Conference host 2024

The 38th EFFoST International Conference will be hosted by KU Leuven and Ghent University, the two largest and highest-ranked universities in Belgium.

The conference will be chaired by Prof. Frank Devlieghere from Ghent University and Prof. Tara Grauwet from KU Leuven, who are both renowned experts in the field of food science and technology. They will be assisted by the local organizing committee with members from both hosting universities, which works together with a group of stakeholders from the Flanders Agri-food Ecosystem.

KU Leuven was founded in 1425, which makes it one of Europe’s oldest universities. It is a comprehensive university which is home to a vibrant community of international students and staff members, with 20% of the university’s 62,692 students coming from outside of Belgium. Together, they represent over 140 countries, spread across various Belgian campuses. Its 22,310 staff members, among which 6386 PhD students, are driven by curiosity to expand the frontiers of all academic fields. As a university deeply interwoven into society, our researchers also pursue targeted and demand-driven research in an interdisciplinary environment. The university has a strong record of securing funding from the most competitive research funds, including the prestigious ERC Grants awarded by the European Research Council. KU Leuven profiles as a research-intensive university that belongs amongst the best in Europe. It takes the 42th place in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking (2022) and was declared Most Innovative University of Europe by Reuters for 4 years in a row. The KU Leuven Research & Development (LRD) technology transfer office was one of the first in Europe. LRD has a long and productive tradition of licensing tech, collaborating with industry and creating spin-off companies.

Ghent University was founded in 1817 and grew further as a comprehensive university, hosting more than 8400 research staff and 50,000 students, a large part coming from abroad. The university is one of the fastest growing European universities in terms of research capacity and productivity. Collaborative research, a dynamic work environment and a pioneering attitude are at the heart of research policy. Ghent University’s top-100 position in the two major university rankings opens new opportunities across the globe: it has a well-developed academic partnership strategy and has cooperation agreements with more than 500 universities around the world. It provides excellent training opportunities to both young and experienced researchers, for which it has been rewarded with the HR Excellence in Research label by the European Commission. The university has a longstanding tradition in its involvement in highly competitive research funding such as European programs as well as hosting many ERC-grantees. Ghent University prides itself on being a knowledge hub which is not only forward-thinking but also self-questioning and authentic. Ghent University has 27 business development centers in different disciplines all working on applied research and technology transfer, helping researchers to build a strong patent portfolio and establish industry partnerships.

Food science and technology at the host institutions

Both Ghent University and KU Leuven have strong research groups in the domain of food science and technology with 38 Professors and 382 researchers supervising 164 MSc graduates and 54 PhD graduates per year. Food science and technology education is organized by their faculties of Bioscience Engineering and Engineering Technology, which are responsible for 6 MSc programmes in Food Science and Technology. One of these is the jointly organized Interuniversity Programme for Food Technology (IUPFOOD), which is an academic Master of Science programme that intends to equip its alumni with the scientific, technical and managerial knowledge, skills and attitudes required to contribute successfully to solving problems related to food security through the production of safe foods of high quality. Over the past decade, their food science and technology research teams partnered in more than 50 EU projects. Both universities rank within the first 5 European Universities and within the first 25 worldwide universities in the 2022 Food Science and Technology ranking of the Shanghai Ranking.

Abstracts submissions are now closed!