Center of Excellence - FoodHUB
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR DIGITALIZATION OF MICROBIAL FOOD SAFETY RISK ASSESSMENT AND QUALITY PARAMETERS FOR ACCURATE FOOD AUTHENTICITY CERTIFICATION (FoodHUB)
In order to give an impetus for innovative-science based development of the food sector, particularly in the area of food quality and safety, we propose the establishment of the Centre of Excellence (CoE) with the mission to create innovations in food sector through research, knowledge-transfer, development and improvement of autochthonous and traditional food and agricultural products and resources.
Project is funded under grants of Ministry of Science for the establishment of Centres of excellence.
This will be achieved by applying modern technologies in order to adjust traditional food production processes to new trends while retaining product authenticity and traditional features, as well as by engaging and linking a wide front of different stakeholders, inclu ding agricultural producers, food companies, research institutions, consumers and others. All of this will be done in order to stimulate the development of the food sector in Montenegro through production innovations, transfer of knowledge and technology and improvement of its competitiveness on the international markets.
A consortium of 12 institutions led by University of Donja Gorica, will form the Centre of Excellence for digitalization of microbial food safety risk assessment and quality parameters for accurate food authenticity certification (FoodHub) that will will built up necessary capacities and boost the development of Food Safety Risk Assessment area, become a strong pillar towards health protection of the whole population, foster sustainable food production in Montenegro based on native resources and new technologies.
The overall goal of proposed CoE is to offer reliable, science-based solutions for food safety risk elimination and hazard identification, digitalized food safety risk assessment tools, reliable certification and tracing of food authenticity, promotion and ready to use applications for the food production industry and tourism sector.
Besides structured, scientific assessment of the risks involving laboratory and genetic analysis, FoodHub will address the necessity to develop appropriate software with integrated data management, data linkage and interactive food chain analyses. The software will support the possibility of analysis of cross-contamination, geographical relations, clustering and tracing.
The consortium’s mandate is to develop a scientific foundation for food safety risk assessment, valorization, production optimization based on genetic and molecular analysis, improvement and standardization of production technology and creation of new patents. In addition, the aim of the consortium is to improve quality and safety of food production and define quality and food safety standards, ranging from protecting the regions of origin to quality parameters, to protocols and procedures that will guarantee the high quality and safety of food products. The consortium will further, address the burning problem of lack of expertise and training in cutting-edge science in Montenegro such as bioinformatics, molecular biology, genomics, as well as strengthen the food science sector. We also envisage training programs that will be primarily focused on young researchers who will be trained in international scientific partner institutions to bring missing expertise back to Montenegro and maintain long-term collaboration with them. FoodHub will have an important mission to enhance and valorize existing strengths of Montenegrin food production and to create a critical mass of scientists, companies and foreign partners toward development of sustainable food production thus staying in line with the trends of EU policies.
Finally, created synergy between institutions, connections with foreign partners and focus on future self-financing guarantees an extension of the proposed project into a long-term collaboration after the completion of the grant.