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B-Phot researcher L. Smeesters wins BIR&D Award in Science & Technology for research on food safety


More than 200 persons from industry, universities and research centres celebrated the 10thanniversary of Belgian Industrial Research & Development (BiR&D) in the Palace of Academy on March 20th , 2018, in presence of His Majesty the King, Minister Muyters and Minister Marcourt.

And each year, BiR&D grants two awards to doctoral students that, besides their excellent scientific level, have a strong multidisciplinary character and have a potential for industrialisation. His Majesty the King Philippe showed great interest in their work.

Lien Smeesters, postdoc researcher at VUB B-PHOT Brussels Photonics, received the BiR&D Award in Science & Technology 2017-2018 for her work on “Improving food safety with optical screening”.

The detection of harmful constituents in our food, as for example acrylamide in French fries production or mycotoxins in cereals, is of major importance. Lien pursued a non-destructive detection of these harmful products using photonics or light-technology, by studying the interaction of laser light with the food products. More specifically, the innovative laser scanner is able to identify the harmful constituents in a fast and accurate way, without damaging the healthy food products, contributing to an increased food safety.

About BiR&D

Belgian Industrial Research & Development (BiR&D) is an association of 25 industrial multinational companies with major R&D activities in Belgium: 3M, AB Inbev, AGC, Atlas Copco, Baxter, Bekaert, Cargill, Carmeuse, Coca-Cola, Deme, Engie, Etex, GSK, Janssen Pharma, Lhoist, Magotteaux, Nokia, Ocas, P&G, Puratos, Recticel, Solvay, Total, UCB, Umicore.

Agoria, essenscia and GRD (Groupe Recherche et Développement) are associated members.

Together, our members represent 9.200 direct FTE’s in R&D in Belgium. This figure doesn’t take into account the multiplier effect of the collaborations with universities, research centres and other actors. BiR&D’s mission is to stimulate and improve both the attractiveness and the effectiveness of industrial R&D in Belgium leveraging collaborative innovation against a background of international R&D competition.

More info on www.birdbelgium.com