In a globalized world, sharing and learning from the experiences of other countries is of great value to evolve and improve any productive sector. To achieve this goal in the food industry, Food 4 Future – Expo Foodtech 2024, which will be held from 16 to 18 April in Bilbao, Spain, will once again host the European Foodtech Nations Summit to present innovative ecosystems of the European food industry. Three days to give visibility to all the initiatives in the foodtech field that are being carried out in other enclaves such as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom -as guest country of this fourth edition-, or Japan, which repeats after its great experience in the last edition and returns to Bilbao to present its latest innovations to the European market.

More than 40 international representatives will come together at the European Foodtech Nations Summit, which gathers pioneering European regions in food technology to share their innovation and digitization strategies. Among them, a delegation of entrepreneurs from the food and beverage industry of the United Kingdom, the event’s guest country in 2024, with the support of ICEX Trade and Investments, will gather in Bilbao. The delegation will include international relevant profiles in foodtech, such as Roberta Re, Director of Cambridge Food Science; Caroline Saunders, Senior Director of Health and Wellbeing at Pladis Global, and Paul Gateley, an expert professor from Leeds Beckett University. They will present the current ecosystem of the United Kingdom in this field, but they will also learn about Spanish strategies and innovations through the Spain Foodtech Nation session organized by ICEX, providing them with a unique perspective on Spain’s position as an innovation hub in foodtech. It will be a meeting point to foster dialogue and collaboration among all participants to drive the food technology sector forward and to offer a comprehensive exploration of the innovations and opportunities presented in our country’s current ecosystem.

On the other hand, representatives from the Netherlands, such as Kees de Gooijer, CIO of TKI Agri & Food, will present the innovations and strategies implemented in the Netherlands in the fields of circular economy, agri-food, and agrotechnology. Additionally, they will address some of the main challenges facing Dutch society in agriculture, food, and technology. To do this, they will break down the main objectives set in the 2024-2027 agenda in this area, which include addressing the resilience of the delta nature and the North Sea, sustainability in agriculture and horticulture, rural areas, climate impact, and the creation of healthy, accessible, and safe food.

Following their significant experience in the previous edition as the guest country, Japan will participate again in 2024 to showcase its latest innovations in Foodtech to the European market. More than 110 representatives from Japanese companies, startups, investors, consulting firms, etc., will gather in Bilbao during F4F2024. Companies like UnlocX & Co, Ajinomoto, Wired, or Mitsubishi UFJ Bank will address one of the major challenges facing the food sector today in this edition: providing sufficient quantity and quality food to all inhabitants of the planet and doing so in a healthy and sustainable manner through technological advancements such as genetics, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, etc. They will present solutions related to food fermentation or alternative proteins.

Likewise, the FoodTech innovation ecosystem of Euskadi will also present its advancements, led by Juanan Gutiérrez, Director of Consulting and Analysis at HAZI, and Juan de los Ángeles, a professor at the University of Navarra and expert advisor at HAZI. They will discuss how the food chain is transforming amid an economic crisis and uncertainties about the future. They will highlight how technology is crucial in achieving the goal of being more sustainable through tools such as precision agriculture, supply chain traceability, and innovations aiming for greater efficiency while ensuring food safety.

Food 4 Future 2024 will also feature spaces dedicated to companies from the Desafía Foodtech community, an immersion program by ICEX aimed at the internationalization of such ventures, where participating companies will showcase their solutions and new products. According to María Naranjo, Director of Food Industry at ICEX, “from ICEX Trade and Investment, we support this event from its first edition to reinforce its international character, thus contributing to Spain’s external projection as a leading nation in science and technology applied to the entire value chain of the food industry”.