The Project Accelerator: a project and internship platform
by: Dorte Storper, VIFU- Knowledge Centre for Food Innovation
ProjektAcceleratoren can be regarded as a platform which takes steps towards creating better conditions for food related companies so that they can get new knowledge, inspiration and attract new employees. The platform is also a way of connecting students from the larger cities with companies scattered all over the country. This is a great benefit as getting skilled workers to rural areas can be a challenge.
ProjektAcceleratoren which can be translated to ‘The Project Accelerator’ is a project and internship platform run by VIFU – the Danish Knowledge Centre for Food Innovation. The platform connects students at all levels from the Danish educational institutions with food related companies – especially SMEs - and the service is free.
VIFU’s role is to be a supervisor throughout the course to ensure that both the students and the companies expectations are fulfilled through the collaboration. Furthermore, VIFU’s role is to provide assistance when needed - this could for instance be organising the first meeting between a student and a company, help with writing a project description, presenting a project idea to a relevant group of students, finding accommodation for the student, etc.
Examples of projects which the students can help the companies with are product development, concept development, quality control, nutrition calculation, packaging design, food styling, recipe development, marketing and so on.
A beneficial arrangement for both students and companies
There are many benefits to be gained for both students and companies. The students can contribute with the latest theoretical and methodological knowledge and they have both the time and ability to see problems with fresh eyes and from different perspectives. By hiring and intern or establishing a project collaboration companies have an obvious opportunity to take a closer look at an idea which they have never progressed with due to the lack of time or financial resources. Through an internship or collaboration, the companies also have an opportunity to get insight into the students’ skills and personality and thereby the possibility to asses if they could be a fit as potential employees in the future.
In addition to the online platform, study trips are arranged such as a meat industry trip. Here the students get a chance to visit companies that work with different aspects within the meat industry. The purpose of the study trip is to give an insight into career and internship opportunities in the meat industry.
VIFU- Knowledge Centre for Food Innovation