Ruokalaakso | ENG
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Food Valley

Food Valley (Ruokalaakso) is a project that creates a new way of acting in the food business sector in North Savo. The target is to develop the whole food sector by creating a network and offering new and existing services to companies.

We are bringing together the expertise, the needs and the know-how by improving the network-like behaviour between companies and organizations. As a result, a new operational model will be created allowing organizations to produce new services and products in co-operation with others. One of the goals is to encourage companies and organizations to learn from each other but also from the customers, promoting synergy. We are also willing to strengthen the know-how in the food industry of North Savo by offering updating education, for example in food technology.

While developing the new operational model throughout the project, we are also building up new platforms based on special national and international know-how:

  1. Protein platform for studying especially new protein sources, their safety, bioavailability, and health effects in vitro and in vivo.
  2. Gut health and fermentation platform for studying existing and new probiotics, prebiotics, and functional foods, their identification, safety and availability, and related technologies. A gut model will be introduced to investigate relationships between prebiotics, probiotics, and food items with the host and the gut microbiota.

Existing know-how of the North Savon region include:

  • Berry research and berry production
  • Clinical interventions and meal studies
  • Food safety
  • Consumer behavior (including consumer surveys)
  • Product development
  • Business and innovation management
  • Design
  • Responsible agriculture (especially milk production and grassland cultivation)

Background and Food Valley organizations

The Food Valley project is based on a pre-study, done by the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) in the spring of 2017. The pre-study found that the food companies need support in several analyses, product development and marketing among other things. As a result, Ruokalaakso (Food Valley) was created to help to connect needs with solutions. Food Valley develops collaboration and network among the organizations and also between companies.

Organizations of the project are University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Savonia University of Applied Sciences and a regional development company SavoGrow. More about the organizations can be read on their webpages.