Launch of Legume Innovation Network
Establishing the Legume Innovation Network
An invitation to ALL stakeholders.
The world of legume research, innovation and trade is small compared to many other crop types. Dwarfed by interests in cereals and oilseeds the significantly smaller crop area reflects relatively low current commercial values and investments surrounding legume crops.
In 2017 two large EU funded projects, embarked on a 4-year quest to empower legume-supported food and feed production in across Europe, including the provision of advice to policy makers how they might positively influence the production of legumes within the EU.
The TRUE-project is largely focussed on innovations with legumes beyond the farm gate. The LEGVALUE project is more focussed on studies at production level and values along the supply chain. Both projects are using real case studies in industry, at both pilot and commercial scale and are working together to maximise the benefits it produces.
Networks have resulted, linking researchers and research bodies, industry with industry, industry with researchers and everyone with policy makers, brokers and consultants, throughout Europe and wider afield.
A valuable opportunity arises to maintain and grow a ‘legacy-network’, a connected web, linking people with similar interests enabling challenges to be resolved more-easily, with potential partners finding resources for mutual benefit, helping one another in an industry that is currently at a low level.
This has huge potential, the benefits of legumes being increasingly realised by the wider world. It can be a stakeholders’ forum to promote awareness of new insights, services or requirements for commercially competitive production and consumption of legume crops in Europe - and directly help realise more sustainable agri-food systems.
The concept of this network has been coined the “Legume Innovation Network” (LIN). Launching softly towards the end of the projects in late-2020. The LIN will initially be started by those who formed the concept, but with a view to it being quickly taken over by others in early 2021, thereafter continuing to evolve to meet the needs of those within the network.
The LIN should retain an enduring focus on innovation and issues spanning the legume supply networks and should be guided, by a founding constitution that ensures a wide membership base that embraces all aspects of:
• input and production, commodity processing and food technologies;
• trading markets, retailing plus new and emerging markets:
• cultural aspect including ‘sustainable consumption and environmental impacts;
• socio-economics, governance and policy-development.
Who can join?
The LIN is not exclusive - partners in all forms will be welcomed by their common interest – to help realise sustainable legume-supported agri-food systems.
In the first instance an established Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) for Agriculture and food production will be used to connect interested parties. Registration is free. https://itc-cluster.com/dih-agrifood/
Those interested in participating in this Innovation Network should register here: https://mapping.dih-agrifood.com/, and ensure that they use the specific terms “Legume” and “Legume-innovation-network” is the “Key Words” section of the registration process.
What is the primary objective of the LIN?
To connect legume-focused businesses and NGOs and facilitate knowledge exchange and sustainable commercial development within Europe. It is envisaged that bi-annual events might develop taking place in different EU countries- ensuring special focus on opportunities and barriers to legume uptake within each host country.
We look forward to welcoming you to the LIN.
Roger Vickers (LegValue communication, Processors and Growers Research Organisation, UK)
Henrik Maaß (TRUE communication, University of Hohenheim, Germany)
Pete Iannetta (TRUE coordination, James Hutton Institute, UK)
Frédéric Muel (LegValue coordination, Terres Inovia, France)