IFTNEXT Session Highlights

IFTNEXT powered by Ingredion

Inspiring Innovation to Feed the Future and Beyond

IFTNEXT is an exciting IFT initiative focused on providing engaging and provocative year-long programming and content designed to challenge you to think big and be bold. It is about challenging, re-examining and inspiring original thought. It’s about engaging passionate, creative, forward thinking individuals in conversations and activities that provoke a better understanding of how global, transdisciplinary collaboration can advance and instill innovation in the science of the food to advance real-world global challenges.

Fuel your passion for the science of food through our thought-provoking IFT17 IFTNEXT presentations, panel discussions, exhibitions and Start-Up Alley where you can meet one-on-one with a leading group of cutting-edge entrepreneurs developing some of the most innovative products and solutions. We’ll also have the IFTNEXT iHub (“I” for ideas!) where you’ll be able to connect with peers to share new ideas, reconnect with friends, or relax and recharge.

Below is just a sample of what you will experience though our featured IFT17 IFTNEXT programming.

IFTNEXT is made possible through the generous support of Ingredion, IFT’s Platinum Innovation Sponsor.

IFTNEXT Sessions Descriptions, Dates and Presenter Bios


Design Thinking

Design Thinking for Food: A Groundbreaking Pilot Course to Develop the Next Generation of Food Innovators
Monday, June 26, 10:30 a.m.

Join Dr. Lauren Shimek, Founder and CEO of Food.Tech.Design, for a flash demo of the design thinking tools for food innovation. In this session we’ll go from problem statement to prototype in less than an hour and hear impact stories from food science students using these tools. Session will include a show and tell and on the spot rapid prototyping.

About Dr. Lauren Shimek
Dr. Shimek is an experienced innovation leader who uses human-centered design, cross-disciplinary collaboration and technical expertise to create strategic, breakthrough food and beverage products and to drive innovation culture within organizations.

David Behringer

The $250 Billion R&D Problem
Monday, June 26, 1-1:30 p.m.

In his IFTNEXT presentation, Dave Behringer of Pilot Lite Ventures, will discuss the challenges facing food and beverage R&D in the midst of unprecedented disruption and market loss. In this era of mega-mergers pressured with double-digit margin enhancement, massive R&D reductions and zero-based budgeting, billion-dollar investments in tech startups are stealing the innovation spotlight. Companies that don’t have the size or resources to compete on margin reduction through cost-cutting have an opportunity to drive profitability through innovation. This presentation will challenge companies to rethink how they utilize stranded and underutilized IP and present a new model for R&D that offers an opportunity to develop stand-alone returns and greater innovation activity. He’ll share a roadmap for reestablishing the R&D function not only as a cost center but as a viable, valuable and financeable business model in its own right.

Presenter: David Behringer is an award-winning innovator and R&D professional with a 25-year portfolio of experience as a corporate intrapreneur at one of the world’s top food companies, an entrepreneur at a food tech startup and now, CEO of Pilot Lite Ventures USA, a part GE-owned international venture management company.


A Conversation with Andrew Pelling
Monday, June 26, 2-3 p.m.

Dr. Pelling, scientist, professor, entrepreneur and renowned TED Senior Fellow will provide a talk to unapologetically challenge your curiosity and inspire your creativity.

About Andrew Pelling
Scientist, professor, entrepreneur and TED Senior Fellow Andrew Pelling has built a career on unapologetic curiosity, creativity and serendipity. He is a professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, where he founded and directs a curiosity-driven research lab that brings together artists, scientists, social scientists and engineers. Pelling is also the co-founder and CTO of Spiderwort Inc., a mission driven company developing open source platforms to enable the widespread and global adoption of biological research in all environments and economic contexts. Most recently, he founded pHacktory, a street-level research lab in Ottawa that amplifies community ideas through a potent mixture of craft, serendipity and curiosity.

Food Material Discussion

Ideal Food Material Specification
Monday, June 26, 4-5 p.m.

Panel Participants include:

Mahati Elluru, Maxine Jasmine Roman, Kimberly Sheridan, Scott Riefler, BS; Linda Papadopoulos, Mei-Ling Shotts


Consumer Trends

Consumer Trends in 2017
Tuesday, June 27, 10:30 - 11:00 .a.m.

What people want and what they do are often at odds. Joseph Clayton from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) will give us a sneak peak of the IFIC’s Foundation’s 2017 Food & Health Survey (in its 12th year!) to gain a better understanding of what consumers think about food and nutrition.

About Joseph Clayton
Joseph Clayton serves as Chief Executive Officer of the International Food Information Council (IFIC), a trade association that provides research, science communications and issues management to food, beverage and agriculture companies.  Prior to joining IFIC, Clayton served as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs at the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), which represents the public policy and regulatory interests of the $70 billion frozen food and beverage market segment.  Prior to AFFI, he served as Executive Vice President at Golin International and led the agency’s public and corporate affairs practices in Washington, DC.

Without Borders

Food Technologists Without Borders—A Compelling Concept
Tuesday, June 27, 11:15 - 12:15 p.m.

IFT and Feeding Tomorrow Foundation are collaborating with several not-for-profit organizations to set up volunteer programs that leverage the technical knowledge of the IFT community to provide scalable, sustainable, safe and nutritious food technology solutions for people and regions in need.

Moderated by Bernhard Van Lengerich, join this panel discussion where panelists Alexandra Spieldoch, CEO of Compatible Technology International; Jeff Dykstra, CEO Partners in Food Solutions; Betty Bugusu, Ph.D. from Purdue University and Dr. Erika Smith, Director of the Center for Technology Creation at General Mills will discuss this compelling concept.

GMO so what

GMOs….So What? Part I
Tuesday, June 27, 1:15 - 1:45 p.m.

An interactive two part presentation where audience members will be encouraged to actively participate and discuss how the GMO controversy has impacted them, their business, what it means for the future and how to better position the conversation to include sound science.

Sound Off

Sound Off! Four Industries’ Success Stories for Environmental Monitoring, Food Safety Validation and Sanitation
Tuesday, June 27, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

We’ve all seen media coverage of recent food pathogen disasters and understand the need to get in front of them. With the new Preventive Controls for Human Food it has become increasingly critical to the food industry to adequately monitor, verify and validate preventive controls including sanitation controls. Creating and maintaining an effective environmental monitoring program (EMP) can serve as an 'early warning system’ to fend off potential contamination. Learn about success stories from the dry, meat, and frozen foods sectors, and the complexities and challenges of validating sanitation controls, implementing EMPs, and creating a food safety culture.

Brian Dunning, Sanjay Gummalla, Brian Strouts, Scott Goltry, Bob Garrison

3D Print Technology

Advances in 3-D Printing
Tuesday, June 27, 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

3D printing is newly brought to the Food Technology field but has burgeoning potential for future research and development and product design. This presentation and live demonstration will include the analysis of flowability and printability of different product streams and characterization of resultant printed products; customization of 3D printing to consumer needs and preferences; and regulatory aspects of 3D printing.

Moderators and Presenters
Moderators: Mary Scerra; Moderator - Michael Okamoto, M.S. M Eng;
Presenters: Michael Okamoto, M.S. M Eng; Darryl L. Holliday, PhD CRC; Danilo Spiga, Ing.


GMO so what

GMOs….So What? Part II
Wednesday, June 28, 12:15-12:45 p.m.

An interactive presentation where audience members will be encouraged to actively participate and discuss how the GMO controversy has impacted them, their business, what it means for the future and how to better position the conversation to include sound science.


There is so much to explore, learn, and do at IFT17. Check out our helpful online planner to assist you with identifying your ideal sessions, events and activities for a customized IFT17 experience.

IFT’s Career Center Live is where you can get noticed and network with some of the top companies in food science and technology from around the globe.

The edge you need to succeed. IFT Pre-event Short Courses provide in-depth, intensive learning opportunities packed with valuable information to help you advance your knowledge and your career.

Hone your expertise and recharge your creativity with our inspirational featured sessions.