Living Lab TRANSDAIRY: Researchers & Young Entrepreneurs pitch their future spin-offs in Tunisia


As part of the activities of the TRANSDAIRY Living Lab (Bio/Nano & ICT) of the Higher School of Engineers of Medjez El Bab (ESIM), ESIM in collaboration with the associate partner Livestock and Pasture Office (OEP) has organized a workshop entitled "Pitch your Spin-off" on July 07, 2022, at Tunis Grand Hotel, Tunis. This workshop is a closing event of the TRANSDAIRY formative session organized by the Living Lab ESIM AND implemented for 3 months. The objectives of this event were project pitching, the exchange of ideas, and the coaching of the researchers and young entrepreneurs by the experts of the focus group and the trainers.

The workshop started with the opening speech of Prof. Hassen Kharroubi, General Director of ESIM, and Mr. Ezzeddine Chalghaf, General Director of OEP. They recalled the challenges related to the dairy value chain and stressed the importance of better coordination between research and development in order to meet consumer needs.

Subsequently, Dr. Fatma Trabelsi, director of communication and dissemination of the TRANSDAIRY project, and the ESIM coordinator took the floor to present the future activities of the project. She highlighted the opportunities and grants that the project will offer for the next period.

The inaugural session was closed with the intervention of Mr. Karim Rejeb, the head of the BK training office who presented the training sessions, the challenges, the courses, and the progress of the participants in relation to the creation of their businesses models.

After that, the conference was followed by two Pitching sessions.

Dr. Imen Ghram's first pitch focused on "biosensors", then  Dr. Mouna Boulares from ESIAT presented the valorization of acorns for dairy animals’ alimentation.

Followed by the pitch of Dr. Imen Mahmoudi from ESIAT who works on the production of probiotic lactic ferments.

Afterward, Ph.D. student Asma Bezzezi from ESIAT presented her innovative idea, which consists of the use of aromatic and medicinal plants as bio-preservatives in the cheese sector.

Then, Dr. Ichrak CHARFI, a member of the Innovation and Valorization Laboratory for the Sustainable Food Industry presented her project idea, which focuses on the transformation of donkey milk.

Then, the doctoral student and entrepreneur Maha Bargaoui pitched her project to substitute animal rennet with vegetable rennet for the production of cheeses.

The second part of the pitching was initiated by the engineer Hajer Briki who presented her e-commerce platform for the sale of local dairy products.

Afterward, Dr. Akila Khélifi, from the Research Center in Microelectronics and Bio-nanotechnology of Sousse presented the long electronics for the detection of antibiotics in milk.

Chained by the pitch of Dr. Rim El Jeni from Pasteur Institute which concerns the production of probiotic bacteria to be used as a food additive, intended for animal feed.

Finally, the entrepreneur Haifa Khalfaoui showed  Smart farm solutions for the early detection of diseases in cows.

The pitching sessions were animated by debates during which questions were asked to the speakers and advice and recommendations were offered by senior researchers in Bio/Nano, ICT, and DVC, expert in intellectual property and innovation process, experts in the spin-off creation, industrial in DVC and communication coach.

The workshop was closed with the delivery of training certificates to participants.