Joint Call Towards Sustainable and Organic Food Systems

This Joint Call by ERA-NET Cofund CORE Organic and Cofund SUSFOOD2 was initiated under the premise that attaining food security and high quality nutrition standards for food in the future will require a transition from current linear food production systems, to sustainable, cyclical oriented systems that also respond to consumers demand for a diverse, healthy, safe and attractive diet. SUSFOOD2 defines sustainability of food systems as “A food system that supports food security, makes optimal use of natural and human resources, and respects biodiversity and ecosystems for present and future generations, and which is culturally acceptable and accessible, environmentally sound and economically fair and viable, and provides the consumer with nutritionally adequate, safe, healthy and affordable food”. Likewise, CORE Organic´s work is guided by the principles of organic agriculture: ecology, care, health, and fairness; the network shares the vision and the values of SUSFOOD2 in defining the sustainability of food systems.

The Joint Call is for transnational research project proposals and is based on funding from participating countries of both networks and international partner countries. The joint network consists of 22 funding bodies from 18 countries/regions committing €10.585 million for transnational research.

The following partner countries are providing funds for the Call: Algeria, Belgium (Flanders), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Morocco, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Interested project consortia should apply to one of the following four topics:

Topic 1: Resource-efficient, circular and zero-waste food systems

Topic 2: Diversity in food from field to plate

Topic 3: Mild food processing

Topic 4: Sustainable and smart packaging

Proposals must create added value for sustainable and organic food systems in line with the objectives of both ERA-NETs. In addition, the transition towards sustainable food systems will need close consideration of the following cross-cutting issues which should be taken into account across all topics and be individually adapted to each project in order to increase the project’s value and impact:

Multi-actor-approach: Involve different actors and stakeholders in the research project from the outset (by means of participation as well as transparent communication).

Multi-disciplinary approach: Take account of different viewpoints and involve actors from the disciplines beyond an existing network.

System approach: Consider interconnections, synergies or trade-offs between different aspects or actors that directly or indirectly affect the field of research on a systems level (eg economic, environmental, social, legislative, geographical, behavioural, business environment, etc).

Research consortia must be comprised of a minimum of three independent legal entities from a minimum of three different SF/CO partner countries participating with funding in a specific topic. Research consortia are encouraged to consider the cross-cutting issues as well as good geographical coverage in order to strengthen the impact of a project proposal.

The maximum budget that can be requested is €1.5 million per research proposal, but in-kind contributions may be added on top of this amount. Applicants cannot request more funds than have been allocated for each country by a respective funding body on a specific topic. National regulations and priorities might set further limits.

Projects should tentatively start in September 2020 and end in August 2023 (maximum 36 months).

The deadline for submission of pre-proposals is 4 November 2019 (3pm CET).

A webinar for interested applicants will take place on 20 September 2019.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.