The acronym ainia means "Asociación de INvestigación de la Industria Agroalimentaria" (Food Industry Research Association), an institution promoted and managed by companies to perform applied research for the benefit of the industry.
It's activity is based in the use of the best knowledge and the creation of solutions for all kind of food processors, by means of talent working in state of the art premises: the headquarters in Paterna (Valencia, Spain), in the consumers unit CONSUMOLAB in Madrid and in 6 delegations covering the whole country.
After getting a solid technical and financial background, ainia began the extension of the model of service in other markets, outside of Spain and Europe, in 1998. With its own methodology, based on the experience gathered working hands on with processors, ainia gave answer to the demands of foreign companies, development agencies, regional an national governments in North Africa and Latin America. In close cooperation with the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID), ainia grew to be competent in different markets, understanding the food companies and helping them to solve their challenges in food safety, development of new products, packaging, quality assurance or reduction of their environmental impact, to mention part of the services.
Two hundred professionals, twelve thousand square meters of state of the art facilities and twenty four years of experience gives a privileged platform to understand the challenges of the producers, traders, retailers and consumers. Every year, fourteen hundred clients receive the services of ainia in the form of results of applied research, reports of technical assistance, analytical services or specialised training. The figures for 2010 are:
Projects of applied research 227 projects
Services of technical assistance 581 reports
Analytical services 66.000 essays
Specialised training 1500 hours
Inside the AETS Consortium, ainia plays his technical role as provider of experts in many different areas, from fisheries and aquaculture, to food labelling, traceability, lab testing, quality and food safety or fruits and vegetables, from the control of pesticides and residues to the Plant Health protection. Offering its technical capacities and infrastructures, ainia is an excellent complement to the PMU and to other partners of the consortia towards the implementation of workshops, technical assistance or sustained training missions.
12.000 m2 of facilities highlighting the following:
7 laboratories (2.800 m2): Chromatography, General Chemistry, Physical Tests (food and packaging materials), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Food Safety and Bio-safety (type III)
15 pilot plants: Water, Hygiene, Bio-production, Biogas, Spectroscopy, Artificial Vision, Supercritical Fluids (SCF), Hygienic Design, Extrusion, Packaging, Drying, Industrial kitchen and 3 plants for new products
Training premises, 2 conference rooms (U and theatre) 5 polyvalent and multifunctional rooms
PROJECTS OF APPLIED RESEARCH
Under confidential agreement with each client, we deal with: Industrial Design & Production, Food Quality & Safety, Food & Health and Sustainability.
The projects are covered through the following lines of activity: Electronic, information and communications; Nanotechnology; Food technology; Biotechnology; Chemical technologies; Environmental and energy technologies.
TECHNOLOGICAL ASSISTANCE - EFFICIENT SOLUTIONS FOR:
Cost reduction in: Packaging, Production (process engineering, process automation), Efficient use of energy, Valorisation of by-products, Biogas, Energy recovery from waste and by-products, Water treatment, Integration in the food supply chain.
Risk minimisation or assessment: Shelf life, microbiological risks, online detection of contaminants, Traceability, Hygienic Engineering Design for equipment and facilities.
Innovation management: Innovation management systems, Online consumer knowledge system, Development of new products: research and evaluation of alternatives; Feasibility studies, assessment in food labelling and food law.
ANALYTICAL SERVICES - GUARANTEE of FOOD SAFETY:
more than 400 different analytical testsover100 techniques accredited by ENAC80.000 analytical tests per yearThe most advanced equipmentInterpretation of results according specifications of private standards or governmental legislationsAnalytical techniques according to the needs of each company
Provides a wide range of methodologies and tailored solutions to help companies to identify consumer desires and helps to develop innovative products in the market, through trained panels for descriptive sensory profiles, consumer product testing to anticipate consumer preferences, qualitative research using focus group and creative lead user groups, and training in sensory and consumer area. (see: www.consumolab.ainia.es)
SPECIALISED TRAINING FOR THE FOOD SECTOR
Adapted to the needs of the Food & Drink Industry, as well as governmental bodies and other institutions, in three different formats:
E-learningBlended learning andIn-classroom training.
FOOD LEGISLATION ACTIVITIES
Advisory to the companies of the Food Sector, Administrations and public institutions in food legislation Spanish, European and International Level by means of: Studies, opinions and legislative consultations; Preparation and elaboration of legal-technical information; Advising and support in activities related to the exigencies of the Public Administration to the Food Sector and similar sectors; Update and interpretation food legislation; Attendance for the import/nutritional product export as far as the fulfilment of the legal requirements; Projects of investigation of legislation in the regional, national and international scope. Usually we are working with the main public and private stake holders.
ainia has a broad experience in prospective studies development and is a reference in Technology Foresight in the food sector.