycaffè; Giuseppe Caprotti, former CEO of Esselunga; Douglas T. Hickey, former U.S. Ambassador and Commissioner General Milan Expo, Edward Mukiibi, Vice President of Slow Food International and Danielle Nierenberg, founder and President of Food Tank. Several members of the European Commission and the European Parliament will also be attending Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit.

Millennials and Generation-Z: youth and teens at the center of Seeds & Chips 2017

The young and very young are going to be the true protagonists of Seeds & Chips, not only the Generation-Y of Millennials, but also the Generation-Z of teens. The conference entitled How millennials are changing the food industry will open the Summit on 8 May with the participation of two millennials who have become international food-tech gurus: Danielle Gould, CEO of Food + Tech Connect, the world’s largest food and innovation community, and Deepti Sharma Kapur, CEO and founder of FoodtoEat, the online service that helps small entrepreneurs harness the potential of technology. Additionally, each Seeds&Chips conference will feature at least one speaker under 30.

Young people are also at the center of the Give me five! area, which will allow start-uppers to meet a leader for 5 minutes and illustrate their ideas and strategies to them. Among the opinion leaders, the mayor of Milano Giuseppe Sala; Sam Kass, the Italian Ministers Carlo Calenda and Maurizio Martina, the Vice President of PepsiCo Mehmood Khan and Andrea Illy, President of Illycaffè. The Millennials will also be the protagonists of a Hackathon organized in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research during which100 youngster will face off to solve food-related challenges.

Finally, Seeds & Chips will also dedicate special attention to Generation-Z, the very young born from the mid-nineties onwards, as each session will be opened by an under-18 “teenovator” under 18 who will present his or her vision of innovation in the food sector.

Companies & Startups

Startups, companies, accelerators and incubators from around the world will bring their ideas and solutions to the table, all linked by the thread of technological innovation as the key to defining a food universe that is sustainable and accessible to everyone.

From the field to the table and beyond is thus the ideal path that Seeds&Chips has mapped out to accompany visitors and citizens on the journey towards a new dietary consciousness. A 5-step process to gain awareness and knowledge that ideally starts with the development of innovative crop technology solutions and with the production of “food of the future” to then continue with the latest packaging and distribution techniques until the concrete attainment and sharing of this new awareness. Five junctures that represent as many macro areas in which Seeds&Chips exhibitors are designing the future of food:

  • AG-TECH: technology applied to agriculture, and therefore precision agriculture, hydroponics, aquaponics, vertical gardens, drones and sensors as support tools to agriculture etc.
  • TRANSFORMATION: the definition of foods of the future, process control, packaging, 3D printers, super foods, etc.
  • DISTRIBUTION: smart packaging, new marketplaces, supermarkets of the future, e-commerce, online payments, smart labels, tomorrow’s logistics, etc.
  • HEALTH & NUTRITION: nutrition and precision cooking, nutraceuticals, big data, smart kitchens etc.
  • KNOWLEDGE & SHARING: sharing economy, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, cognitive cooking, food patents etc.

IntesaSanpaolo, with the Group’s international acceleration platform “Start Up Initiative”, will offer startups a great opportunity. The most promising ideas will have access to professional development and feedback sessions worth several thousand Euro with qualified and experienced coaches, with the aim of preparing start-uppers to meet with investors and companies.

Seeds&Chips will focus on Industry 4.0 enabling technologies for the Agrofood industry value chain. Those selected will be able to present their project to an audience of 150 investors, corporations and major players of the innovation system during Seeds & Chips.

The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) will also be present at Seeds&Chips and present iCub, the humanoid robot with the appearance of a 4-year-old child, at the Global Food Innovation Summit. iCub is a synonym of excellence in robotics and boasts 53 moving joints, video cameras that mimic sight, sound-processing microphones, inertial sensors that reproduce the sense of balance, and tactile and force sensors to gauge interaction with the surrounding environment. iCub is the only robot in the world to have its body covered with artificial skin, a tactile sensor that lets it know if and how it is touched by man and that can respond appropriately.

The Italian Institute of Technology will also present innovative food packaging solutions such as Smart Materials, 100% vegetable plastic materials made from food processing waste. Today, it is possible and simple to make plastic from coffee, parsley and cinnamon waste. The result is a malleable material that can be readily used for a variety of purposes, just like petroleum-derived polymers. With the difference that this plastic is completely biodegradable.

Research & Studies

Two major studies that offer an overview of food innovation will also be presented at Seeds&Chips, the Global Food Innovation Summit. The study commissioned by Seeds&Chips and carried out by the Italian market research company SWG will provide a detailed and comprehensive overview of issues linked to food and food innovation in Italy: from food waste to food sustainability; from the link between food and public opinion to the degree of understanding of food innovation in Italy; from labels and traceability to the reality of canteens and dining halls.

Research conducted by Simbiosity, the innovation hunters and leading head-hunting company specializing in innovation, will highlight and analyze data about the startup ecosystem in Italy in order to measure its value. The study was carried out using a proprietary database, the Innovation Tracking System, and is specifically targeted to the Agri Food and Agri Tech sectors, confirming the strength of innovative entrepreneurship that must be understood and valued.

Seeds & Chips is organized in collaboration with TUTTOFOOD 2017, a synergistic action that generates positive effects in many sectors of the entire Italian National system.

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