Study on the need for food and health research infrastructures in Europe

Lead Research Organisation: Quadram Institute Bioscience
Department Name: Contracts

Abstract

Europe is facing major challenges in promoting health and reducing the disease burden of age- and diet-related NCDs by means of lifestyle, food and nutrition. Research collaboration, innovation, and capacity building are essential to efficiently benefit from the – mainly public – research resources. To realise this, EU-wide Research Infrastructures (RIs) are essential. The aim of EURO-DISH is to provide advanced and feasible recommendations on the needs for RIs to ESFRI and other stakeholders. EURO-DISH will focus on needs for integration of existing and the development of new food and health RIs that are relevant for innovations in mechanistic research and public health nutrition strategies across Europe. Building upon available projects and mappings, we will systematically map existing RIs and needs for integration of existing and new RIs, and supporting governance structures throughout Europe. Food and health research comprises multiple disciplines and a broad research area. To assure a balanced attention for the area as a whole, the mapping will be organised around the ‘DISH’ model: ‘Determinants, Intake, Status, and Health’, which represents four key building blocks of the research area as well as different stages of RI development. To go beyond existing mappings, we will synthesize the results by integrating the needs for hard & soft RIs as well as governance; moreover as this may identify newly emerging gaps and needs, it will define larger entities of required RIs. We will develop a conceptual design and roadmap for implementing the most important RIs. It will include links with basic and human science infrastructures, as well as integration and collaboration with industry, third countries and feasibility

Publications

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Verhagen H (2012) Application of the BRAFO tiered approach for benefit-risk assessment to case studies on dietary interventions. in Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association

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Brug J (2017) Determinants of diet and physical activity (DEDIPAC): a summary of findings. in The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity

 
Description The goal of the EuroDISH project was to provide advanced and feasible recommendations for research infrastructure development to the European Strategy Forum on research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and future European funding programmes as well other stakeholders. The following conditions were taken into account:
- The needs of different stakeholders (e.g. policymakers as the EU and national level and researchers covering a broad range of disciplines from the public sector and industry;
- The focus on integration of existing and the developments of new food and health research infrastructures which were most relevant for innovation in mechanistic research and public health nutrition strategies across Europe and
- The integration of past experiences and aligned with on-going activities.

EuroDISH has been organised around the 'DISH' model: 'Determinants, Intake, Status and Health'. This model represents four key building blocks of food and health research. Each area of research is expected to contain research infrastructures at differing stages of development.
EuroDISH was comprised of three phases:

1. To map the existing research infrastructures and identifying gaps and needs.
2. To integrate the findings within and between DISH pillars and to identify new gaps and needs.
3. To develop a conceptual design for research infrastructure with a roadmap for implementation.

Based on the results of EuroDISH it was concluded that:
• There is a need for an overarching research infrastructure that is specific for food, nutrition and health, and connects existing RIs.
• The overarching research infrastructure would:
(a) enable research for better understanding the behaviour of consumers concerning food intake and lifestyle, including emerging opportunities in ICT and neuroscience;
(b) find a structure for public-private partnership that accommodates the different interests;
(c) help to connect research on food production and on health and address the societal challenges in these domains.

To assure a balanced attention in the needs and recommendation on Research Infrastructures to all food and health research areas EuroDISH has been organised around the 'DISH' model: 'Determinants, Intake, Status, and Health' to represent four key building blocks research. Further to this, we identified three areas 'behaviour', 'diet' and 'effect on health' as where RI such as 'Public health interventions', 'Monitoring and surveillance' and 'Nutritional epidemiology' could operate in and between. EuroDISH has developed an overall conceptual design and roadmap for the implementation of key hard and soft Research Infrastructures, including options for governance structures, the definition of hubs with existing basic Research Infrastructures, recommendations regarding collaborations with third countries, ways to enhance integration with industry and the assessment of its feasibility.
Exploitation Route The results and recommendations of this project were used to develop the proposal for the RICHFIELDS project, which designed a consumer data platform for Europe. The subsequent outcomes of RICHFIELDS have been further refined and developed in the Food, Nutrition and Health Research Infrastructure initiative, which will be submitted to ESFRI in 2020. The outcomes of EuroDISH have also been relevant to other EU projects, such as Quisper (EIT-Food) and FNS-Cloud (Horizon 2020), both of which create data platforms fulfilling needs identified in EuroDISH.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

URL http://www.eurodish.eu
 
Description EuroDISH was one of the first projects to focus on identifying the need for overarching research infrastructures (RIs) for food and health. The project directly fed in to the RICHFIELDS Horizon2020 project, which designed a Consumer Data Platform infrastructure, and then subsequently into the design of the Food Nutrition and Health Research Infrastructure (FNH-RI), which will be submitted to ESFRI in 2020. These projects and initiatives represent a cultural shift in research, with emphasis on value for money, interoperability, open access and collaboration. Though this is primarily an academic impact, this new emphasis of creating a connected and open research environment creates considerable impact to society (in particular consumers) and policy. EuroDISH initiated the development of a community that is dedicated to making research outputs more available, both to other researchers and to wider stakeholders. Creating a consumer-centric focus of future RI designs has naturally led to the inclusion of industry, policy makers and digital solution specialists as important collaborators in achieving maximum impact for research outputs. Connection of different research domains, and the data generated by them, creates added value, particularly for publicly funded research. The move towards a more open research environment, with increased sharing of data and resources, encourages innovation and application, particularly framed within the increasingly digital environment. Food and health researchers are increasingly working with technology specialists to connect data, develop tools, and to reach consumers. Research infrastructures should be accessible to different stakeholders, thereby creating impact across different industries and user groups. EuroDISH not only identified the need for collaborative RIs, but also highlighted the steps necessary to achieve these, which were then further elaborated in RICHFIELDS. The advantages of extended datasets compiled across multple countries are obvious, particularly to stakeholders such as policy makers and surveillance initiatives, but creating such datasets requires standardisation, harmonisation and common ontologies, as well as compatible access options. EuroDISH began the process of identifying the steps to achieve a more connected research data environment, which is now being practically tackled in projects such as Food Nutrition and Security Cloud (Horizon 2020).
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description (FNS-Cloud) - Food Nutrition Security Cloud
Amount € 10,912,775 (EUR)
Funding ID 863059 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2019 
End 09/2023
 
Description (RICHFIELDS) - Research Infrastructure on Consumer Health and Food Intake using E-science with Linked Data Sharing
Amount € 3,085,299 (EUR)
Funding ID 654280 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2018
 
Description Attendance at the EuroDISH Final Conference, 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attendance at the EuroDISH Final Conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description FNH-RI UK Node Meeting, London, July 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact QIB co-organised (with university of Surrey) a workshop meeting to disseminate information about the Food, Nutrition and Health Research Infrastructure (FNH-RI) and to receive feedback on the initiative from potential UK collaborators. 25 delegates attended the meeting, held at the MRC Conference Centre in London on 11th July 2019. Participants included representatives from a range of UK research organisations and universities working in varying areas of food, nutrition and health, as well as some industry and policy representatives. The meeting included workshops designed to collate the views and ideas of participants relating to the proposed FNHRI initiative. From this workshop, 15 institutions signed the multi-lateral agreement expressing interest in being part of the UK Node of the FNH-RI. QIB/Surrey submitted a short proposal form to UKRI in Feb 2020 requesting support for the FNH-RI initiative, which will be submitted in full to ESFRI in May 2020.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation given at ELIXIR Food and Nutrition Community Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Paul Finglas presented a presentation on Research and Infrastructure Interests and Involvement at the ELIXIR Food and Nutrition Community Workshop The Hauge, 23-24 September 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Workshop on standardized methodologies for creating Food Composition Databases, with CAPNUTRA, Belgrade Serbia, October 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop on standardized methodologies for creating Food Composition Databases, with CAPNUTRA, Belgrade Serbia
Belgrade, Serbia, October 2018: Food composition compilers from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Kuwait received training and guidance in standardised methodologies for creating national food composition databases. The workshop was led by Professor Maria Glibetic from the Capacity Development Network in Nutrition in Central and Eastern Europe (CAPNUTRA) and included training with Mark Roe, EuroFIR, Paul Finglas and Dr Marisol Warthon-Medina both from FDNC.

This talk was also delivered at the workshop "Food composition data bases in Europe as important research infrastructure in food and nutrition research Symposium on sustainable food systems for healthy diets in countries of Central and South Eastern Europe (CSEE) with integrated training on food consumption data collection and strengthening the thematic regional networking.

The following poster was also presented at the workshop: "Multi-stakeholder nutrition actions in Africa: translating evidence into policies, and programmes for impact"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018