The 4th INGREEN Consortium meeting took place over 1,5 days on Wednesday, 30 June and Thursday, 1 July, 2021 via teleconference. As the project had reached month 24, representatives from all 17 project partners gathered to discuss the progress made in the last 6 months and to share the work planned for the next 6 months.
During the plenary meeting, each work package presented their accomplishments to date. The work package focusing on the optimization and pre-treatment of the three feedstock supplies has been finalised. Their work forms the basis for the development of the technologies for ingredient production, extraction and purification and the optimisation of the technologies and products developed. There have been some delays to the project due to COVID restrictions, as expected. In particular, these affected the work conducted in laboratories and on the pilot plants. Fortunately, deadline extensions have been provided and the project partners have come up with clever ways to mitigate further delays and progress towards meeting all of the project objectives.
The plenary meeting was alternated with breakout sessions to discuss technical issues in-depth and to plan for the coming period. The sessions were divided according to the main prototypes that will be developed in the project: ingredients for cheese production; bakery ingredients and nutraceuticals production; PHA production; and LBA and GOS production. A breakout session was also dedicated to the regulatory aspects. These sessions gave the partners the opportunity to connect with the others they work most closely with in the project and really get into the details of the work. The discussions resulted in several insights that were shared with the rest of the consortium and translated into plans that will allow the project to make significant progress in the coming period.
Even though it is challenging to have project meetings online, there was also time for social activities, like virtual excursions of the INNOVEN pilot plant at Smurfit Kappa Italy and the work conducted at the NOVAID Laboratory. Additionally, the partners’ general knowledge of food and science was tested during and INGREEN ‘Pub Quiz’ with the winner sent a sustainable, zero-waste picnic gift.
The next consortium meeting will be held in November where, hopefully, it will be possible to meet the partners once again in person.