Food Valley

Food Valley (Ruokalaakso) aims to create a new way of acting in food sector via an innovation ecosystem. Food Valley connects people from food science, education, development, and food industry.

The organizations in Food Valley have a wide variety of expertise that supports the food sector. The core function is to support the expertise of wellbeing promoting food production, development and processing.

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

Food Valley is building up new platforms based on regional specialization and national and international know-how:

  1. Protein platform for studying especially new protein sources, their structure, safety, bioavailability, and health effects in vitro and in vivo.
  2. Gut health and fermentation platform for studying existing and new probiotics, prebiotics, and other functional foods and ingredients, their identification, safety and availability, and related technologies. A gut model mimicking physiology in stomach and small and large intestine is developed to investigate digestion and relationships between food items and other ingredients with the host and the gut microbiota.

Background and Food Valley organizations

The Food Valley project is based on a pre-study, conducted by the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) in the spring of 2017. The pre-study found that regional food companies need support in several analyses, product development, and marketing among other things but do not necessary know from where to get the information and expertise about these. 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.