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Citizens’ science as an opportunity to foster the transition to sustainable food systems
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 2: Fair, Healthy and Environmentally-friendly Food Systems from Primary Production to Consumption
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
This topic is in line with the European Green Deal priorities and the farm to fork strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, as well as of the EU's climate ambition for 2030 and 2050. This will contribute to the Food 2030 priorities: nutrition for sustainable healthy diets, climate, environment, circularity and resource efficiency, innovation and empowering communities, and thriving businesses. Data-driven solutions in food systems also benefit the European Open Data Directive to share public data and envisioned data spaces as well as provide a base of AI deployment as enablers of the European Green Deal objectives.
Currently, consumers are sceptical to share data, least to the government. As there is a need for more data-driven decision making, engaging citizens in research through the provision of data on their practices, choices and attitudes towards the food system provides potential for a more direct citizen engagement in transforming food systems. The approach allows to exchange ideas, solutions, and opinions to encourage Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in driving sustainable food system transformation.
Citizen’s science is a fast-growing mode of research and innovation that can allow for enhanced food system transformation driven by engagement, trust and transparency. It can leverage relevant private relevant data to take stock of current citizens’ behaviour towards the food system, including aspects such as food consumption, marketing and food environment influence, health, mobility, regionality/locality, food-related waste generation and management, etc. by using collective intelligence.
Proposals are expected to address all the following:
- Explore the potential of ‘citizen’s science’ in the food systems domain by engaging and empowering citizens in using and providing data and technology to ensure inclusive solutions to drive sustainable food system transformation by promoting sustainable food consumption, reducing food waste, and creating a resilient food system;
- Identify the challenges and drivers encouraging citizens to share data to ensure inclusive food system transformation;
- Develop and test tools by using data and technology to enhance uptake of healthy and sustainable diets and foster sustainable food system transformation;
- Explore which data types are most useful to share (behavioural data, data from private providers, such as data gathered by relevant apps, stated data…etc.) and how to meaningfully harmonize data to use data for food system transformation by different actors, and which tools to best make use of, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) while analysing how consumer data can be shared in an anonymized and safe way complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules;
- Make concrete efforts to ensure that the data produced in the context of this project is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable), particularly in the context of real-time data feeds, exploring workflows that can provide “FAIR-by-design” data, i.e., data that is FAIR from its generation;
- Proposals should include a dedicated task, appropriate resources and a plan on how they will collaborate with other projects funded under this and the topic HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-10 “Piloting approaches and tools to empower citizens to exercise their “data rights” in the area of food and nutrition” and HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-60: “A capacity-building and brokering network to make citizen science an integral part of the European Research Area”;
- Proposals are encouraged to cooperate with actors such as the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The JRC may provide expertise on how to strengthen the relationship between scientists and European policy makers and to promote research and collaboration on food systems science.
- Connect personal data on food to other areas, such as mobility and health and identify synergies; projects shall leverage the data and services available through European Research Infrastructures federated under the European Open Science Cloud and, where relevant, establish synergies with the Data Space for smart communities and make use of open standards and technical specifications, for example the Minimum Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs Plus);
- Proposals must implement the 'multi-actor approach' and ensure adequate involvement of citizens/civil society, together with academia/research, industry/SMEs and government/public authorities and include social innovation as the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices and social ownership;
- This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.
Projects results are expected to contribute to all the following expected outcomes:
- Better understanding of citizens’ food consumption behaviour, the factors influencing choices and drivers that would facilitate changes in behaviour in an inclusive manner towards healthy and sustainable food consumption practices;
- Contribution to positive changes in individual behaviour towards healthy and sustainable food consumption and sustainable food system transformation.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
The proposals must apply the multi-actor approach. See definition of the multi-actor approach in the introduction to the work programme.
Activities should reach TRL 3-5 by the end of the project.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.