Field Testing Required for Agri-food Introductions’ is the self-explanatory name of a project fun between 2013 - 16. The goal of this project was to accelerate market introduction of agri-food innovations developed by companies in our region.
The field testing consisted of SMEs working together to approach end-users and ask them for suggestions in improving their prototypes. Nine subsidized projects covered a range of agri-food subjects.
One of the subject areas, for example, was Mild Conservation, where food ingredient manufacturers could keep their products fresher for longer periods without the addition of preservatives. Smaller producers of food products participated in a cooperative named ‘Field Test Brand Corporation’ where they could work together in a market introduction phase.
The ‘Field Test Natural Cheese Aging’ is another notable example: producers and purchasers work together with researchers at the Wageningen University and Research Center to experiment with the best way to age cheeses using their natural rinds.
This project was successfully closed in 2016. Oost NL’s role was to approach additional companies to solicit their participation in the project. Individual companies supported us in the execution of their business cases and we searched for financing in the form of credits or other forms of funding. Our primary contribution, however, was in the creation of the field tests, where we employed our network and facilitated contact with each other in order to exchange knowledge. The knowledge itself we then processed in an evaluation and a ‘Toolkit for Market Introductions’. By publicizing articles about our work, we contributed extra value by actively sharing our accumulated knowledge in the market.