Report on NARO 1st International Symposium on Food and Health "Food Science to Market, from Local to Global"

1. Date

March (Tue) 14:00-17:18 (JST)/2 March (Wed) 14:00-17:15 (JST), 2022

2. Distribution Venue

Tsukuba Agriculture research Hall, NARO

3. Organizer and supporters

Organizer: NARO, Supporters: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan/Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands (WUR)/National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, France (INRAE)/Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands/Science and Technology Department, Embassy of France in Japan/Foodvalley NL/Vitagora.

4. Participants

  1. Pre-registered applicants: 1,103 people from 24 countries/regions
    〔Domestic (80%)/International (20%), Private (42%)/Academic (19%)/ Government (7%) /NARO (11%) / Individuals and others (21%)〕
  2. Webinar attendants: 663 people on 1 March, 476 people on 2 March (from 13 countries/regions).
  3. Viewers for the archived video: 879 (Total number of 4 sessions from 4 to 31 March)

5. Symposium Overview

Opening Remarks

Dr. Kyuma, President of NARO, the organizer, delivered a welcome address on "Health Promotion through Food", which is an important issue for realizing Society 5.0 in the field of agriculture and food industry, with the expectation that this symposium would be the start of industry-academia-government collaboration in Japan and overseas. Prof. Fresco, President of WUR, Mr. Mauguin, President of INRAE, and Mr. Aoyama, Director-General, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council's Secretariat, MAFF, delivered guest greetings emphasizing that this symposium is organized at right time and they look forward to its achievements.

Keynote Session

Four researchers representing each research field delivered keynote speeches on (1) International initiatives by an international organization in "Food and Health", (2) Food development from basic research to market development, (3) Efforts to solve food and health issues by a leading Japanese food company, and (4) the perspectives necessary beyond science for the development of food and health in the world.

Session I " Nutrition for Health" Session Leader: Dr. Kameyama, Director of NFRI, NARO.

In the international trend of food promotion by food, the cutting-edge research aiming for "healthy longevity by diet" through innovation of nutrition management technologies such as research on food functionality and effects of personalized nutritional guidance based on scientific data was presented. From the discussion, it is suggested that healthy agricultural products and foods with high nutrition and quality, programs for replacing a diet with a healthy one for a well-balanced meal, as well as personal advice based on the data are needed. In addition, it is suggested that various stakeholders in society should work together to widely convey the benefits of a healthy diet, with the consideration of taste, convenience, and cost, and encourage passive consumers to voluntarily choose a healthy diet.

Session II "Crop Development for abundance & healthy diet" Session Leader: Dr. Taguchi, Principal Research Scientist, CARC, NARO.

In the session, lectures and discussion were based on the theme "What kind of optimal solution can be derived by crop development using cutting-edge technologies with genomics, ICT, and other research sources for agricultural production in the 21st century, where uncertainty increases due to population growth and climate change? ". From the discussion, the scope of advanced technology, future prospects, and development strategy to overcome problems related to agricultural production through innovation in breeding technology is demonstrated. It is also suggested that a series of innovations in this area will further accelerate crop development for abundance and higher nutrition.

Session III "Food Science to Global Business" Session Leader: Dr. Goto, Liaison Scientist in the Netherlands, NDSC, NARO.

In this session, lectures were delivered from the perspective of open innovation on branding strategies for R&D, standards/standardization, and pursuit of deliciousness at Agri-Food Tech.
The need and effectiveness of open innovation were discussed and it was recognized that food science can contribute to the creation of new global markets. However, in order to proceed with that, it is essential to develop business through mutual understanding and realizing mutual profits between industry and research institutes. It is also suggested that mutual communication between sectors stimulates each other, creating wonderful ideas and demonstrating synergies.

Closing Remarks

Dr. Katsuta, Vice-President, NARO, delivered the closing remarks with words of necessity and expectations for cooperation towards sharing awareness of the issues and global efforts to realize innovation in food and health.

6. Evaluation

In the ex-post questionnaire (67 respondents), usefulness and relevance of symposium were evaluated as "excellent" and "very good" by more than 80% of the respondents. Also, we received comments that were obtained that highly evaluated the symposium, such as "I learned that the science and industry of food and health is advancing globally and has a very exciting prospect for the future. I realized that NARO is a forerunner of these innovations." and " I was keenly aware that foods that have solved various problems such as modern environmental problems are about to be generalized as technology advances." There were also a lot of expectations for future symposiums.

Dr. Kyuma, President of NARO delivering a welcome address

Speakers in discussion of the Session III "Food Science to Global Business"

Dr. Katsuta, a Vice-President delivering the closing remarks from the distribution venue of NARO