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ID4Food – Design at the heart of the regional platform for food innovation

ID4Food – Design at the heart of the regional platform for food innovation

ID4Food is a regional program involving five schools: L’École de design, Oniris, l’Université de Nantes (Law Faculty and IAE Business School), l’ESA d’Angers and Audencia. The program was set up two years ago and had two goals: firstly to enable students and teaching staff to work together on food innovation projects, and secondly to create a joint specialized Master’s degree (6 years of postgraduate studies) in co-design scheduled to open in September 2025. It took a huge amount of time and effort by the schools to set up this program but it has already proved beneficial to everyone involved thanks to the establishment of a valuable network.

For the students from the New Eating Habits Design Lab, it was the opportunity to be in a real-life multidisciplinary situation and to develop projects very early in the process with engineers from diverse backgrounds, legal experts, marketers, etc. They were thus able to participate in projects on konjac (a Japanese root vegetable), organic bread, insects and olives. In the same context, the school strengthened its collaboration with Oniris for the EcoTrophélia competition. In 2014, the two teams of designers and engineers who participated in the final in Avignon won four of the eight prizes up for grabs.

Beyond the quality of these experiences, it is important to stress how much this type of partnership highlights our designers’ qualities. Thanks to projects such as this, design is fast becoming the rising star of food innovation. The supremacy of design is evident both upstream, in creativity sessions (design thinking), in its comprehensive and user-centered approach as well as in its role of mediator/facilitator in teams often composed of people with conflicting viewpoints.

Benoît Millet
New Eating Habits Design Lab Director