Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

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.

Scope: 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[1]. A sustainability assessment in line with the ILCD handbook[2] 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.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 9 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

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.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions

[1] This is without prejudice to the general rules on the funding of legal entities from third-countries, as set in part A of the annex to the work programme.

[2] International Reference Life Cycle Data System;</p>

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