After nine action-packed months, started on March 1st 2015, on November 20th the Food Innovation Program (FIP), a secondary level international Master degree in Reggio Emilia dedicated to food innovation and technology, was concluded. During the cloning ceremony, students presented the projects they had worked at in the last 6 months.
The Food Innovation Program was founded by the Future Food Institute of Bologna (FFI), the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Unimore), and the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California (IFTF), with the support of I Love Italian Food and the official patronage of Comune di Reggio Emilia, Regione Emilia Romagna, Expo Milano 2015, Confindustria Emilia Romagna, Federalimentare and Legacoop, and the support of Reggio Emilia Innovazione and Fondazione Pietro Manodori from Cassa di Risparmio of Reggio Emilia. The success met by the initiative prompted its organizers to launch the second edition of the Master, Food Innovation Program 2.0, starting on September.
FIP hosted 20 students from 11 different countries around the world that attended tight program, lasted more than 600 hours, under the direction Sara Roversi (FFI) and Matteo Vignoli (Unimore), who singled out more than 15 international guest professors and lecturers from 7 different prestigious universities
Design Thinking and Future Foresighting have formed the backbone of the program, directed by the Department of Science and Methods (DISMI) of Unimore and the Institute For The Future in Palo Alto.
Lessons took place in the hybrid kitchen makerspace, the OffiCucina, projected by Francesco Bombardi, exclusively thought for the Food Innovation Program, that became the last new laboratory of Reggio Emilia Innovation (REI). OffiCucina is an hybrid between a kitchen and a workshop, where the students could put into practice what they studied during their theory courses, using facilities of digital fabrication (3D printers, laser cutters, makerbots). The cooking classes were held by chef Marta Scalabrini and the experts from Congrega dei Liffi.
Along the year, FIP courses were realized also in a mobile version, through a food truck tourthat stopped in many cities of Emilia Romagna.
Theoretical workshops, practical laboratories and regional field trips: an innovative educational method that allowed students to develop a complete knowledge of food innovation, and provided them with the tools to enter competitively into this professional sector which is growing in Italy and in the world, particularly in Emilia Romagna, the food valley of our country.
The Master also included “Food Innovation Program On the road”, a project co-funded by the Region of Emilia Romagna, that allowed the students to take part in initiatives such as ‘Meet the Founders’, ‘Book Tasting’ and other experiences. To give an example, the course held by Tommaso Codolo from dron-emotions, with whom the students made a drone flew through the corridors of Palazzo dei Musei; a drone that in the future could become a useful tool to deliver food, drugs and other goods in situation of emergency or crisis.
FIP has been a protagonist of two hackathons bringing together over 400 people from over 18 countries to address future food concerns from various points of view. The hackathons confronted problems in communication, malnutrition, food services, hunger and land rights while involving over 30 global support partnerships and creating 40 plus potential prototypes and connecting people. The most recent hackathon, Feeding Fair – Hacking Malnutrition, was launched at Milan Expo on the 23rd of September: a great success that saw the participation of almost 200 people from across the world.
FIP students also engaged in cross-pollination activities such as the intercultural exchange with the Chinese Tongji University and also took part in important international fairs on Food Innovation such as the Rome Maker Fair and the London Food Tech Week. In the Roman capital, fippers were awarded – among more than 700 participants – one of the six “Maker of Merit Blue Ribbons ”, thanks to their live performances where they realized 3D printing of chocolate and balsamic vinegar.
In addition to the lessons in OffiCucina, field trips of the territory, and international expeditions, in the past six months the FIP fellows have also been working in teams on four challenges set by our supporting partners – Barilla, Alce Nero, CAAB and WikiExpo. One of the challenges that has already received great claim is WikiExpo (wikiexpo.org), a project co-funded by the Region of Emilia Romagna and presented to Maurizio Martina, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, at Expo 2015. It is an aggregator of crowdsourced content that will collect the contents of all the events realized during Milan Expo 2015. An ambitious project aimd to create a “new” form of knowledge, and that up to now has collected about 7000 events, grouped into 29 thematic areas. Director Matteo Vignoli presented the platform and the results achieved during the live streaming event “Expo after Expo: the legacy of Milan 2015”.
FIP realization was possible thanks to the collaboration of Unimore, Institute for the Future, Future Food Institute, Regione Emilia Romagna, Departments of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, Reggio Emilia Innovazione, Fondazione Pietro Manodori, Aretè, Bologna Business School, CIS, Food Tank, Food Tech Connect, Google Food Team, IFOA, IndicodECR, Pause – L’atelier dei Sapori, Barilla, Coop Nordest, Alce Nero, Saclà, Mars, Coopbox, Nuova Castelli, Havi Logistics, Kamer, IMA, Smeg, Angelo Po, Alessi, Dquid, PalmDesign, Moving Walls, Paderno, Stilla 3D, Workline, Nuovamacut, I love Italian Food, WWLAB, You Can Group.