Citizens’ science as an opportunity to foster the transition to sustainable food systems

Currently, consumers are skeptical to share data, least to the government. As there is a need for more data-driven decision-making, engaging citizens in research through the provision of data on their practices, choices and attitudes towards the food system provides a potential for a more direct citizen engagement in transforming food systems. The approach allows to exchange of ideas, solutions, and opinions to encourage Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in driving sustainable food system transformation. Citizen’s science is a fast-growing mode of research and innovation that can allow for enhanced food system transformation driven by engagement, trust and transparency. It can leverage relevant private relevant data to take stock of current citizens’ behaviour towards the food system, including aspects such as food consumption, marketing and food environment influence, health, mobility, regionality/locality, food-related waste generation and management, etc. by using collective intelligence. Proposals are expected to address all the following:

  • Explore the potential of ‘citizen’s science’ in the food systems domain by engaging and empowering citizens in using and providing data and technology to ensure inclusive solutions to drive sustainable food system transformation by promoting sustainable food consumption, reducing food waste, and creating a resilient food system
  • Identify the challenges and drivers encouraging citizens to share data to ensure inclusive food system transformation;
  • Develop and test tools by using data and technology to enhance uptake of healthy and sustainable diets and foster sustainable food system transformation;
  • Explore which data types are most useful to share (behavioural data, data from private providers, such as data gathered by relevant apps, stated data…etc.) and how to meaningfully harmonize data to use data for food system transformation by different actors, and which tools to best make use of, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) while analysing how consumer data can be shared in an anonymized and safe way complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules;
  • Make concrete efforts to ensure that the data produced in the context of this project is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable), particularly in the context of real-time data feeds, exploring workflows that can provide “FAIR-by-design” data, i.e., data that is FAIR from its generation;

Opening date: 17 October 2023

Deadline date: 22 February 2024 17:00:00 Brussels time

Budget allocated: 18 000 000 EUR