University of Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Page: 1059 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Bionutest group of the Nutrition and Food Science Area of the University of Valencia (Spain) currently develops research activities on: “Evaluation of nutrient bioavailability”, “Functional components of foods”, and specially “Nutritional improvement of infant foods”. These activities are being carried out in collaboration with different local and national foodstuff companies.

Collaboration between university and industry is often used due to the benefits on both sides. For the university, such collaboration is important because it allows the development of research projects related to applied topics. On the other side, the financial contribution obtained can be used to train new investigators by offering grants to post-graduate students for obtaining a PhD degree, and to hire qualified research technicians. For the industry, the most important benefits are the improvement in the formulation of their products and the assessment of the beneficial effects of bioactive compounds included in the ingredients as well, through R&D projects involving official research institutions such as universities. Finally, the development of higher quality foods, from the organoleptic, nutritional and technological perspectives, has a positive impact on the consumers’ life quality.

From an educational standpoint, and due to our experience, this university-industry cooperation brings the possibility of an enriching feed-back between industry and university post-graduates. Students may acquire knowledge on the academic and scientific aspect (scientific papers and meetings, teaching practices, among others) as well as improving skills such as working in a multidisciplinary team, excellent communication capacity, both oral and written, result oriented; which are skills demanded by industry employers.