17 October 2023

Fundación LAB Mediterráneo discusses open innovation focused on the food system at the fifth anniversary of ftalks Food Summit

Valencia, 17 October 2023.- Fundación LAB Mediterráneo, a project promoted by the Employers’ Association of Valencia (AVE), endorses, for the third year in a row, the ftalks Food Summit, the leading international event in food innovation organized by KM ZERO Food Innovation Hub.

At a table moderated by Raúl Martín, CEO of KM ZERO and Corporate General Manager of Familia Martínez and Vice President of the foundation, Nuria Ballester, Director of Strategy, Innovation and Communication at Logifruit, Carmen Durán, Director of Corporate Projects at Lanzadera, Amparo García, COO of Zeus, and Alberto Gutiérrez, co-founder and CEO of Aquaservice, discussed open innovation, highlighting the value of company-startup collaboration to transform the food system.

The table’s moderator, Raúl Martín, explained that “Spain is the third country in Europe with the most developed food industry, in addition to which are the more than 400 foodtech startups active in the sector, constantly contributing new projects and innovative solutions”. «We are therefore in a privileged context to play a decisive role in the global transformation of the food system, and that is a challenge that we at KM ZERO are leading through initiatives such as ftalks Food Summit», he underlined.

During her participation, Nuria Ballester sought to highlight the importance of human capital in businesses: “People are the cornerstone of the growth of businesses. Innovation and technology are the means to achieve our goals.” She observed.

At Lanzadera, according to Carmen Durán, they have identified the great value of open innovation models for both startups and corporations. “That is why we support corporations to create a strong innovation culture that proposes attractive innovation challenges for entrepreneurs and solves real business problems,” she stressed.

The COO of Zeus, Amparo García, highlighted the paradigm shift that the food industry is undergoing, pointing out that “the food industry needs to find innovative alternatives. Many companies face major challenges when it comes to defining and executing sound development and sustainability strategies”. In addition, she pointed out the importance of identifying opportunities, allocating resources and aligning innovation with business objectives: ”they are fundamental principles for maintaining competitiveness; to this end, it is key to see data as allies, to know how to interpret them for objective and informed decision-making”.

For his part, Alberto Gutiérrez, underlined the importance of “the commitment to technology and open innovation as formulas for adaptation, improvement and transformation of business activity. In the case of Aquaservice, innovation is part of the values of corporate culture and we apply it transversally in all areas. Our goal is to improve processes and find new solutions that we can implement internally (with our people) and externally (with our customers and society in general).”

DACSA Group also  participated in the round table Will fermentation be a game-changer for new proteins? through its International Business Development Manager, Sunil Mathani. At this table, it was concluded that fermentation will be a game-changer for new proteins, for example, by transforming agricultural surpluses and by-products into nutritious and delicious foods and offering farmers a new source of income.

The 5th edition of ftalks Food Summit, one of the main forums for food innovation in Europe and Mexico, was held on 16 and 17 October in Valencia with its international line-up of speakers, bringing together more than 100 leading voices in the food field from more than 25 countries. The event, promoted since its inception by the KM ZERO Food Innovation Hub Foundation, turned Valencia into the epicentre of the foodtech sector for two days, bringing together more than 500 attendees, including large food companies, startups, investors, support entities and opinion leaders.

Fundación LAB Mediterráneo

Fundación LAB Mediterráneo is a project created by AVE with the mission of positioning the Region of Valencia as a national and European benchmark in entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and research.

To achieve this, it has set itself five objectives: to promote the creation and attraction of technology start-ups; to work to attract national and international technology companies to set up in the Region of Valencia and create a ‘tractor effect’; to promote support for companies in non-technological sectors to accelerate their digital transformation; to contribute to increasing private investment in R&D&I; and to help promote research.

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees is made up of the following entities: Aceitunas Cazorla, Aquaservice/Plug and Play, AVE, Baleària, Banco Sabadell, Boluda Corporación Marítima, CaixaBank, Dacsa Group, Embutidos Martínez/KMZERO, GDES, Grupo AZA, Grupo Bertolín, Grupo Gimeno, Helados Estiu, Importaco, Lanzadera, Logifruit, Nunsys, Royo/ Invext, S2 Grupo, SPB/Cleanity TIBA/Romeu, Verne Technology Group y Zeus/Sesame.


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