School on Adding Value to Food Side Streams


Eva Margrét Jónudóttir


Matís, The University of Iceland and Institute of animal reproduction and food research (Polish academy of sciences) in Olsztyn are planning a 10-day course coached by professional tutors on adding value to food side streams. The Course will take place in Iceland, October 7-17, 2021.

The School on Adding Value to Food Side Streams will recruit talented students and young researchers to improve their entrepreneurial and managerial skills to solve complex challenges and enhance innovation.

  • Increase awareness: On social and environmental responsibility of food producers. And on ideas and opportunities on improving food side streams utilization
  • Building ideas: Team up with students and young professionals with diverse backgrounds and face the opportunities and challenges associated with valorisation of side streams in the food industry.
  • Concepts and Products Development: Apply venture creation methodology to develop new food concepts, products and start-up businesses.
  • Networking: Experience the melting pot of ideas with students and young entrepreneurs Soft skills and entrepreneurship training: Improve your entrepreneurial and managerial skills to solve complex multidisciplinary challenges and enhance innovation.

Introduction video:

Further information:

The Innovation, business creation and valorization of side streams of food production and food processing Bilateral Initiative benefits from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants. The aim of the project is to establish cooperation between institutions as well as improve the entrepreneurial culture, confidence and skills of graduate students and young scientists in Poland with a focus on the valorization of side streams in food production and food processing.

The EEA and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.

There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014.

For the period 2014-2021, the EEA and Norway Grants amount to €2.8 billion.

The EEA and Norway Grants scheme consists of two financial mechanisms. The EEA Grants are jointly financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, whose contributions are based on their GDP. Norway Grants are financed solely by Norway.


Guidelines for co-creating climate adaptation plans for fisheries and aquaculture


Ragnhildur Friðriksdóttir

Project Manager

Climate change is having a significant impact on the biology and ecology of fish stocks and aquaculture species and will affect the productivity within seafood supply chains in the future. The challenges are further amplified when actors within the fisheries and aquaculture sectors have very different ideas and assumptions about climate change and what risks and opportunities they entail. In order to address the challenges of climate change, several countries have developed national adaptation plans. However, fisheries and aquaculture are rarely included in these plans, resulting in a general lack of documented adaptation strategies within these sectors in most countries. This paper introduces guidelines for the development of climate adaptation plans (CAPs) within fisheries and aquaculture, applying a co-creation approach that requires the participation of scientists, industry representatives, policymakers, and other relevant stakeholders. The objective is to provide a stepwise approach to facilitate and enable stakeholders to plan strategies toward climate adaptation. The guidelines are based on practical experience and include a three-step process: (1) assessment of risks and opportunities; (2) identification of adaptation measures, and (3) operationalization of CAPs. The three-step process is also part of a larger cycle, including implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, again generating iterative feedback loops over time. Lessons learned are discussed, and we highlight the advantages and challenges of developing CAPs. While the guidelines are designed for and tested within fisheries and aquaculture systems, the CAP approach is also employable for other natural resource-based systems.


France TV with Matís at the Fagradalsfjall eruption exploring microorganisms


Pauline Vannier

Project Manager

A TV crew from France TV went on a trip with a few scientists from Matís to explore the volcanic eruption at Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland. The trip was a part of the research project AirMicrome which explores the fate of depositing airborne microorganisms into pioneer terrestrial communities.

The French TV crew captured spectacular footage of the eruption and spoke to Pauline Vannier, a project manager at Matís, who guided the team around the area and explained the research on microorganisms in this newly formed environment.

The video clip can be found here below. The part on AirMicrome starts at min. 7:30.


Inspire Webinar – An Introduction to the Inspire Summer Schools 2021

On the 15th of July a special webinar will take place to introduce the Inspire Summer Schools.

The agenda will be as follows:

  1. Welcome by EIT Food
  2. Inspire Summer Schools Introduction
    • Digit4Circularity
    • Protein for Future
    • Sustainable Aquaculture
    • REPAK
    • Targeted Nutrition
  3. Entrepreneurship Spine
  4. Q&A

This an hour long webinar and will starf at 4pm CEST on the 15th of July.

Registration and further information can be found here.

EIT Food News

Protein for Future – Summer School 2021

Do you what to develop new ideas on the future proteins in our diet to counteract some of the causes of climate change through entrepreneurial capacity training in a 3 week summer school starting August 16th and ending September 3rd.

You will be taught how new and alternative proteins, like plant, cell and insect based proteins, can be integrated in our food systems. You will work and be coached in teams. You will end up in new business ideas that will be pitched in front of professional jury. Critical questions on how to develop a sustainable future food system will be addressed. How can new and alternative food proteins be integrated in our food systems? What are the technological obstacles, and what are the regulatory and consumer/market related  barriers?  How do we design and develop alternative proteins and how can we develop and formulate alternative protein based food products.

More information:


The genetic composition of feeding aggregations of the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) in the central north Atlantic: a microsatellite loci approach (Scomber scombrus, L)

The impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems can be seen in the changing distribution, migration, and abundance of species in the oceans. For some species this changing environment may be beneficial and can support population expansions. In the northeast Atlantic (NEA), the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is undergoing an increase in stock size accompanied by changing summer migration patterns, which have resulted in an expansion further north and north west than previously recorded. This study uses microsatellite loci to confirm the differentiation among NEA and northwest Atlantic (NWA) mackerel spawning populations and to assess the level of structuring within these populations. In addition, to enable population-specific exploitation rates to be factored into fisheries management, we identified the origin of individuals composing the expanding feeding aggregations in the central north Atlantic (Greenland, Iceland, Faroes), with all aggregations tested originating from spawning populations in the NEA. This study showed that microsatellite loci were useful to assess the contribution of NEA and NWA populations to mixed feeding aggregations across the north Atlantic for large pelagic fish stocks but were not powerful enough to evaluate the specific contribution of known stocks within NEA and NWA.

Link to the Article


Macromineral and trace element concentrations and their seasonal variation in milk from organic and conventional dairy herds

To study the effects of dairy production system on milk macromineral and trace element concentrations, milk samples were collected monthly in 2019 from 43 conventional and 27 organic farms. Organic milk contained more Ca (1049.5 vs. 995.8 mg/kg), K (1383.6 vs. 1362.4 mg/kg), P (806.5 vs. 792.5 mg/kg) and Mo (73.3 vs. 60.6 μg/kg) but less Cu (52.4 vs. 60.6 μg/kg), Fe (0.66 vs 2.03 mg/kg), Mn (28.8 vs. 45.0 μg/kg), Zn (4.51 vs. 5.00 mg/kg) and Al (0.32 vs. 1.14 μg/kg) than conventional milk. Significant seasonal variation was observed in all determined minerals’ concentrations. Milk I concentration was not consistently affected by production system, whereas organic milk contained less I in June and July than conventional milk. Dietary factors contributing to different milk mineral concentrations between production systems included intakes of maize silage, dry-straights and oils (higher in conventional diets), and pasture, clover and wholecrop (higher in organic diets).


Nutrient value of seafood – Labelling and provision of information – Supplement in English


Reykdal, Ólafur; Hauksdóttir, Svanhildur; Desnica, Natasa; Þorvaldsdóttir, Ingibjörg; Bergsson, Arnljótur Bjarki

Funded by:

Fisheries Iceland

The purpose was to provide data on the nutrient value of Icelandic seafood to make it possible to respond to increasing number of inquiries regarding this topic. Protein, fat, water, ash, minerals, phosphates, and fatty acids were analysed in 85 seafood samples. Samples were typical for the products from Icelandic seafood industries ready. Big samples were collected to reduce the effects of individual variation. Samples were fresh or frozen fillets of groundfish and additionally prawn, lobster and capelin (altogether 16 species). – This supplement includes the same data as the main report but tables have English explanations and a part of the main text has been translated to English. 

See full report
EIT Food News

Legacy of the EIT food project Smart Tags

The EIT Food communication project Smart Tags came recently to an end. This was a one-year project that had the objective study and communicate the applicability of Smart Tags as means to increase consumer trust towards food products. These Smart Tags are “intelligent” labels that can provide consumers with information which regular food labelling cannot. Smart Tags can therefore contribute to sharing information about the food product value chain during the whole life-cycle of the product, enabling novel service concepts and interactivity between consumers and the food industry. Now at the end of the project it is worthwhile to review what was accomplished during the project and how the results can live on beyond the project lifetime.

The project was broken into six tasks, one on management, one on dissemination and the other four tasks were then interlinked; starting with a review of the available Smart Tag technologies and their usage in food value chains, which provided input to a task that focused on assessing consumers’ and other stakeholders’ needs and expectations towards Smart Tags. These then provided valuable input to a task that studied potential novel service concepts that rely on Smart Tag technologies; a task that resulted in identification of 19 Smart Tag enabled service concepts. The most applicable of these concepts were then pre-piloted in selected food value chains in the final task.

The task of reviewing the available Smart Tag technologies and their usage in food value chains was quite extensive. It focused on the available technologies in the domain of intelligent packaging and their enablers and barriers towards consumer acceptance and trust. Three main components of intelligent packaging technology were identified (indicator, sensor and data carrier) and synthesised their most widely found sub-components in literature which include time temperature indicator, freshness indicator, gas indicator, biosensor, gas sensor, barcode and RFID. The task concluded that despite a large number of research work being done in the domain of active and intelligent packaging, there are limited empirical studies that investigated consumer acceptance or trust towards intelligent packaging technologies. The tasks therefore also looked at the technologies proposed for supply chain traceability as it has a similar aim as intelligent packaging which is communication. The tasks also studied the main barriers for intelligent devices in food packaging, and concluded that consumers’ acceptance, legal constrains and some technical issues present a major barrier for wider uptake of Smart Tag solutions in food value chains.  The results of this task will be presented in a peer-reviewed journal article that is planned to be published in 2021.

The task that focused on assessing consumers’ and other stakeholders’ needs and expectations towards Smart Tags was as well very comprehensive. It used results from the previous task as input and further analysed the needs and requirements of consumers and suppliers. This work included in-depth interviews with suppliers in nine countries, focus group sessions in five countries and a wide scale consumer surveys in eight countries. The project has in total received direct input on consumer’s and stakeholder needs and expectations from over 4 thousand people. The results of this work will be presented in a journal article that is planned to be published in 2021. The overall conclusion is that Smart Tags have the potential to meet with many of the consumer’s and supplier’s needs, and that there is a willingness amongst consumers to pay a premium for such solutions.

The task that studied potential novel service concepts that rely on Smart Tag technologies analysed in-depth the potentials, as well as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Treats associated with the different Smart Tag solutions. The task identified and analysed in total 19 novel Smart Tag enabled service concepts. The results of this work will be presented in a journal article that is planned to be published in 2021. Building on the results of the previous tasks, the most applicable and promising solutions were pre-piloted in the final task. The Smart Tag solutions were selected based on different criteria, depending on the needs in the different value chains and the maturity of the available technologies. The smart Tag technologies pre-piloted were a Nitrogen Smart Tag indicator which was piloted by MATIS (Iceland), AZTI (Spain) and KU Leuven (Belgium) to indicate freshness of different food items. The technology showed particular potentials in seafood value chains, which will be further explored beyond the project. An NFC Smart Tag Temperature logger was also pre-piloted by VTT (FI) and MATIS (IS) but this technology allows consumers and suppliers to monitor temperature of food during logistics and transport. Many fresh and frozen food items are delegate towards temperature, which makes this technology very relevant. The NFC logger pre-piloted in this project was though believed to be more relevant for professionals in the value chains (business-to-business) than for regular consumers, as the temperature readings require expert knowledge to interpreted into quality parameters and shelf-life. The project did also pre-pilot Oxygen Smart Tag indicators which for example can inform consumers and other stakeholders if packaging is leaking. The oxygen indicators were pre-piloted by AZTI (Spain) and LU Leuven (Belgium). The final Smart Tag that was pre-piloted was a ‘Wine Cap’ Tag which provides a unique electronic identity for bottles and other containers. By scanning the label with a smart phone, the consumer can see when and where the wine was grown and bottled as well as get information such as tasting notes and food pairings. The label also includes a temperature indicator which lets the user know when the wine is the ideal temperature to drink.

The Smart tag solutions pre-piloted in the project

The Smart Tags project was classified as a communication project, which means that one of its kay objectives was to communicate to consumers and stakeholders in food value chains what Smart Tags are, how they can be used, what tags are already available and what tags are in development, how they can add value etc. The project met this objective by interacting directly with over four thousand consumers and suppliers, reaching close to seven thousand people as ’media audience’ and over 40 thousand through ’online media impressions’.

The project is now officially finished, but the project’s legacy will still live on through further research & innovation, as well as through scientific peer-reviewed papers as at least four papers are planned to be published in 2021, based on work done in the Smart Tags project.

EIT Food News

The EIT Food Venture Creation School


Justine Vanhalst

Project Manager

Fifty students with various study backgrounds from all around Europe participated in the Venture Creation School that took place between October 23 and November 14.

A total of 8 teams were formed around 5 main topics reflecting the innovation focus areas of EIT FOOD: Alternative protein, Sustainable agriculture, sustainable aquaculture, Targeted nutrition and Circular food system. 

The teams went through the different stages of innovation and entrepreneurial mindset throughout the 3 weeks from the framing of the challenge, ideation and brainstorming, solution selection, business canvas introduction and finally pitching the idea.

The ideas where reviewed by a jury composed of Kristjana Björk Bjarðdal, Antoine Harfouche and Lauri Reuter.

We also had the chance to have local speaker from Iceland sharing their entrepreneurial journey with our students, like Þór Sigfússon from the Ocean cluster in Reykjavík and Renata Bade young entrepreneur and CEO of GreenBytes. 

The winning team of this small competition has one member located in Reykjavík, James McDaniels, and they are very eager to have their idea seeing the light of the day: Wabi-sabi!