Innovations for Sustainable Nutrition – New BMEL Call to Battle Food Waste and Overconsumption

New national funding call supports research and development projects in Germany that develop concepts, measures and tools that help consumers commit to a more sustainable diet.

Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL – German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture) launched its new call ‘Innovations for Sustainable Nutrition’ (Innovationen für eine nachhaltigere Ernährung) as part of its overarching Innovation Funding Programme. The call’s aim is to make healthy and sustainable eating in Germany easy and natural for consumers. For this, it intends to support the development of healthier and more sustainable food environments and eating patterns. It also aims to strengthen nutritional competencies of consumers and make it easier for them to make healthy and sustainable choices. Furthermore, the call aims to promote the reduction of food waste, the development of foods and meals for healthy, needs-based and sustainable nutrition and the increased usage of seasonal, organic and animal-friendly community catering.

The call covers two main thematic areas:

  • Innovations in the design of food environments and development of individual nutritional competencies, including nudging, gamification, approaches to portion sizes and development of sustainable menus, diets, meals and products with a focus on plant-based low-processed foods.
  • Innovations for the avoidance of food waste and other types of waste along the food supply chain, including primary production, processing, wholesale, retail, catering and private household usage. For this, BMEL also welcomes participatory and Citizen Science approaches.

To be considered for funding, projects must be application-oriented and produce insights and research results that may be implemented in novel technologies, products or services. They should also contribute to the implementation of research results in politics, society and industry.

Eligible for funding are the following types of organisations in Germany:

  • Commercial businesses including small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
  • Institutions of higher education.
  • Non-educational research and development institutions.

All projects must include a significant participation of industry partners. The involvement of international partners is also possible; however, foreign partners are not eligible for BMEL funding, and the commercial exploitation of project results must focus on Germany. The participation of start-up companies is particularly encouraged.

Funding is provided in the form of a non-refundable project subsidy on the basis of project-related eligible costs. Funding levels are determined by the type of applicant and the type of project carried out. Generally, BMEL covers project-related personnel, material and travel costs, as well as instrumentation, equipment and third-party subcontracts.

The scheme comprises a two-stage application process, with an initial invitation for outline proposals followed by the submission of a formal funding application for selected candidates.

The deadline for the submission of outline proposals is 28 February 2023 (12:00 CET).

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)