Consumer science is touching the lives of 493 million EU Consumers with their consumption representing 58% of the EU GDP, yet the insights of consumer research typically fail to have a substantial impact on consumer welfare. The EC acknowledges the problem and places it high on its policy priorities. Consumer research is scattered across several disciplines in the social sciences with little communication occurring between research and practice. The CONsumer COmpetence Research Training (CONCORT) tackles these issues. We abandon the marketing perspective of the persuasive agent trying to affect consumer decisions, and aim to pioneer research from the consumer perspective. We study consumer competence, a broad set of abilities, intuitions, knowledge and skills consumers need in order to make decisions that help them navigate successfully in the economic environment. CONCORT will train 14 ESRs in this new perspective, in 8 high level partners: Three business schools, 2 broad universities, and 3 corporate partners, 2 of which are SMEs. The academic partners are top quality departments from 3 disciplines, namely consumer behaviour, behavioural economics, and health psychology. The corporate partners are innovators in advanced behavioural measurement tools. CONCORT adds an optimal blend between traditional training methods (frequent conventions, high quality in-house doctoral courses), innovative learning instruments (blended learning, skills portfolio), and thorough practice training through industrial secondments. We will train ESRs to see the link between their theoretical training and thematic areas of real life consumer interest (environment, overspending, food choice, etc.). Relying on a strong infrastructure (second life, behavioural labs), and guided by a flexible but demanding modern management structure, CONCORT sets out to create 14 success stories of collaboration, excellence and professional accomplishment in consumer science. Those of our ESRs.
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