College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ABE grad student invited to European food technology conference

Iowa State graduate assistant Quin Schultz was recently selected to participate in the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Food Summer School. At the summer school, 40 master’s students, doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars and industrial professionals from various academic disciplines, came together to bring their ideas for a sustainable food supply chain to life. The summer school was hosted by Queen’s University Belfast with help from the Technical University of Munich and the University of Cambridge.

Postgraduate students give presentation in front of conference crowd
Students in the Food Summer School at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) give a presentation on food sustainability.

Over a six day period, the participants worked in teams to identify problems, prototype viable solutions and pitch their results in front of a panel of experts. Schultz’s team explored a solution to enhance traceability in small- to medium-sized food processing facilities (SMEs).

“The team identified the importance of being able to integrate paper-based quality control measures into a digital format, for full supply chain traceability of food products,” Schultz said. “We developed a model software application that runs on a tablet, which allows for SMEs to use their current quality control documents and processes.”

Participants learned the importance of leadership for innovation and entrepreneurship in the food sector while attending workshops throughout the week. The program concluded with a structured pitch in front of a panel of entrepreneurs, industry partners, investors and support providers who gave feedback on the next steps of commercially viable and environmentally sustainable ideas.

“The combination of start-up entrepreneurs, professors, industry professionals and postgraduate students from all over the world created an extraordinary knowledge hub,” Schultz said of the overall experience. “Learning how to create a value proposition and product vision and being able to pitch it to potential investors was an experience like no other.”

The group of post-graduate students and scholars gather in a classroom
Quin Schultz, a graduate student in the ABE program, was recently selected to be a part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s Food Summer Program. The program served as a conference for fellow postgraduate students and scholars to explore food sustainability.