Welcome to the 2014 ETP 'Food for Life' newsletter. In this issue you will find information about our upcoming stakeholder meeting on 3 December 2014, where we will present our newly revised Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda reflecting the new challenges and opportunities for the food sector.
The ETP 'Food for Life' will also participate in the next ETPs' Workshop on 14 November 2014, organised by the European Commission in order to explore the benefits of cross-platform collaboration. Indeed, our vision is shared by other European initiatives, e.g. the Bioeconomy Panel, ERA-Nets, EIP-AGRI, JPIs, ETPs, etc and therefore collaboration among platforms is crucial and it is something that we will continue fostering in the future. This becomes even more necessary when preparing for the functioning of the food-related KIC to be launched in 2016.
This issue contains also updated information on EU research and innovation projects where we are involved.
I wish you an enjoyable read.
Dr Michael Knowles
ETP 'Food for Life' Chairperson
Save the Date for our European Technology Platform 'Food for Life' Stakeholder meeting on 3 December 2014 at the Hotel Silken Berlaymont in Brussels.
The revision of the ETP Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda will be presented at this event, where we will bring together all stakeholders in the European food chain in order to identify new and emerging possibilities for research and funding.
This document is intended to illustrate best practice in ensuring the legal compliance of printed cartons intended for packaging food products. It is aimed at individuals who have responsibility for ensuring the compliance of printed cartons with food contact legislation. The purpose of this document is to encourage an appropriate dialogue and sharing of compliance information between food producers and their packaging suppliers. It can be consulted here.
This document is intended to illustrate best practice in relation to the use and selection of recycled paper and board for food contact packaging. It is aimed at individuals who have responsibility for ensuring the compliance of paper and board food packaging items with food contact legislation. The purpose of this document is to encourage a 'risk evaluation' to assess the suitability of a given item of recycled paper packaging, for use with a specific food product in given packaging format and also to encourage an appropriate dialogue between food producers and their packaging suppliers. It can be consulted here.
The group of 11 leading EU-level associations, including FoodDrinkEurope, presented their joint declaration, entitled: 'Food for Thought: A Vision for unlocking the potential of agriculture and food industries in the EU', at a reception on 23 September 2014 in the European Parliament hosted by influential MEPs from across the political spectrum. Specifically, the joint vision calls for:
You can read this joint declaration here.
- Fostering agricultural and food chain research to sustain innovation;
- Promoting the creation and protection of jobs in the agri-food sector;
- Taking into account the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability in every EU policy measure;
- Supporting the role of Chief Scientific Adviser both at EU and national level.
FoodDrinkEurope has published a short brochure outlining the priorities of Europe’s food and drink manufacturers for the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU, which runs until 31 December 2014. The food and drink industry’s priorities for this new Presidency are grouped across four key policy areas, namely: promoting a competitive food and drink industry, encouraging balanced diets and healthy lifestyles, ensuring a science-based approach and fostering a more sustainable business model. Some of the priorities outlined in the brochure include:
- Encouraging the development and implementation of an integrated EU Industrial Policy for food and drink;
- Ensuring that the food and drink industry is duly consulted during the implementation discussions about the new EU labelling rules, in particular with regard to those implementing measures which have a direct impact on food and drink manufacturing;
- Driving forward discussions on the proposed Novel Food Regulation, while making sure that this new proposal takes into consideration those elements where consensus in a previous draft has already been reached;
- Supporting a more cohesive approach to safeguarding the sustainability of food systems for future generations.
You can download the full brochure at this link.
Last May FoodDrinkEurope published its Data and Trends report for 2013-2014, where it offers a comprehensive picture of the structure and economics of the sector. This edition, the twelfth so far, shows that the sector remains stable, resilient and robust despite the crisis, and one of the very few to produce above its 2008 output level.
You can download the report here.
National Technology Platforms Meetings
The 14th, 15th and 16th meetings of the ETP 'Food for Life' National Technology Platform took place in September 2013, April 2014 and October 2014 respectively.
14th NTPs meeting, September 2013
The 14th 'Food for Life' National Technology Platform meeting took place on 2 September 2013 in Brussels. The meeting was attended by about 50 people from 23 NTPs.
15th NTPs meeting, April 2014
The 15th 'Food for Life' National Technology Platform meeting took place on 11 March 2014 in Athens. The meeting was attended by about 20 people from Bosnia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Ukraine.
16th NTPs meeting, October 2014
The 16th 'Food for Life' National Technology Platform meeting took place on 6 October 2014 in Turin. The meeting was attended by 26 people from 17 NPTs.
During these meetings several subjects were discussed, including the revision of the ETP 'Food for Life' Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and possible dissemination actions of the outcome of the research projects initiated/proposed by the ETP 'Food for Life'.
The minutes and the presentations are available on the ETP 'Food for Life' website.
The 15th and 16th 'Food for Life' Mirror Group meetings took place in Brussels on 19 May and 22 October 2014 respectively. The meetings were attended by the representatives from the funding agencies of different European countries.
Among other issues, the revision of the ETP 'Food for Life' Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and the national process for preparing for the Horizon 2020 programme and for adaptation to the new funding tools were discussed.
Biomarkers in Nutrition and Health (BioNH) was launched in April 2014. It represents the third Joint Action of the JPI HDHL and the first Joint Action in research area 2 'Diet and food production'. The main objective of BioNH is to support interdisciplinary research and innovative approaches for the validation of biomarkers and the investigation of intake/exposure and nutritional status of biomarkers within nutrition and health.
At the end of this year, two projects will be launched on this topic: MIRDIET and FOODBALL.
More detailed information can be found on the JPI HDHL website.
Following the Steering Committee meeting in July 2014, 11 projects out of 39 full proposals received have been selected under the ERA-NET Plus action 'Climate Smart Agriculture: Adaptation of agricultural systems in Europe' co-funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission. The consortia that have been recommended for funding are Climate-CAFE, CINDERELLA, GENOMITE, ClimBar, ClimGen, CAOS, PptiBarn, SYBRACLIM, GreenRice, GrassLandscape, and MODCARBOSTRESS.
FACCE-JPI is now preparing a 2nd Knowledge Hub on plant disease epidemiology under climate change and a Knowledge Network on the development of options for sustainable intensification of European crop (both major and minor crops) and livestock systems.
For more information about this JPI please visit the FACCE-JPI website.
The SUSFOOD ERA-NET aims at developing research to increase sustainability in food and drink sector by using a multi-disciplinary approach.
The SUSFOOD ERA-NET aims at developing research to increase sustainability in food and drink sector by using a multi-disciplinary approach.
The 2nd Joint Call for transnational research projects of the SUSFOOD ERA-Net was launched in February 2014, covering the following topics:
- Topic 1: Innovation in food processing technologies
- Topic 2: Redesign input, waste and side flow strategies to increase resource efficiency and provide added value in food processing, manufacture etc.
- Topic 3: Interdisciplinary research approach to innovative food products and use of new raw materials for food product
After a relevance check of the submitted pre-proposals, several project consortia were invited to submit a Full Proposal by 1 August 2014. The selected projects will tentatively start between November 2014 and April 2015.
Furthermore, the SUSFOOD final conference took place in Paris in October 2014. The main objective of this event was to introduce the main tools produced by SUSFOOD and especially the main research topics contributing to increase sustainability in European food sector.
For more information please visit the SUSFOOD website.
The European Innovation Partnership (EIP) 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability' provides a working interface for innovation actors, including farmers, advisors, agri-business, civil society, and researchers, working at EU, national and regional level. FoodDrinkEurope is represented at the EIP High Level Steering Board and Sherpa Group. The EIP acts as a catalyst to enhance the effectiveness of innovation-related actions aiming to foster enhanced productivity and sustainable resource management across the whole value chain.
To assist these innovative actions the Service Point has set-up three new Focus Groups:
- Optimising the profitability of crop production through Ecological Focus Areas;
- Innovative Short Food Supply Chain management;
- IPM practices for soil borne diseases suppression in arable crops, both in greenhouse and open field
These topics join the list of the existing Focus Groups on Animal husbandry (reduction of anti-biotic use in the pig sector); Fertiliser efficiency; Genetic resources; High Nature Value; IPM for Brassica; Organic farming (optimising arable yields); Permanent grassland; Precision farming; Protein crops; Soil organic matter.
For more information please visit the EIP-AGRI website.
The European Bioeconomy Panel, in which Ms Beate Kettlitz takes part, aims at supporting interactions between different policy areas, sectors and stakeholders in the bioeconomy.
The European Bioeconomy Panel aims at supporting interactions between different policy areas, sectors and stakeholders in the bioeconomy. Because the bioeconomy is made up of many different sectors of the economy, it is difficult for any one expert or organisation to have a complete overview. The Bioeconomy Panel meets that challenge by bringing together, in one group, people with different perspectives and areas of expertise.
The panel is composed of 30 experts from different groups: business and producers, policy-makers and public administrations, scientists and researchers, and civil society organisations. The ETP 'Food for Life' is represented on the Bioeconomy Panel by Ms Beate Kettlitz (Food Policy, Science and R&D Director at FoodDrinkEurope).
Up to date, the panel has written two issues papers, one on biomass supply and one on market-making in the bioeconomy, which were published in a document called 'Where next for the Bioeconomy?' together with a report from the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) and launched during the Third BioEconomy Stakeholders' Conference.
For more information on the Bioeconomy Panel, please view this link.
In line with the EU strategy 'Innovating for Sustainable growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe', fostering an understanding of the bioeconomy as an inter-connected system and inspiring and enabling different actors to take further concrete actions to build the EU bioeconomy are key objectives for the European Commission.
Within this framework, the third Bioeconomy Stakeholders Conference, in which Ms Mella Frewen (Director General of FoodDrinkEurope) was an invited speaker, was hosted by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in collaboration with the European Commission, on 8-9 October 2014 in Turin (Italy). This Conference triggered discussion on how to integrate the concept of the Bioeconomy into European policies, fostering stronger policy coordination in a top-down approach at national, regional and local level, in light of the EU 2020 strategy, the Horizon 2020 overarching goal and the Smart Specialization Strategy.
The Conference gathered experts and a wide range of stakeholders from industry, academia and end-users to discuss about the routes to close the industrial research-market gap and maximize the knowledge-based development potential of local regions in the following Bioeconomy key areas:
- Primary Production: the role of agriculture, forestry and marine resources, Agro-food by-products and waste as additional biomass sources;
- Biomass Transformation and Integrated Biorefineries;
- Horizontal key elements needed for a strong Bioeconomy in Europe;
- Innovation and key supporting measures;
- Implementation tools at national and regional level.
ECOTROPHELIA Europe 2014
ECOTROPHELIA Europe brings together the worlds of Higher Education, Research and Food Industry. As in previous years, winners from each of the participating country have presented their innovative products.
ECOTROPHELIA Europe brings together the worlds of Higher Education, Research and Food Industry. Since 2011, within the framework of the European Food Innovation Student Awards, more than 60 national finals have been organised by 550 universities involving 3,000 students.
As in previous years, winners from each of the participating country have presented their innovative products to an international jury chaired by Dr. Michael Knowles (Chair of the ETP 'Food for Life'), which has awarded four distinctions:
- Gold award to France (Montpellier Supagro) for DuoMarin-Les Lardons de la Mer: duos of fresh fish in the shape of a 'lardon'.
- Silver award to Romania (Stefan Cel Mare University of Suceava) for TopIce: ice cream with topinambur and sea buckthorn: a dairy dessert frozen through a special method, containing natural ingredients.
- Bronze award to Greece (Agricultural University of Athens) for CAROBITES: a functional, indulgent, sweet snack based on carob, with low glycemic load.
- Special Prize «Coup de Coeur» Innovation for the most innovative project is awarded by the Département de Vaucluse to Germany (Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe – Lemgo) for Droptail: a frozen cocktail concentrate with liqueur balls for the fast preparation of a cool drink.
These teams have been awarded with financial support to help to commercialize and implement their project with interested European companies, including SMEs. Forty products born through previous editions of ECOTROPHELIA have been subject to industrial transfers and marketed in collaboration with food processing and distribution companies.
For general information on the competition, please view this link.
Responses to 2014 Consultations
FoodDrinkEurope and the ETP 'Food for Life' have contributed to the consultations of stakeholders launched by the European Commission during the development of each detailed funding call for Horizon 2020.
FoodDrinkEurope and the ETP 'Food for Life' have contributed to the following consultation of stakeholders launched by the European Commission during the development of each detailed funding call for Horizon 2020:
Societal Challenge 1 'Health, demographic change and wellbeing'. Our response referred to:
You can read the whole document here.
- the key role of the diet for improving health promotion and disease prevention;
- the provision of healthy foods that suit the changing needs of the European consumer;
- the beneficial effect of promoting research in diet-related areas on society.
Societal Challenge 2 'Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy'. Our response related to the following three areas:
You can read the whole document here.
- the need of a higher focus on 'Food processing, packaging, safety and food chain management';
- the integration in research between processing, food quality and safety, nutrition/health and sustainability;
- the link between the thorough understanding of consumer behaviours related to food choice with concrete and actionable policy relevant to product development, chain innovation and policy innovation.
Societal Challenge 5 'Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials'. Our response referred to:
You can read the whole document here.
- Food security under climate change;
- An innovative bio-economy to support the “green growth” strategy, combining economic growth, natural resource preservation, highly efficient resource utilisation in well integrated value chains and greenhouse gas reduction;
- Environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
Future and Emerging Technologies. Our response identified some emerging technologies as potential manufacturing solutions to the needs and challenges of the food industry. You can read the whole document here.
This FP7 project aims at performing a Conceptual Design Study in order to provide the basis for decision making for a European Food Manufacturing Research Infrastructure.
This FP7 project was born from a join initiative of the European Technology Platforms ‘Food for Life' and ‘ManuFuture’ and aims at performing a Conceptual Design Study in order to provide the basis for decision making for a European Food Manufacturing Research Infrastructure.
FoodManufuture is now finalised. The main outcomes of this project were the development of a Conceptual Design Report explaining the concept of the Food Factory of the Future; the identification of needs for the food sector, which have solutions (available, short term and long term) from other sectors that need adaption; and the identification of research infrastructures in Europe and access to the Hightech Europe database.
FoodManufuture final deliverables are now available for downloading at this link.
PROMETHEUS has released its final report, announcing the results of its 3 year investigations into how major food processing contaminants form and how this can be monitored and mitigated.
'PROcess contaminants: Mitigation and Elimination Techniques for High food quality and their Evaluation Using Sensors & Simulation' (PROMETHEUS) project released in May 2014 its final report, announcing the results of its 3 year investigations into how major food processing contaminants form and how this can be monitored and mitigated. This EU scientific research project was developed with the objective to help the European food industry reduce consumer exposure to food processing contaminants without affecting food quality or microbiological safety. Since the beginning of the project in May 2011 till now, new technologies and strategies were developed with a view to use them in industrial applications. Infant formulas, biscuits, canned baby foods, and canned fish and vegetables had been chosen as food models.
The research outcomes reveal promising opportunities to further mitigate process contaminants by developing new products and using innovative technologies and testing methods. They will eventually help the industry to innovate by implementing new technologies in order to better control the safety and overall quality of food products.
For the complete results of the PROMETHEUS project click here.
The 'New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of elderly population for a healthy ageing in Europe' (NU-AGE) project intends to investigate nutrition as a modulator of inflammageing and other age-related outcomes.
The 'New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of elderly population for a healthy ageing in Europe' (NU-AGE) project intends to investigate nutrition as a modulator of inflammageing and other age-related outcomes. It seeks to demonstrate the how to, by dietary means, counteract and/or slow down the process of ageing, including decline of cognitive function, cardiovascular and digestive disease development, reduced bone density, immunity and muscle mass.
Based on the knowledge gained about influences of diet on ageing and its potential to prevent age-related disease, foods designed especially for elderly consumers will be developed and the best ways to communicate dietary recommendations to those over 65 will be explored.
To know more about this FP7 project please visit the NU-AGE website.
The 'Traditional Food Network to improve the transfer of knowledge for innovation' (TRAFOON) project aims at establishing a knowledge transfer network to support traditional food producing SMEs.
The 'Traditional Food Network to improve the transfer of knowledge for innovation' (TRAFOON) project aims at establishing a knowledge transfer network with a focus on food products made of grains, fish, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms to support traditional food producing SMEs. The TRAFOON network will interlink researchers, knowledge transfer agents, and SME associations in 14 European countries to foster sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector of traditional foods for the benefit of the regions of Europe and the European consumer.
To know more about this FP7 project please visit the TRAFOON website.
TRADEIT is an FP7 project focused upon the development of a Network of Traditional Food Producing SMEs across Europe.
TRADEIT is an FP7 project focused upon the development of a Network of Traditional Food Producing SMEs across Europe. Its aim is to enable traditional food producing SMEs to engage in Innovation, adopt new technologies and processes in the area of food safety, quality, packaging, waste, water and energy management. The topics covered include supply chain management, product development, Innovation, IPR and related legal issues for the traditional food sector, Smart Technology in traditional food production systems and the optimisation of facility design and production protocols. Sector specific technologies, e.g. Dairy, Meat and Bakery are also addressed in this project.
The assembled network benefits from the various training opportunities in the form of workshops, demonstrations, and conferences offered by the project. Regional Knowledge and Technology Transfer Hubs have been established in the partner countries at which the training events take place. Furthermore, each Hub will have a TRADEIT advisor which will support regional SMEs to integrate the information gained or technologies identified in the training events into their business practice.
For more information about this project please visit the TRADEIT website.
The FP7 MyNewGut Project researches how the human gut microbiota and its genome influence obesity, behavioural- and lifestyle-related disorders and vice versa. It also aims to identify specific dietary strategies to improve the long-term health of the population.
MyNewGut (Microbiome's influence on energy balance and brain development/function put into action to tackle diet-related diseases and behaviour) is an FP7 project researching how the human gut microbiota and its genome (microbiome) influence obesity, behavioural- and lifestyle-related disorders and vice versa. It also aims to identify specific dietary strategies to improve the long-term health of the population.
The general objectives of the project are to:
- Expand knowledge of the contribution of the human microbiome to nutrient metabolism and energy balance.
- Identify microbiome-related features that contribute to or predict obesity and associated disorders.
- Understand how the gut microbiome, under the influence of environmental factors, plays a role in the brain, metabolic and immune system development in early life and long-term health consequences.
- Provide proof-of-concepts of the disease risk and reduction potential of dietary interventions with new food products and ingredients that target the gut microbiome, in humans.
The ETP 'Food for Life' is a member of the User Advisory Board, which, together with the Scientific Advisory Board, help maximising the output of the MyNewGut project by acting as consultative platforms and disseminator of MyNewGut results.
For more information about this project please visit MyNewGut website.
FutureNanoNeeds is an FP7 project aimed to develop a novel framework to enable naming, classification, hazard and environmental impact assessment of the next generation nanomaterials prior to their widespread industrial use.
The 'Framework to respond to regulatory needs of future nanomaterials and markets' (FutureNanoNeeds) FP7 project aims to facilitate naming, classification, hazard and environmental
impact assessment of the next generation nanomaterials prior to their widespread industrial use. It will achieve this by integrating concepts from several well established contiguous domains to develop a robust, versatile and adaptable naming approach, coupled with a full assessment of all known biological protective responses as the basis for a decision tree for screening potential impacts of nanomaterials at all stages of their lifecycle. Together, these tools will form the basis of a “value chain” regulatory process which allows a each nanomaterial to be assessed for different applications on the basis of available data and the specific exposure and life cycle concerns for that application. Exemplar materials from emerging nano-industry sectors, such as energy, construction and agriculture will be evaluated via this process as demonstrators.
The ETP 'Food for Life' is a member of the Value Chain Advisory Committee, which will help in the development of the project by promoting multi-stakeholder dialogues between researchers, large industry, SME, and other experts and by prioritising value chains for FutureNanoNeeds.
For more information about this project, please visit the FutureNanoNeeds website.
RECAPT and Connect4Action
The joint final conference of RECAPT and Connect4Action FP7 projects, themed 'Collaborative Innovation in the Food Sector' took place in October 2014.
The joint final conference of RECAPT and Connect4Action FP7 projects, themed 'Collaborative Innovation in the Food Sector' took place on 29 October 2014 in Brussels. This event was focused on how innovation in the food sector is changing towards collaborative innovation in networks. Two parallel sessions were organised on 'Promising novel technologies' and 'How to improve communication during the innovation process'. Other issues discussed were:
- Consumer acceptance of novel technologies;
- The role for communication in supporting the success of the innovation;
- Which tools can be provided to facilitate such communication;
- How retailer and caterers can be important resources in the innovation process.
This joint conference ended with a keynote speech by Ms Beate Kettlitz (Food Policy, Science and R&D Director at FoodDrinkEurope).
More information about these projects can be found in RECAPT website and Connect4Action website.