Villaverde will host the ‘Silicon Valley’ of the food industry


Madrid

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a 3D printed meat ribeye based on real cow cells. This succulent vegan delicacy –made by chef Íñigo Urrechu and the R&D team at Zalacaín– was the aperitif tasted yesterday by diners who attended the inauguration of Madrid Food Innovation Hub, the first center for innovation and entrepreneurship in the agri-food industry in Europe. This ‘Sillicon Valey’ of the sector is located in
Villaverde
and it already houses 13 startups –small emerging companies– now focused on providing digital solutions to improve specific points in the management of a restaurant.

This new polo shirt with cutting-edge ideas has a space for ‘coworking‘and a kitchen-laboratory of more than 300 square meters equipped with everything necessary to do concept tests, prototype evaluation and project development. The Madrid Food Innovation Hub activities, which include incubation programs, training and workshops with the district, will be totally free for participants.

A ‘vending’ machine that serves drinks in a glass with a lid and a straw; an application that connects coffee shops and consumers through a returnable container service or a bar recommender according to the user’s tastes, thanks to artificial intelligence, are some of the ideas that are already being developed in Villaverde. «The idea is that the center is the heart of the entire agri-food industry in Madrid. That the entire ecosystem is connected ”, the director of the center, José de Isasa, explains to ABC.

On a visit, the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, stressed that it is a clear example of how Madrid is capable of “reinventing itself.” «Here we were able to improvise the place from which thousands of meals for vulnerable people came out and a few months later, this is the place where the will of the city of Madrid is reflected to win the future through innovation, talent and entrepreneurship “, Valued the first mayor, who stressed the need to support innovation by the administrations.

“We have the challenge of seeing how we are going to feed future generations,” said the deputy mayor, Begoña Villacís, who stressed that for this “it is especially important that the Madrid City Council has thought about the need to create a council that is 100% focused on innovation”, something that, in his opinion, is beginning to be noticed by promoting projects such as Madrid Food Innovation Hub. According to Villacís, the fact that Madrid is the second city in the world to assume this responsibility, behind Tel Aviv, places the city “at the same level as the great European capitals and at the forefront of innovation.”

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