Training and Dissemination Units (TDU)
One of the main results achieved within the TRUEFOOD project is the establishment of 11 Training and Dissemination Units (TDU), one in each National Food & Drink Federation forming the SPES (Spread European Safety) GEIE Consortium, a grouping of Federations that help to promote and carry out research and training in the food sector at European level. Each TDU is managed by one or two Techno-Scientific Mediators (TSM) and its role is to ensure a structured link between research and industry, organising training and dissemination activities in order to transfer the project findings to the SMEs represented by SPES GEIE and beyond.
During the first phase of the project, the TDUs have been established and trained by the scientific partners involved in the project (Research Centres, Universities etc.), strengthening the relationship with the main research institutions and centres of excellence of their countries. In that phase, in order to develop their human resources skills, TDUs have been provided with a clear vision of key elements about the traditional food industry and the current trends of the research at European level. The training programme targeting TDUs enhanced their capacities to assist the transfer of new knowledge and techniques from universities and research centres to food firms from the traditional food sector. The training programme was drafted on the basis of their training needs (following a training needs assessment) and benefiting from competencies available from the scientific partners (centres of excellences and universities). It covered a wide-spectrum of topics (i.e., food safety and quality, innovation on traditional food products, legislation aspects, technology transfer to SMEs, etc.). In total 12 common training courses and 6 visits to factories and research centres were organised in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Hungary and France. The training was completed successfully. The final evaluation revealed that all TSMs were highly satisfied since the training programme contributed to strengthen SPES capacities to dialogue and interchange with science. Furthermore, the programme was a significant cross-cultural learning experience: thanks to the training activities of TRUEFOOD, a strong network of TSM in 11 different countries was built. The high level of exchange of knowledge and experiences among TSMs was an important European-added value of the training courses.
By November 2007 the TDUs became fully operational and started to manage a large number of transfer activities, mainly through training events, targeting SMEs on new knowledge, innovations in the food sector and research results of the project.
Click at the flags to find out more about the 11 TDUs established at SPES GEIE Consortium: