The project

InnoMeatEdu refers to the development of innovative, digital training material for students and professionals of the meat sector. The topics of the educational material will be selected based on the evaluation of the current curricula in the participating universities and also taking into consideration the views of the meat industry based on the lapses they identify in their technically specialized personnel. The digital material refers to meat production and processing, safety, quality and entrepreneurship, and sustainability in the meat sector. The material will be freely accessible in the format of Massive Open Online Courses-MOOC through an interactive platform that will be developed under the scope of the project and will be available in several languages. InnoMeatEdu is based in the cooperation of different institutions and industries, with the collaboration of several food and meat associations, connecting academia with meat industry, initially through the associated partners and also through the interactive platform that will act as a dissemination tool of the training material to all interested parties. 

The Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027) proposes a set of initiatives for high‑quality, inclusive and accessible digital education in Europe. It is a call to action for stronger cooperation between Member States at European level, as well as with and between stakeholders, to make education and training systems truly fit for the digital age. There is a need to improve digital education, as a key strategic objective for high-quality teaching and learning in the digital age.

The activities related to meat production, processing and consumption are a large component of the European Union’s food system structure. On the one hand they represent a source of income for many people, i.e. about 45 million tonnes of meat is produced by the state members, meat consumption in the member states ranged from 39 to 64 kg per capital and about 1 million people is employed in the meat industry. On the other hand, the above-mentioned activities are linked to relevant issues of public interest for the European people, i.e., edible quality, health, nutrition, animal welfare, environment or consumer trends. In this context, the development of the meat sector-related activities poses serious concerns and challenges with respect to potential social and environmental impacts in the EU’s food system.

Meat Science and Technology is a frequent topic present in the curricula of the more than 200 Food Science and Technology related degrees taught in the EU such as Food Science, Food Technology, Food Science and Technology, Food Science and Nutrition, Food Nutrition and Health, Food Innovation y Food and Business, etc. It is also a matter of study in the Veterinary degree regarding meat inspection and meat safety and in agronomy studies regarding meat production. Moreover, there are Master degrees devoted to meat processing. In these courses, the studies of meat science and technology and typically divide in production, biochemistry, edible quality, nutrition, processing and product development, hygiene and public health and, more recently, sustainability.

The material that is going to be developed is important for different reasons. One is to boost the scarcity of online educational resources on meat science and technology produced in the EU by the academia. Other is the pertinence/advantages of adapting and showing real life cases as educational activities at the university. Moreover, the process of carrying out the project would benefit both staff from the university and industry and students. At the same time, it will open a framework for further collaboration between universities and companies. Subjects about nutrition, safety and environmental impact and sustainability of the meat industry will be treated and explained under a critical umbrella of the academia and a practical point of view of the industry.

The project started in September 2022 and will last for 3 years.

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