The kick-off event of the crEATe ecosystem held on 24 January 2019 brought together business people and researchers into IBM premises in Helsinki.
crEATe invites all operators within the sector to join the ecosystem to enhance the vitality of people, and to promote the change supporting responsibility and sustainable development in food economy, taking account of the needs of consumers. The ecosystem will arrange events, joint projects and research activities in the TestEat restaurant.
VTT’s Research Professor Kaisa Poutanen explained what the ecosystem is all about. “Food always matters: in addition to contributing to personal alertness, energy level and health, its importance is visible in public health. Food is also playing a major role in the direction in which the state of our planet is developing. Therefore, we need to consider what we could do all together,” Poutanen pointed out.
“Technologies offer a lot of opportunities: developments on the way include more decentralized food supply systems and increasing servicification of food.
Kaisa Poutanen at CrEATe kick-off event.
The place serving as the heart of the ecosystem set up by Fazer, IBM and VTT is the research and pilot restaurant TestEat in Helsinki aimed at solving challenges related to the food economy. Research is carried out in real-life situations. “This is done because development must always advance on the consumer’s terms,” Poutanen underscores.
The goals of crEATe consist of the following three elements:
- Vitality of people
- Responsibility and sustainable development
- Customer experience and restaurant solutions
In his presentation Antti Hagqvist from Virta-valmennus told about the meaning of variance for enhancing vitality and performance.
“All life, beginning from the movement of waves, is based on natural variance – the natural movement of energy. Similarly, after a period of being subjected to loading, people also need a recovery period. The change is effected through actions,” said Hagqvist.
Hagqvist offered five keys to how to manage energy for the rest of our lives:
- Quantity: Good physiological life management increases the quantity of energy
- Quality: Management of emotions and variance increase the quality of energy
- Support: Positive interaction increases vigour and feelings of success
- Focus: Mental skills and ability to concentrate enhance presence and focus
- Values: Meaningful life and the recognition of deep-motivation energise us to make permanent changes.
Henri Alén, a well-known chef in Finland, is developing new food solutions. He praised the Finnish ingredients: “Their quality is based on scarcity and the short duration of the Finnish growth season. It is possible for Finland to become a model country to others in food production and food culture.”
Chef Henri Alén from Ultima.
The restaurant Ultima has adopted some unusual production methods to grow its ingredients: for example, potatoes are grown on aeroponic columns. Alén also mentioned hydroponic growing of plants, 3D technologies, cricket lamps and spirulina algae.
According to Alén, in the future, the Finnish food will be based on these elements:
- Clean water, nature and natural resources
- Integration of rural areas and cities
- Premium products instead of bulk
- Circular economy and ecological approach
Jarkko Ahonen from Apple emphasised the importance of user-orientation in successful service provision. “Things must be made easy for consumers,” Ahonen underlined.
At the end of the afternoon, the participants were asked to think how to solve challenges related to responsibility, sustainable development, customer experience and vitality. The ideas were exciting, and some of them even quite realisable.