A new collaborative platform called Plant2Food has launched to accelerate the development of plant-based foods in Denmark. Over the next five years, the platform will receive funding of up to €27 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Plant2food will provide a hub for researchers and companies, allowing them to partner to solve complex issues. As the platform is based on open collaboration, any knowledge gained will be available to all participants. Universities and companies joining Plant2food will agree to publish all results from their open research projects, without claiming intellectual property rights.
“Plant2Food creates a unique opportunity to make Denmark a leader in developing plant-based foods”
The university partners in Plant2food are Aarhus University, the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark, and Wageningen University (based in the Netherlands). These universities will use the funds from the Foundation to explore challenges in the plant-based sector. A fifth partner in the platform is Food & Bio Cluster Denmark, which will focus on translating the research into practice.
Plant-based in Denmark
Last year, it was reported that over half of Danes were planning to cut down on their meat consumption, with Danish supermarket chain Irma announcing a 31% increase in sales of plant-based products. Six months later, Danish farmers who produce plant-based foods were given priority in a landmark political agreement, receiving $90 million in grants. A further $11.9 million was allocated to help support the transition of the food system towards plant-based diets.
“We need to rapidly develop foods that can feed a growing world population without over-utilising the planet’s resources,” said Claus Felby, Senior Vice President of Biotech at the Novo Nordisk Foundation. “Plant2Food creates a unique opportunity to make Denmark a leader in developing plant-based foods and ensure that we leverage the huge potential already existing in Denmark’s research community and companies and build networks with the best international experts in the field.”