The second workshop of the Bridge builders -project was held in November at Stavanger. Its´ program dealt mainly with planning and co-writing an abstract/presentation proposal, that was accepted in December, for ICCAS 2022, (International Conference on Culinary Arts and Sciences 2022; Sustainable meal systems worldwide: Challenges for Culinary Arts and Sciences). At the coming conference, our network’s aim is to present the activities of the Bridge Builders network in order to discuss how a multidisciplinary approach can contribute with new knowledge to promote sustainable healthy aging in relation to food, nutrition, health and well-being services. We would furthermore like to invite researchers and practitioners who participate in the congress to join the network.

During our work shop we had also a chance to meet University of Stavanger´s PhD candidates, one of whom gave us an inspiring presentation of her research among the elderly. Discussions about future actions within education development were vivid as well as discussions about joint research and funding possibilities for continuing the network activities. Collaboration procedures, network theories and various approaches deserve further attention as well as strengthening the ways of sharing currently available materials.

The workshop offered us a stage to meet each other in person, an opportunity to get to know each other and our different ways of working and writing together.  The workshop was described being mind opening, it strengthened the network, helped clarify our purpose and revealed a need of future discussions and preparations. Our meeting and days at Stavanger were filled with warm Norwegian spirit and overflowing hospitality.

This spring we will continue our monthly online meetings and presentations of ongoing and future research areas related to healthy eating and aging from a holistic perspective. Also Erasmus+ exchange between several partners will go on as well as the preparation of articles and conference contributions.

Bridge Builders consists of expertise in food and nutrition research (healthy food, alternative proteins, mealtime interventions, aging) as well as in service applications and good practices (dietary habits and environments, training of social and health professionals). Participants represent Denmark (University College Copenhagen), Finland (South-Eastern University of Applied Sciences), Norway (University of Stavanger) and Sweden (Linnaeus University).

The project is funded by Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research.

Text: Sari Ranta, Xamk
Picture: Teija Rautiainen, Xamk