New transatlantic network created to share expertise

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union Innovation United states

Companies and research organizations within the US food industry will soon be able to benefit from the expertise of their counterparts in Europe through a new partnership initiative.

The US–EU Match network, which launches on September 10, has been set up to enhance transatlantic trade and encourage the transfer of innovative ideas and technology.

It will provide companies and research institutes with a range of services, such as supplying information about new research calls for proposals, technology requests and partner searches.

There will also be a network website with a web forum and contact database and networking meetings will be arranged to provide a forum for US business and research to meet their European counterparts.

The US–EU Match network will be led by a consortium including US-based provider of open innovation services, NineSigma, which already has ties with the food industry.

NineSigma says it works with companies such as DuPont, Kraft, P&G, and Unilever to build new innovation capabilities that leverage research and innovation globally to deliver greater value to their customers.

The match network will link up with the existing Enterprise Europe Network, which was launched by the European Commission and is made up of close to 600 partner organizations in more than 40 countries.

Its principal aim is to assist small and medium-sized businesses in all industries, as well as research centers and universities, by putting them in contact with organizations that can help their enterprises develop.

Charles J Brez, vice president, of innovation alliances at NineSigma, which is also part of the US consortium, said: “We can connect up our usual clients looking for technology, ingredients or packaging and link up with people in Europe who might have solutions to these problems.”

He said the European Commission initially set up the enterprise network to encourage new countries within the union to co-operate, but they quickly recognized that it is a globally competitive world and decided to open it up internationally.

Brez added: “It’s spread across different industries but a lot of basic technologies are applicable to food as well as many other industries.

“I think about 20 or 30 percent of the companies might be involved with food, as a supplier or an ingredients company.”

Angelos Pangratis, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to the US, said: "By creating a network in the United States and linking it to the Enterprise Europe Network, we will significantly enhance transatlantic innovation and trade initiatives.”

Also in the US consortium is RTI International, a research institute which supplies innovative research and technical solutions to governments and businesses, The European-American Business Organization, Inc. a consulting firm specializing in transatlantic business development and international tax services and Intrasoft International S.A (Luxembourg), an information technology company.

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