SUSFOOD2 Transnational Co-funded Call for Research Proposals

The ERA-NET Cofund SUSFOOD2 - “SUStainable FOOD production and consumption” - started in January 2017 and is the continuation of the FP7 ERA-NET SUSFOOD (2011-2014).

The ERA-NET Cofund instrument under Horizon 2020 is designed to support public-public partnerships between Member States (and associated countries) for the imple0mentation and coordination of networking activities in different fields of research, including the realisation of at least one joint transnational call for research and innovation projects which benefits from a budget contribution by the European Commission. This additional co-funding of the EU aims at contributing to an ampler selection of projects irrespective of the financial contribution of individual countries by filling in financial short comings.

SUSFOOD2 consists of a network of 26 partners from 15 countries (plus 2 associated partners from Belgium and New Zealand).

The objectives of the SUSFOOD2 network

The strategic goal of SUSFOOD2 complements the EU bioeconomy and food policies, and aims to reinforce cooperation in research, development and innovation between EU members and associated States in order to maximize the contribution of research to the development of more sustainable food systems from production to consumption.

Global demand for food is expected to rise by at least 60% by 2050. At the same time the food supply chain is under pressure due to limited resources, water scarcity, soil degradation, biodiversity loss and the impacts of climate change. More than one third of the food produced in the world today is lost or wasted. Our food system has experienced huge transformation during the last century with changes in dietary preferences impacting on consumer health and food availability (e.g. increasing non-communicable diseases and obesity).

To meet these challenges we need to strengthen a sustainable food system providing opportunities for all stakeholders to develop a secure, resilient and competitive sector.

The scope of SUSFOOD covers the entire food supply chain with the main focus on food chain sustainability beyond the farm gate. The farm level will be considered if it has direct impact on the sustainability of the other steps in the food chain.

SUSFOOD2 promotes a cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach from biology to food engineering and social sciences. It addresses the following socio-economic and environmental goals:

  • To develop sustainable food systems from production to consumption, to increase food production sustainably while reducing waste in food supply chain and limiting environmental impacts;
  • To improve the quality of life by improving food quality in a sustainable way and to ensure the resilience of the food supply chain;
  • To encourage sustainable consumer behaviours and food choices;
  • To improve competitiveness and economic growth in the European food industry with special attention to SMEs

SUSFOOD2 starts its 5 year cooperation with the launch of a joint transnational call for Research / Research and Innovation collaborative proposals in the field of sustainable food production and consumption with an indicative budget of 14 M EURO including a co-funding by the EU of approximately 4 M EURO.

Participation to the call and funding modalities

The following partner countries will provide funds to the call:

Belgium (Flanders), Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey, and UK.

Project consortia will be able to submit “Research” or “Research and Innovation” proposals:

  • “Research”┋Project consortia are expected to be formed only by research organizations
  • “Research and Innovation”┋Project consortia are expected to be formed by research organizations and industry (enterprises)

The funding for transnational projects will be mainly based on a virtual common pot instrument. This means that applicants of projects that have been selected for funding will receive the grant directly from their national funding institution according to their terms and conditions.

Applicants who cannot receive funding, e.g. from countries which are not funding partners in SUSFOOD2 or from countries which do not provide funding for a specific thematic area of the Call or where the funding parties support only certain types of organizations (industry or academia etc.), are welcome to participate in the Call. However, their costs need to be covered from their own resources or by other sources. They are not taken into account in the minimum requirement of eligible partners and countries in the SUSFOOD2 eligibility criteria and cannot apply as coordinators of the research proposal consortium.

Call topics

Research/Research and Innovation project consortia must apply to one of the four topics, which will be funded according to the budget table 1:

  • Topic 1: Innovation in food processing technologies and products
  • Topic 2: Providing added value, increased resource efficiency and reduction of waste in sustainable food systems
  • Topic 3: Understanding consumer behavior and food choices
  • Topic 4: Harmonisation of the methods and metrics for integrated assessment of sustainability of food products and food patterns.

General mobility criteria

The application has to meet and consider the following general eligibility criteria:

  • The transnational consortium must consist of at least three independent eligible legal entities from at least three SUSFOOD2 partner countries listed in Annex 3;
  • The application must be written in English;
  • Projects should have a maximum duration of 36 months;
  • The requested total budget cannot exceed 1.5 M € per proposal (requested funding);
  • Total eligible budget of a partner cannot exceed 70 % of the total eligible project budget in order to achieve balanced partnerships and ensure that responsibility and risks are shared;
  • Registration to the Meta Knowledge Base (MKB) is compulsory.

The project coordinator

Each project consortium needs to appoint a project coordinator, who, in any commissioned project, has the following role and responsibilities:

  • Be the primary point of contact between the SUSFOOD2 consortium and the researchers on behalf of the project consortium from the submission of the pre-proposal until the publication of the final report;
  • Submit the application on behalf of the project consortium;
  • Compile and submit reports and other deliverables to the SUSFOOD2 network on behalf of the project consortium;
  • Secure that all project milestones and deliverables are met and take action according to the project management plan if one or more partners fail to deliver;
  •  Inform the SUSFOOD2 consortium about any event that might affect the implementation of the project;
  • Is fully responsible for the overall project coordination and will ensure that all work is carried to a high standard;
  • Is responsible for sharing all information with project consortium partners.

Consortia have to be aware that failure of one partner within the consortium to meet the national/regional eligibility criteria will result in the rejection of the entire proposal. It is therefore strongly recommended that the project coordinator verifies that the project partners contact their National Contact Points in order to check their eligibility.

The project coordinator will NOT be responsible for the financial management of SUSFOOD2 project funding, which will be handled directly between the national research institutions/industries and their national funding agencies in each participating country.

Expert evaluation of pre-proposals

Eligible pre-proposals will be subjected to a peer review evaluation by a panel of international experts, the International Evaluation Committee (IEC). The IEC ranks the proposals based on a set of criteria (equally weighted):

  • Coherence and pertinence of the objectives, contribution to the call topics
  • Scientific quality, innovation potential (including multidisciplinarity and cross-sectorial aspects)
  • Appropriateness of the research methodology, feasibility, adequacy of the budget
  • Quality of the consortium, complementarity among partners, added value of the transnational cooperation
  • Potential impact of projects results

Additionally to the above mentioned criteria, also the Ethical issues will be assessed by the experts to complement the information provided by the funders.

The IEC is composed of international experts with acknowledged scientific excellence. The members of the IEC are proposed and selected by the Call Group members considering the research areas covered by the submitted proposals. Expertise, impartiality, confidentiality, will be heavily taken into account for the experts’ appointment.

Each pre-proposal will be evaluated by 3 experts.

Date de candidature
36 mois maximum
Sciences sociales : Gestion et administration publique, Démographie, Economie, Sciences environnementales, Géographie, Droit, Sciences de l'éducation, Science politique, Psychologie et sciences cognitives, Sociologie
Humanités : Anthropologie & Ethnologie
Autres : Biologie, Chimie, Médecine