DTU Skylab FoodLab, the food system change laboratory of DTU’s innovation hub, is expanding and updating its facility to include a newly designed study area and a space for food product innovation and fermentation. The update will also include an outside area for prototyping and testing agro-food technologies. The construction of the expanded FoodLab facility has already started, and the new areas will be accessible by the end of this spring.
The expansion was made possible thanks to a generous donation of DKK 2 million from the Ellab Foundation. Sys Rovisng, Chairman of the board, is excited to see the foundation support innovation through the FoodLab expansion:
“At the Ellab Foundation, we see the DTU Skylab FoodLab as an important player in promoting Denmark’s position in food product innovation and the systemic approach to new sustainable ways of producing food. This fits right into our purpose at the foundation. We are thrilled to support the expansion of the FoodLab and the new opportunities it will present for food innovation at DTU,” she says.
More science equipment, a view to Developer Hall, and a brand new ‘Tech Garden’
The updated FoodLab will have a transparent façade with a view and direct access to DTU Skylab’s central Developer Hall. The outside courtyard of the FoodLab will host an area for agro-tech projects. Inside the new FoodLab, an expanded kitchen is being built with food-grade scientific equipment. A study area separated with glass walls will provide room for those activities that do not include food processing.
Head of the FoodLab, Roberto Flore, is looking forward to seeing a new, improved FoodLab facility: “Our ambition is to become one of the world’s leading laboratories for food system change, offering students, researchers, and businesses advanced facilities and learning programmes. Holistic innovation across the food system has gained significant attention among DTU researchers and students. We want the renovated FoodLab to become a connection point for scientists interested in working in the wider fields of sustainability and food system transformation,” he says.
Power in numbers
Since its opening in late 2018, the DTU Skylab FoodLab has grown into an international experimental hub for sustainable food system innovation, attracting a large number of projects and international attention. Mikkel Sørensen, Head of DTU Skylab, welcomes the opportunities for collaboration made possible by the the FoodLab:
“The Foodlab has really excelled when it comes to innovation in the areas of food and sustainable food systems. The lab has also become an integral part of DTU Skylab’s focus to collaborate across disciplines for the benefit of both students, researchers, and businesses involved in our community, and I look forward to even more possibilities for collaboration with the new expansion,” says Mikkel Sørensen.
In 2020, the FoodLab participated with activities in more than ten DTU courses, with a total number of 240 long-term users and 62 different projects. Collaborations go beyond Denmark: the FoodLab hosts an international internship programme and active collaboration with MIT and TEC of Monterrey, among others.
About DTU Skylab FoodLab
DTU Skylab FoodLab is the food system change laboratory of DTU’s innovation hub. DTU Skylab FoodLab aims to develop an understanding of on-the-ground challenges in food systems, The FoodLab provides space for students, scientists, and entrepreneurs to experiment with and develop new food products and technologies related to the agro-food-tech production chain. While based in Denmark, the FoodLab works across borders and explores how technology can be fundamental in solving food challenges, both in developed and developing countries. In connection with other departments at DTU, the FoodLab offers innovation based on the latest research and a combination of the brightest, most uninhibited minds, guided by highly experienced academics with an applied industry-focused mindset.
The new improved FoodLab is set to open at the end of spring 2021.