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The engineering of food with sustainable development goals:policies, curriculums, business models, and practices


  • Hiam Serhan


  • Gwenola Yannou-Le Bris

    (SayFood - Paris-Saclay Food and Bioproduct Engineering - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)


The environmental, nutritional, and socio-economic issues in the globalised agro-industrial food system are at the center of political agendas, reform programmes, and sustainable curriculums in higher education institutions to accelerate the sustainability transition of food sociotechnical systems. Despite the societal importance of these issues there is little proposals aiming to address sustainable development goals in food science and engineering curriculums. However, promoting project-based learning by students on how to develop eco-designed business models and eco-innovated food products seem to be an essential lever for the sustainability transition. This paper describes how a consortium of French agri-food engineering colleges implemented sustainable development goals via the governmental Idefi-EcoTrophelia programme. Through two cases, we show how the students used engineering and managerial knowledge to eco-design business models and to develop entrepreneurial capabilities to establish green ventures to commercialise their innovation. To analyse these projects we propose a sustainable business model canvas that describes the processes through which food eco-innovations were developed and transferred from the research institutions to industries and consumers. This model facilitates understanding how the sustainable development goals transform food sociotechnical systems to create societal values.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiam Serhan & Gwenola Yannou-Le Bris, 2021. "The engineering of food with sustainable development goals:policies, curriculums, business models, and practices," Post-Print hal-02919820, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02919820
    DOI: 10.1080/19397038.2020.1722765
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