Awaken the people’s curiosity for insects

Sonja Floto-Stammen and Natalia Naranjo Guevara are scientists in nutrition and entomology who have joined their knowledge to work on ecological sustainability challenges. Both are lecturers at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Venlo and researchers in the Research Group Business Innovation. Their courses address topics around sustainable food production.

Sonja started working for the study programme Food and Flower Management in 2010, which today is re-designed to International Fresh Business Management. Her focus is on teaching a basic understanding for nutritional needs and developments as well as scientific working. Connecting these two is meant to educate critically thinking students which are able to develop products and systems suitable for the future. The most urgent challenge – producing food for the growing world population without destroying the planet – has led her to the topic of insects for food and feed. Sonja teaches courses, seminars and moderates discussion at Fontys and Maastricht University College in Venlo.

insect-valley-europe-Fontys

In February 2020, Natalia joined the research group Business Innovation. With her PhD in entomology, she was a perfect match for the research activities. Natalia has a strong background in research about insect rearing/behaviour and agricultural systems. Her experience as a researcher was built during her studies and work at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In addition to being convinced that insects are the key to achieving a more sustainable world, her ambition is to teach and awaken the people’s curiosity for these crucial animals.

During last year, Natalia and Sonja have been conducting research on how to implement insects in Western societies diets which have been vastly challenging. With their interdisciplinary group, made up of lectures, students and researchers, they construct a bridge between science and business.

This was the start of the new research field at Fontys University. It looked a bit unusual in the business school environemnt – but caught the attention of students of all study programmes. Marketing students connected with questions about the value propostion and the target group specification. International Business students conntected with businessmodel innvoation and market estimations. And International Fresh Business Management students investigating opportunities supporting the food business transition. Also the business is tightly connected to the research field of Natalia and Sonja. Projects run in collaboration with Protifarm and Feed Design Lab. And several individual connections are knit by networking on meetings like the Insect Café organdized by Insect Valley Europe.

Sonja and Natalia cooperate together with Insect Valley Europe in innovation projects and business development in the area of insects. They have built a solid work in which information is exchanged and ideas are discussed. Insect Valley Europe contributes with lectures, connections and advice to students for future jobs or internships at companies linked to Insect Valley.

Sonja Floto-Stammen en Natalia Naranjo Guevara

Fontys University of Applied Sciences

More information: https://fontys.nl/Over-Fontys/Research-Group-Business-Innovation.htm

Brightlands Greenport Venlo

Insect Valley Europe

Insectvalley Europe is de verbinder, die samen met Brighlands Greenport in Venlo een ontmoetingsplaats heeft voor start-ups, MKB’ers, wetenschappers en studenten met een gezamelijke interesse voor Gezonde & Veilige voeding (future farming en Biocirculair economy).Brightland Campus leent zich uitstekend als meetingpoint voor ‘Iedereen die ‘iets met insecten heeft’.

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