Food – Research & Innovation


The development of an integrated approach to research and innovation in the Europe 2020 strategy seeks to achieve the completion of the European Research Area. Orientations of Research and Innovation in the Food Area are crucial to emphasize the potential of technical and social innovation in many products and services; to clarify the involvement of industry and in particular SMEs to translate research and innovation into market applications and how technological innovation can lead to added value for SMEs.

Over breakfast, the discussion focused on the current food production system and its impact on consumption patterns; the role of EFSA and the case of the ‘BSE Crisis’; diet being more than just nutrition; functional foods; the importance of research and the particular human ‘microbiome’; obesity as a growing burden to individuals  and society as a whole; helpful instruments to act against these harmful trends; food processing and its place in the Food Chain; the emphasis of innovation on ‘consumer pleasure’; consumer attitude; sustainability and ethical concerns about the total food chain; waste of food and the need to address this problem together.

The Q&A session touched upon topics such as

  • The role of research and communication; the negative impact caused by the media by focusing  too much on profits through increasing audience numbers and the reaction of the EU to this;
  • The waste of food supplies
  • How will the Commission use research to tackle Climate Change?
    • The impact on food supplies
    • Other factors, such as the quantity of arable land
  • How seriously Europe takes the food sustainability issue
  • Need for scientific intervention
  • Socio-economic determinants
  • Areas of emphasis in the next programs
  • Sizing the budget for particular areas by prioritizing what is really  necessary
  • The case of the ‘Schmallerberg Virus’ – the role of research to fight misleading messages from the media
  • Need for increasing production in the agricultural sector and the potential of research to contribute to success
  • Nutrition – new EFSA regulation and the fact that SMEs lack the means to face current challenges; The view of the Commission on the role of SMEs to address these challenges
  • Innovation – barriers and risks for consumers

Speaker: Pierre Mathy – Head of Unit, Food, Health, Well-being, DG Research

Topic: Orientations of Research and Innovation in the Food Area

Tuesday, 8th May from 08.00-09.30


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