A Consultative Meeting on Food Research between TÜBİTAK MAM and ÜLKER was held on December 14, 2022 at Turkish Food Innovation Center.
The meeting was attended by TÜBİTAK Vice President and TÜBİTAK MAM President Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yozgatlıgil, TÜBİTAK MAM President Advisor Assoc. Prof. Cesarettin Alaşalvar, ÜLKER Pladis R&D Vice President Ali Sertakan, Ülker Chocolate R&D Director Müge Corcor, Ülker Flour Products R&D Leader Serdar Emre, Ülker Chewing Gum and Confectionery R&D Director Mümin Alaçam, Ülker TTA Director Pelin Günenç, Ülker Packaging R&D Director Roza Altın, TÜBİTAK MAM Food Innovation Technologies Research Group Leader Dr. İncinur Hasbay, TÜBİTAK MAM Food Safety and Quality Research Group Leader Dr. Hayrettin Özer and R&D Managers from ÜLKER.
"Science-based joint R&D studies with innovative approach"
The meeting started with the opening remarks of TÜBİTAK Vice President and TÜBİTAK MAM President Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yozgatlıgil.
In his speech, Yozgatlıgil said, “As we all know, as of 2020, along with the Pandemic, there are developments that are full of surprises and challenges for the food and beverage industry, beyond predictions. The acquired habits related to food and beverage consumption have also changed. The pandemic has revealed that we need to put food supply security among our priorities. At the same time, extensive research on the reduction of greenhouse gases and the development of smart food systems with zero-waste goal within the scope of the Green Deal began to gain importance.”
He added "In order to overcome risks and respond to changing consumer habits, the need for innovative approaches and science-based joint R&D studies is increasing in our country, too. It is of high importance for all stakeholders to work together and create a synergy."
"An innovation center and research laboratory to serve the whole of Turkiye”
Prof. Dr. Yozgatlıgil said, “As TÜBİTAK, we are aware of our responsibilities and we realize projects of strategic importance for our country, and we create innovation centers and research laboratories that will serve all of Turkiye in critical fields”.
Prof. Dr. Yozgatlıgil continued: “The Turkish Food Innovation Platform, which was created with valuable food ecosystem stakeholders like you within the scope of the IPA-INNOFOOD Project carried out with this mission under the leadership of TÜBİTAK MAM Life Sciences Vice Presidency, is a very important platform for our country's food industry that will transform working together into a culture. TÜGİP, which has 115 members as of today, should also be considered as a dialogue and cooperation forum on priority themes for sustainable food systems. We aim to accelerate the result-oriented R&D and innovation studies by working together and developing together at the Food Innovation Center, which was implemented as part of the INNOFOOD Project.”
“Our researchers will provide start-ups with technical consultancy and mentorship”
Emphasizing that the Food Innovation Center also started to serve as an incubation center, Yozagatlıgil said, “The Food Innovation Center has also started to serve as a Food Themed Incubation Center for innovative startups of the food industry with the protocol signed with MARTEK and upon the approval of the Ministry. We aim to host 24 startups. The start-ups in the incubation center will be given discounts in the use of pilot lines, and more importantly, they will be provided with technical consultancy and mentorship by our researchers. Technopark tax exemption, project, patent and training support will be provided to these start-ups by MARTEK.”
He added: “Start-ups in the TÜGİP Food Themed Incubation Center also provide resources to TÜGİP members as technology suppliers. We are also working to design various programs to match start-ups with TÜGİP members who are looking for R&D and innovation-oriented solutions. As TÜBİTAK MAM, we want to pave the way for our R&D and innovation ecosystem to achieve greater goals by offering our qualified knowledge, experience and human resources in the field of food science and technology to the service of the sector.”
TÜBİTAK Vice President and TÜBİTAK MAM President Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yozgatlıgil presented a plaque with TÜGİP logo to ÜLKER Pladis R&D Vice President Ali Sertakan.
After the meeting, Ülker delegation visited 9 different pilot-scale processing lines at the Food Innovation Center and got on-the-spot information about food products, R&D and innovation studies that can be developed on the lines.