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RICHFIELDS Report Summary

Project ID: 654280
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RICHFIELDS (Research Infrastructure on Consumer Health and Food Intake using E-science with Linked Data Sharing)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2017-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

RICHFIELDS (Research Infrastructure on Consumer Health and Food Intake using E-science with Linked Data Sharing)

There is growing interest in consumer health as related to food, behaviour and lifestyle determinants. However, data is fragmented, key information is lacking, and the resulting knowledge gap prohibits policy makers and companies to make effective public health nutrition strategies and reformulation of food products. Making “the healthy the easy choice” requires knowledge on the context of personal life style choices of EU-citizens. RICHFIELDS is working on a design for a world-class infrastructure for innovative research on healthy food choice, preparation and consumption of EU-citizens, closely linked to their behaviour and lifestyle. This unique RI will ultimately bridge the gap by linking the agri-food and nutrition-health domains and account for the regional and socio-economic diversity of the EU. The overall objective of the RICHFIELDS project is to provide a design with advanced and feasible recommendations for Research Infrastructure development to the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and future European funding programmes as well as other stakeholders. The consumer-focus and the scientific evidence of RICHFIELDS will, via its services, be available to (a) EU-consumers and consumer platforms, (b) stakeholders along the food chain, and (c) policy actors in the agri-food and nutrition-health domain.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Consumers are central to the design: they harbour crucial information, as they increasingly adopt mobile apps and tech-wear, get access to e-business data and even medical information. Collectively, such real-life-time data create new opportunities for research, by e.g., monitoring of food-behaviour providing personalized feedback. The research work in Richfields is divided in three phases (see figure 1), aiming at:
1. Mapping consumer-generated data
2. Connecting business and research-generated data
3. Designing the research infrastructure platform

After the kick-off meeting, the idea appeared to adapt the design approach with a “back casting” element which emphasizes the relevance of an earlier involvement of phase 3 by indicating needs from phase 3 towards the work of phase 1 and 2. The early start of phase 3 implies more interaction between phase 3 and the phases 1 and 2 than originally planned and also compared to the more traditional waterfall development method: a sequential, usually non-iterative design process. More interaction between the phases will lead to a better founded design, since the earlier phases will have a better insight in what questions (needs in figure 1) ultimately have to be answered (output) in the final design.

Phase 3 Designing the research infrastructure platform: Work performed and main results
Phase 3 designed the table of contents of the final design rapport of RICHFIELDS. The table of contents contains the following elements:
• Science case according to ESFRI
• Stake holders
• Data architecture
• Business model
• Governance of the RI (including ethics and IPR)
• Roadmap and recommendations, including a launch phase and a maturity phase.
Three main archetypes are already defined considering the governance dimension of the RI as public RI, public-private RI and business-oriented RI. Characteristics and features of each archetype as well as benefits and advantages are defined.

Phase 1 Mapping consumer-generated data: work performed and main results
Phase 1 defined a set of quality criteria which formed the basis of the evaluation of consumer generated food consumption and lifestyle data and which supports the identification of relevant opportunities as well as possible gaps and needs regarding data integration and sharing. A quality assessment framework has been created for the evaluation of data in terms of scientific relevance, data management and legal governance. Phase 1 covers the whole range from purchase (e.g. in-store), preparation (e.g. in the kitchen) and consumption of foods (e.g. in the dining room).
Phase 2 Connecting business and research-generated data: Work performed and main results
Phase 2 has identified and analyzed existing business and research-generated data and new technologies and devices of the farm to fork supply chain. These data could be linked to, or enrich, the RI Consumer Data Platform. The analysis of the business generated data showed that the RI should establish minimum data holding duration and be able to negotiate for exemptions on data expiration or holding extension purposely for research. Examples of existing RIs and networks were studied and their approaches to data access, data linking, governance and business models were reviewed. The maintenance of data and user tools is a potential problem. An overview of existing laboratories and facilities addressing purchase, preparation and consumption, health and lifestyle of food across Europe was given. This mapping exercise helped to understand what type of facilities undertake various forms of consumer research into food and health, where they are based in Europe and what their funding scheme is.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

A stakeholder workshop and stakeholder platform meeting were organised to inform stakeholders about European RIs, gaps and needs, and RICHFIELDS’ activities. Feedback is used as input so that the design will be optimal for future users. Furthermore, interviews with stakeholders in especially phase 2 and networking with partners all over Europe increased the awareness of the urgency for a Research Infrastructure for Food, Nutrition and Health and the role RICHFIELDS plays in the development of that RI.
With the establishment of the Project Advisory Board, ambassadors of RICHFIELDS in terms of promoting the design and building of our unique RI Consumer Data Platform towards all potential users (data providers as well as data users). Each member will bring the design to the attention of potential users and stakeholders (such as funding bodies) via their own broad network by giving oral presentations, visiting relevant conferences and using social media.

Expected potential impact
The Research Infrastructure that will be designed in this project will: 1) Strengthen research on food, nutrition and health, 2) assist policymakers at the national and EU level and 3) Increase exploitation of the scientific evidence base by the EU food industry.

More information on project progress is available at

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