The Enable Cluster team
© Enable-Cluster

Enable Cluster: Collaborating for a Healthier Future

Four universities, a number of research institutions and various companies in the food industry and food trade are working towards a common goal: To develop possibilities and strategies to allow people to eat healthier in different phases of life. Since 2015, the Enable Cluster has been supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The cluster is currently in its second funding phase, which runs until 2021. Food startups can also find support here. We asked to find out how exactly.

Please introduce yourself.

The Enable Cluster is one of four clusters in nutritional research in Germany. Its goal is to make healthy eating possible in all phases of life and to make convenience products healthier: From digital dieticians to 3D printed food for senior citizens or fiber-enriched meat loaf sandwiches or even research on marketing, stress and metabotypes among babies and adults — there’s something for every age group.

A large interdisciplinary research association is working together with representatives from the food industry, trade crafts and retail. They are supported by the Enable administrative office. We’re a small but impressive team of four accomplished women who support the cluster both organizationally and conceptually.

We issue Enable Innovation vouchers that give startups in the food and health sector the opportunity to tap into the expertise of our researchers for developing their products and ideas.

Building bridges between research and development

In concrete terms, that means a startup cooperates with an academic institution in the cluster and benefits from their expertise. That might be a laboratory experiment, target group analysis or a digital solution.

What do you focus on when working with startups?

We want to build a bridge between research and development. That’s why our focus is on providing scientific support for startups in the form of Enable Innovation vouchers. We also regularly offer seminars for startups about specific subjects in the field of innovation, such as health claims or patents.  

To be successful, a food startup needs to…

… have a feel for the trends in the food scene, give itself enough time to develop and prototype a product, have strong partners at hand who understand consumer needs and not be afraid of failure.

Developing healthy products is on trend

What’s the biggest mistake a food startup can make?

Putting a product on the market that isn’t scientifically sound, meaning it doesn’t contribute to a healthier diet.

The trend of the year is…!

…and still is: back to the roots – food that is both healthy and delicious.

What makes the Munich startup scene so special?

Its diversity in terms of food startups: A lot of them are banking on the development of healthy products, which we are obviously particularly happy about.

Last but not least: Whom should startups contact if they would like to meet with you?

Katharina Prummer is the head of the innovation office at Enable and looks forward to hearing from you.

More information

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