FOOD BUSINESS MANAGEMENT & INNOVATION (FBMI)
Research Unit
 
 
1. GENERAL INFORMATION:
The agribusiness sector operates and impacts domestic and world economies.  The multi-billion food and fiber industry is a wide sector including international trade, product management, human resource management, finance and strategies of successful partnership and food chain development leading to new, innovative  products and services.  
The food chain is a series of links and inter-dependencies, from farms to food consumers' plates embracing a wide range of disciplines. Food supply chain management brings together the most important of these disciplines and aims to provide an understanding of the chain, to support those who manage parts of the chain, and to enhance the development of research and activities in the discipline.  Even though innovations are necessary for growth and competitiveness, few are taking place into the food industry, and the food chain overall. Radical or really new innovations are not often introduced on the food chain, the market. Although a number of new technologies are available or being further investigated and could be of interest.  Consumers seem reluctant to accept new products based on new technologies such as gene technology or functional foods.
 
2. RESEARCH (SERVICES):
The research concentrates on the food chain business management involving micro, small and medium enterprises, and the ways to improve its innovation capacity, and efficacy.  The research involves:
a) studies on the parameters effecting the chain's, and the companies' involved performance,
b) ways to develop chains which lead to new, innovative, market driven food products "from farm to fork",
c) consumers' attitudes, and behavior towards food products and brands
The research on business innovation focuses on the evaluation, and the ways of improvement of each food SME's capacity at four different levels namely:
organizational / marketing / processing / production
 
The 4 year research has led to a new strategic approach "back to the future" for the development of innovative, traditional products by well structured, organized food chains, and participating companies. This approach has indeed been adapted by the Hellenic Technology platform Food for Life" as one of the main strategic action lines in its recent proposal for the R&D development of the Greek food chain (position paper, 2014).
The theoretical "4F MODEL" of this research concept is presented in the attached diagram, and the tangible results of its application in the paragraph "projects" below.
 
It is also presented, together with the results of the pilot actions implemented up to 2014, IN GREEK, in the attached leaflet "ΑΝΑΠΤΥΞΗ ΑΓΡΟΔΙΑΤΡΟΦΗΣ: το μοντέλο 4 F"
 
3. STAFF:
Dimitris Skalkos DIRECTOR of FBMI research Unit (Associate professor)
Dimitris Kafetzopoulos (Research Associate)
Christina Sakali (Ph.D. candidate)
 
4. PROJECTS:
The projects implemented under the research and services described above are:  a) market driven, b) product oriented, guided by the end result which is the development of new food products attractive to the end customers.   The implemented projects and those currently under way are the following:
 
i) Evaluation of the innovation capacity of the SMEs of North Aegean region (2009 - 2010):
In order to assess their drawbacks, weak points, potentials, and growth prospects.  The results are presented in publication # 3 below.  
 
ii) Application of an Innovation Management Technique to the SMEs of North Aegean (2009-2012): 
In order to evaluate the impact of an IMT intervention to the micro and small companies' performance and innovation capacity.  The results are presented in publication #1 below.
 
iii) Development of new, innovative nutritional food products (2011 -):
Every year since 2011, under the coordination of this unit, groups of undergraduate students and a faculty member, with the collaboration of a Greek Food Company, are working together on the development of new, innovative food products with specific nutritional value.  The products are produced in pilot scale at the end and with them the students participate in the European students' competition "Ecotrophelia", implemented in Greece by the Federation of Hellenic Food Industries (SEVT). For more information about the ecotrophelia European competition at: www.ecotrophelia.eu .  Since the beginning of the competition in 2011, and the every year participation 21 such "Greek" products have been developed by the groups of undergraduate students, coordinated by the FBMI Unit, and 7 of them have been awarded, ONE AWARD EVERY CONSECUTIVE YEAR, with the second or the third price award (2011 - 2014), the best presentation award (2015), and the best marketing plan award (2016 - 2017).  All products and the awards are presented in the attached file participation to Ecotrophelia.
 
iv) Development of new, "back to the future" traditional products of Lemnos (2011 - ):
The 4F MODEL described above is continuously applied at the local level of the lemnos' island leading to the production of "back to the future", traditional products.  The application involved the following steps:
1) Identifying the "old" forgotten Lemnos' food product to be produced as a novel, new food of the future, and the required agricultural raw material for its production
2)  Identifying the suitable food companies, and the farmers if needed, which can be part of the specific food chain, and coordinating their work and collaboration for the specific production all the way
3) Promoting, and advertizing the new end food product, when it is in the market, as one of the "academic", Lemnos' products produced with the support of the department of Food Science and Nutrition.
Up to 2014, 5 such products have been produced and successfully promoted in the local and traditional market, with the support of this unit, and the results are presented in the attached file (Back to the future Lemnos' products
 
v) Application of the 4F MODEL at the island of Samos (2012 -):
With the objective to test the application of the model outside the island of Lemnos  under the support of this unit, the collaboration of the Department of Information & Communication Systems (ass. Prof. Yannis Charalabidis), and the recruitment of proper food companies and personnel a similar new initiative started at the island  of Samos in 2012.  The brand developed for the products there is named SAMIAKI GI (Samian land) and it is promoted through the web site: https://samosweb.aegean.gr/samiakigi. The first product under this new brnd by a local company is now (2015) in the local and national market.  Is a unique cherry tomato, in 250gr package"Genio"
SAMIAKI GI is now exploring other activities to promote innovation, and innovation capacity into the local food chain entrepreneurial activities such as organizing specialized seminars in selected sectionf of local interest such as the two day seminar on "the production and sale of branded SAMIAN olive oil" organized succesfully on the 28th Feb-1st March.
 
iv) Projects in start up phase (2014 - ):
Within the same frame of the research scope described above, and in order to expand the horizon of the projects implanted so far, new research project are constantly been tested, evaluated and initiated once there is: a) interest by the public and private sector for the results, b) capable experts or companies to implement them, c) outcomes with practical applications in the national and world food market, and in the innovation science.  The projects in start up phase are:
  1. The effects of selected key parameters to the food chain management of micro, small and medium enterprises
  2. The effects of selected parameters such as traceability, geographic association, product certification to the brand name of food products
  3. Production and promotion to the market bakery products enriched in omega-3 acids using linseed as the natural source
 
5. PUBLICATIONS:
  1. "Smart specialization for regional development: The innovation strategy of the future for the Region of West Macedonia" E. Samara, P. Giourka, I. Bakouros, D. Skalkos, S. Makridis, Int. J of Technology Innovations & Research. 6, 1-20, 2013. 
  2. "Innovative efforts of SMEs: exploring the barriers to successful implementation" D. Skalkos, I. Nikolaidis, I. Bakouros, International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, 4(6), 509-537, 2012
  3. "Novel Innovation Management Process: For applications in fields such as Food Innovation" D. Skalkos, International Journal of Innovation Science, 4(4), 245-258, 2012.
  4. "Innovation management technique (IMT) for very small-enterprises: concept, development, and application" D. Skalkos, I. Bakouros, International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, 3(6), 573 - 603, 2011
Proceedings:
  • "Innovation Management Techniques: A Review of Selected Methodologies" D. Skalkos In Rethinking Business Education in the Age of Crisis, Proceedings  Chios island, Greece, 20-22 October, 2011
  • "Innovation Penetration into an Islanding Region: The Case of North Aegean, Greece" D. Skalkos, Y. Nikolaidis, Y. Bakouros In Rethinking Business Education in the Age of Crisis, Proceedings  Chios island, Greece, 20-22 October, 2011
  • "Innovation and SMEs in the new entrepreneurial environment of crisis" E. Samara, P. Giourka, D. Skalkos, I. Bakouros In 5th International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development. Sofia, Bulgaria, 1-2 June, 2012
Presentations in conferences:
  • "Design, production and nutritional evaluation of popular bakery products, enriched in omega-3 acids using natural sources", Androulakis, P., Ouzounidou G., Skalkos, D., Stamatakis G., Karantonis C. H., 3rd International ISEKI Food Conference, Athens, Greece, 21-23 May 2014.
  • "The development of an innovative Lemnos' bread, exerting in vitro antioxidant and antiatherogenic activities", Appleby-Efthymiadou S.M., Sakali A., Skalkos, D., Karantonis H.C., 3rd International ISEKI Food Conference, Athens, Greece, 21-23 May 2014.

 

 

 

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