Friday 04 May 2018

14:00 — 15:35

Maria Theresia College 2 (Venue) — MTC

What does food innovation mean in the 21st century? How can technological, digital and social innovation change the way people consume, produce & relate with each other in cities? How can we use the "commons" as a concept to deal with many of the socio-economic questions related to food systems? How can robotics help us to create a circular economy & smart & clean cities? These speakers have always thrived in intersectionality & multidisciplinarity, a precondition to solve these pressing questions.

Peter Hanappe BE

researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratory

Robotics for microfarms

Two years ago, Peter Hanappe started developing an open and lightweight robotics platform for microfarms called LettuceThink with the aim to reduce dreadful work such as weed removal but also to develop more sophisticated functionalities such as crop monitoring. LettuceThink may seem like a fun technology project, however, Peter is very much aware that artificial intelligence and robotics for agriculture must be embedded within a larger discussion on the future of (sustainable) food systems. In that respect, he considers agroecology and the notion of the Commons as highly important. He will give a short overview of recent work of the EU project Robotics for Microfarms (ROMI) and will dwell briefly on a broader vision for urban agriculture.

Tomas Diez VE

urbanist & director of Fab Lab Barcelona

Koen Hufkens BE

Earth System scientist & ecologist

Jorge Gil-Martinez ES

Part of the Global Innovation team at AB InBev

Saved grains: How AB InBev invests in sustainable innovations

Linked to beer production, the brewing industry is currently creating a by-product commonly referred as “spent” grain (Brewer’s Spent Grains, BSG), with an estimated global production exceeding 30 million tons annually, creating enormous amounts of organic waste The global search for a sustainable and stable food chain and circular economy, and the interesting nutritional composition of BSG, have recently pushed research towards its use as ingredient in the food industry. AB InBev has recently developed a proprietary process for the conversion of BSG into a food ingredient, resulting in the launch of the first nutritional beverage made from this material: Canvas ( This process, normally referred as Canvas technology, allows us to stabilize the otherwise perishable “spent” grains, and to unlock the value from their nutrients. This research, in which we had the outstanding collaboration from the University College Cork in Ireland (, has been coordinated at the AB InBev Global Innovation and Technology Center (GITEC) in Leuven, Belgium

Annick Verween BE

Manager RisingFoodStars EIT Food