Der Cross Innovation Hub wird mit Mitteln aus dem Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) co-finanziert.

food industry

apetito: New business fields through smart products

In the Cross Innovation Class, students from the disciplines of design, sound and smart technology developed new solutions to improve the service benefits of food catering for senior citizens.


Smart products set new standards in terms of aesthetics, emotion and experience. They interact with the user and adapt to individual needs. In order to meet these success criteria, interdisciplinary team constellations are required. This has been recognised by apetito, a company for communal catering. They relied on the input of interdisciplinary student teams in the Cross Innovation Class.

An important market of apetito is the catering of senior citizens at home. In the Cross Innovation Class, students developed new solutions to increase the service value of food catering for senior citizens and their relatives.


Two teams with students from three different universities and colleges worked on the company's challenge in the Cross Innovation Class. Due to the different team competencies, technically functional prototypes could be created in a single semester.

Team Tavoletta developed a smart tablet to expand the service offering with the following functions: Opening the door, announcing the driver, informing relatives of the amount of food eaten/nutritional values, connecting with other apetito customers via video telephony in order to establish and maintain social contacts.

Team Tito developed a smart drinking cup to prevent the dehydration problem that many elderly people suffer from. The cup measures the amount of liquid drunk by an integrated scale and reminds of drinking with optical and acoustic signals.

Format & Method

In the Cross Innovation Class, students from three to six different universities work in interdisciplinary teams on the practical challenges of the project partners.

  • The process follows the logic of design thinking: through iterative feedback loops with the partners, the teams approach a solution step by step.
  • The entire process is guided by the Cross Innovation Hub team and supervised by trained facilitators.
  • Prototypes can be created and tested in the workshops of the partner universities.

The Cross Innovation Class #2 will take place in winter semester 2019/20 on the topic of Smart City Solutions.

Our partner: apetito

apetito AG is a medium-sized provider of catering solutions based in Rheine. The enterprise works on nutrition solutions for humans in different life phases and - situations. Today, the company is one of the market leaders in the field of day care, school catering and catering for the elderly.

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Theo Haustein


Theo Haustein

Cross Innovation Hub

T+49 40 879 7986 23