Food Screening EMR is an Interreg V Euregio Meuse-Rhine project aimed at supporting regional agrifood SMEs in their transition to a more sustainable, future-proof business model. The project will focus on three separate domains: the integration of sensor technology into the agricultural value chains, building food and health claims to improve product placement and investigating new cultivation techniques that yield healthier food crops. The project is is financially supported by a 953.040,03€ subsidy by the European Regional Development Fund of the EU through Interreg Va Euregion Meuse Rhine. An additional 377.000€ of cofinancing the Province of Limburg (the Netherlands), the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, the Wallonia region, and the State Government (Landesregierung) of Nordrhein-Westfalen.
In this project, UM’s Sensor Engineering Department, lead partner of the project, will collaborate with three universities (Hasselt University, RWTH Aachen and University of Liège), IMEC vzw and two regional SMEs (Yookr BV and ZUMOlab GmbH) to develop a handheld platform for the on-site detection of nutrients. This will provide end-users with valuable insights on how to implement this sensor technology, amongst others, into the agricultural value chain. The Food Labs Center Venlo and UM’s Plant Envirogenetics group will collaborate with BASF Vegetable Seeds (Nunhems Netherlands BV) and Brightlands Campus Greenport to help SMEs by teaching them how to integrate new cultivation methods to create healthier food crops and make food and health claims on these products to improve their product placement in the market.
To ensure that all activities in the project are relevant for the euregional agrifood industry, the consortium contains strategic partners from the field such as Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo and BASF Vegetable Seeds (Nunhems Netherlands BV). In addition, local SMEs and bigger enterprises that seek support in any of the three domains covered by the consortium can join the User Group and help to steer the activities in the different work packages.