EU-GIFT aims to foster the cross-pollination of ideas and expertise, fuelling collaborative innovation where HEIs act as research hubs, and industries, the public sector, and the society converge to jointly develop and co-implement ground-breaking solutions to localised challenges at local and regional levels in the field of sustainable food and beverage value chains with a geographical identity.

The Alliance members’ successful track record of collaboration in teaching and research developed staff and student mobility initiatives under the Erasmus programme, research projects and even a double-degree programme.

The Innovation & Research Strategy & Ethics, rooted in the Quintuple Helix innovation model, will provide a structured framework for the Alliance’s HEIs to align their research and innovation efforts in addressing the immediate situation faced by the private sector and society. By relying on the Open Science, Citizen Science and FAIR data provisions, EU-GIFT will make sure that knowledge, data and tools are shared as soon as possible, and that all relevant knowledge actors, including academia, industry, public authorities, end users, citizens and society at large, work together in an open way to tackle both medium and long-term climate and environmental challenges.

The Interdisciplinary Research Centre will be the hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration where innovative solutions will be developed by leveraging the collective expertise of researchers, industries, the public sector, and the broader society. It will serve as the catalyst for the cross-pollination of ideas and the collaborative birthing of solutions, fostered through regular communication and dynamic events, immersive Living Labs, and insightful case studies.

Through the Innovation and Research Transfer Actions, under the coordination of the Transfer of Innovation Office, the Alliance will emphasise the redirection of research and innovation outcomes back into education. This will be done with a pronounced focus on transforming curricula into a more dynamic ecosystem that seeks for socio-economic growth, technological advancements, and holistic development. In parallel, this initiative, also in collaboration with the Employability and Entrepreneurship Office, will work to establish connections and partnerships with the business sector to provide essential resources, mentorship, networking, and job opportunities vital for talent management within the Alliance. But, more importantly, it will help researchers in the creation of start-up and spin-off incubators, as well as mentoring programmes in conjunction with industry professionals. By aiding refining marketable ideas stemming from the research activities carried out within the framework of EU-GIFT, research activity will be easily transferred into the business world to have a direct impact on society. Additionally, Seed Funding Calls within the Alliance will be introduced to identify promising projects, ideas, or startups and provide them with initial financial support, thereby facilitating their transition into tangible products, services, or thriving businesses.