Social challenges

Grants for Collaborative Projects, including Research, innovation close to market, Coordination and Support Actions, and other new schemes (i.e. prizes, innovative public procurement, etc…) oriented to Political Priorities and Challenges of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Topic / Target >SFS-15-2014 Proteins of the future


Specific challenge:
The growing demand for meat and other protein-rich food sources, in many parts of the world, is of increasing concern in the light of growing population figures, environmental sustainability issues and land-use and food security concerns. Questions related to optimal production and processing methods, location (EU or other), health effects, environmental impact, and legal issues remain unanswered. Consumer acceptance of new and/or improved sustainable protein sources, as well as other factors related to market uptake, require further clarification if global food security together with environmental and socio-economic sustainability is to be ensured.

A multidisciplinary approach, covering the whole food supply chain (from production to consumption) of new and/or existing protein sources should be taken. The market potential for the producer and added value for the consumer should be considered, together with food safety and quality parameters, regulatory issues, health and diet-related risks and benefits (including gendered safety tests), and gender issues. Appropriate dissemination and knowledge uptake activities should be included, as well as industry participation with a specific focus on SMEs. In line with the objectives of the EU strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, proposals are encouraged to include participants established in third countries. A sustainability assessment in line with the ILCD handbook should be conducted. Proposals should be focused on how new and/or adapted protein sources can provide innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient alternatives to traditional sources, with more positive impacts on human health, the environment and biodiversity.

Expected impact:
- A significant increase in the quality of proteins and of the sustainability of their production and processing.
- A support to EU policies on agriculture, nutrition, health, environment, development and sustainable food security by increased market uptake of existing and/or new proteins that contribute to a healthy diet.
- A strengthening of international research, industrial cooperation and the EU economy, with a specific focus on SMEs and small-scale food processing.
- An increase in new market opportunities, in the short and medium term, as measured in terms of market share, turnover, employment and intellectual property.
- A clear contribution to social innovation due to Fair Trade/fairer trade, as well as an increase in socio-economic and environmental sustainability.


Start date: 11/12/2013
End date: 12/03/2014
Total budget
for this call: 128,000,000
Requested EU contribution per project: € 9 million
(R&IA) H2020-SFS-2014-2 Research & innovation actions
Budget: EUR 17 million Consortium agreements: In line with the Rules for Participation and the Model Grant Agreement, participants in Research and Innovation Actions or in Innovation Actions are required to conclude a consortium agreement prior to grant agreement.
Safe food and healthy diets and sustainable consumption

Sustainable Food Security

Ensuring the availability of and access to sufficient safe and nutritious food is a key priority that impacts all EU citizens and needs to be ensured today and in the future. At the same time the production and processing of food is a key economic activity providing jobs, skills and training, attracting investments, supporting rural and urban economies and also shaping landscapes.

Given the economic scale of the food sector, the potential gains from research and innovation, and the structure of the sector with a strong participation of SMEs, this focus area will develop competitive and resource-efficient aquatic and terrestrial food production systems covering: eco-intensification of production; sustainable management of natural resources, including the accurate valuation of ecosystems services, while addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation; technologies for a sustainable food chain; safe foods and healthy diets for all; and a global food security system. Enabling technologies and space-enabled applications, adequately set in a societal context, will be an important element in achieving these goals. Overall, research and innovation actions within this challenge will cover the whole food chain, including both the supply and demand sides.

The economic and strategic importance of the agri-food sector is reflected in the following figures: agricultural exports in 2011 were worth EUR 105 billion, or 7 % of the total value of EU exports; Europe’s food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing industry in the EU, and in 2010 generated an annual turnover of EUR 956 billion, almost half by SMEs, with over four million jobs. The whole agri-food sector employs 17 million people. Actions in this area will support the EU Approach to Food Security; the Europe 2020 Resource-efficient Europe Flagship; the European Innovation Partnership ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’; the post-2015 Development Cooperation Agenda; the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020; the Common Fisheries Policy; and the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. It is expected that efforts in research will help achieve a 20 % gain in resource use efficiency (Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe); help reverse the diminishing trend of productivity gains in primary production by 2020 (European Innovation Partnership); enable food safety policy to be continually adjusted in the light of new scientific evidence (European Consumer Agenda); and provide the integrated EU approach needed for reducing ill health due to poor nutrition, overweight and obesity.

To maximise the impacts of activities undertaken under this Focus Area, WP 2014-2015 concentrates its efforts on key priorities for the EU to ensure that the critical mass needed to tackle the different sub-challenges is attained, while focusing on the main policy needs.

In particular, to progress towards sustainable food production systems, priority will be given in 2014 to minimising pre-harvest losses (including in aquaculture and fisheries), improving soil management and genetic resources supporting agricultural diversity and regional products, while 2015 will focus on improved livestock and crop productivity and genetics for sustaining agriculture. To support the production of safe food and healthy diets, priority will be given to food safety and to sustainable and competitive food production in 2014, and to nutrition in 2015. Finally, to integrate global drivers of food security, 2014 will focus on improving the understanding of current and future drivers of food security whereas in 2015 the contribution of the small farming sector will be investigated.

Given its markedly cross-cutting nature, this call incorporates contributions from different parts of Societal Challenge 2, and is also relevant to Societal Challenge 1 on ‘Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing’ and Societal Challenge 6 on ‘Inclusive, Innovative and Secure Societies’.
Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy

The specific objective is to secure sufficient supplies of safe and high quality food and other bio-based products, by developing productive and resource-efficient primary production systems, fostering related ecosystem services, along side competitive and low carbon supply chains. This will accelerate the transition to a sustainable European bioeconomy

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