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FOSTER Science-Policy Interface

food science

FOSTER is a research project funded by Horizon Europe, designed around the need for a new vision for a Knowledge and Innovation (K&I) governance structure for Europe’s food system. It is a collaboration of scientists with civic initiatives, innovation advisors, living labs and advocacy groups, working in multi-actor partnership.  

The project aims to develop an evidence-based policy vision for a future knowledge and innovation system (FOKIS), that can effectively accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems across all EU member states.

The translation of insights from research into policy recommendations for key audiences in the EU is a specialised skill. For this, the consortium has established a panel of experts with significant experience in relevant policy processes, including a chair and one or more co-chairs.

The expert panel supports FOSTER to create lasting impact on the European Research Area for food systems. Based on the insights and recommendations from FOSTER research, the panel will target opportunities in policies of the EU to strengthen the Knowledge and Innovation System for food systems.  

The role of the panel is to elaborate FOSTER´s policy recommendations, aimed at:  

  • Targeting key policy audiences for FOSTER’s research agenda and findings.  
  • Translating research findings into relevant policy messages.  
  • Tailoring policy recommendations to the current needs of these audiences.  

The Panel is chaired by Professor Janet Dwyer OBE, University of Gloucestershire (Ireland), a renowned expert in farm and rural development policy processes including in EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. The Panel includes experts in food systems science, foresight and knowledge networks, business innovation, citizen science, and research & innovation policy. A seat for a non-academic expert on communities underrepresented in K&I processes is still open; search among civil society, faith-based organization and social entrepreneurs is ongoing.   

 The panel will probe the opportunities for FOSTER to maximise its impact pathways towards policy during the remaining years of the project. It is in itself an experiment on the co-creation of policy impact from research. After a pre-meeting in September, the Expert Panel had its first substantive meeting online on October 20, 2023. The aim of the meeting was to gain insight into the research design of FOSTER and start with the development of the policy orientation of the panel.