Towards a more sustainable food system with the new FoodSHIFT 2030 European project

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Starting next January 2020, FoodSHIFT 2030 is a new European project led by the University of Copenhagen to tackle the issue of sustainability within our food system. Developed in the framework of the EU Horizon 2020 programme, the project has received €7,5 million and will intent to transform the current European food system into a more sustainable one, leading it towards a more circular future with a reduced carbon footprint.  

By supporting the transformative power of citizens already engaged in developing sustainable and innovative food system solutions in European city-regions, FoodSHIFT2030 aims to increase food sector jobs, boost small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), empower citizens and facilitate urban-rural cohesion. By doing so we aim to have a lasting positive impact on food system sustainability that will continue beyond the project lifetime,” says Christian Bugge Henriksen, leader of the Research Group on Climate and Food Security at the University of Copenhagen and coordinator of the FoodSHIFT 2030 project.

Behind this project is a strong multi-actor consortium composed of 31 partners from local governments, SMEs, NGOs, universities, research institutions to network partners. With this new project, the European Union demonstrates its commitment towards building a low carbon circular future, implying a groundbreaking mechanism for maturing, combining, upscaling and multiplying sustainable food system innovations. How to operate this necessary sustainable shift for our food system? By adopting a collaborative approach including the citizens. The project will indeed launch an ambitious citizen-driven transition, starting with encouraging a shift towards less meat and more plant based daily diets while improving food and nutrition awareness and security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and revitalising urban-rural linkages.

The fast citizen-driven food system transition will be initiated in FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs in nine front-runner city-regions: Greater Athens, Avignon, Barcelona, Bari, Brasov, Berlin, Greater Copenhagen, Oostende and Wroclaw. Subsequently knowledge will be transferred to FoodSHIFT Enabler Labs in twenty-seven follower city-regions. Each lab will work on maturing, combining and upscaling existing food system innovations within a specific innovation focus.

The benefits of the food system innovations on the environment, the economy and the society will be determined by assessing their effects on a set of FoodSHIFT Indicators. Strategies and advisory plans for citizen-driven food system governance will be co-created to support food system transition and foster market uptake in the participating city-regions.

As a real hub for European innovation, IAAC’s Fab Lab Barcelona will take part in supporting this project, hosting a food shift accelerator lab at the soon to be opened fab city hub in which we will host Nextfood; an open-source aeroponics project Fab Lab has been incubating.

For more information about the FoodSHIFT2030 project check out

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