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COMFOCUS project, funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme aims to progress the EU food consumer science community by integrate key European research infrastructures in the inherently multidisciplinary field of food consumer science, in order to promote their optimal use and joint development.

Many of today’s major economic, ecological and societal challenges are rooted in lifestyle choices of consumers. Unhealthy eating patterns contribute significantly to the prevalent problem of obesity and public health.

Food consumer science has an important role to play in developing the understanding of (un-) healthy eating patterns of consumers. If the food consumer science community could provide more accurate and comprehensive insight into the drivers of European consumers’ (un-) healthy food choices, evidence-based interventions could be better tailored to citizen and end-consumer needs and become more effective.

However, in its current state of art, the food consumer science community is insufficiently equipped to provide the deep, integrated understanding of the “human behaviour side” of this societal healthy eating challenge.


The food consumer community and its key research infrastructures are currently insufficiently integrated and harmonised to capture the complexity of human eating behaviour comprehensively. Food consumer behaviour comes about as a complex interaction of determinants at the level of the individual, the food (supply), the context, and the (eating-)culture.


Specific Objectives

Provide the academic and private research community with easy virtual and transnational access to high quality services and

Increase the business and policy relevance of food consumerscience insights, by building on FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Inter-operable & Re-usable) and Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) data principles

Harmonize and professionalize the European food consumer science community (harmonised data-rich science)

COMFOCUS will (re-)organize the food consumer science (FCS) community to become more united, harmonised and scientifically advanced and to work according to FAIR and RRI principles. This will be achieved through better transnational and virtual access of food consumer science researchers to all European researchers, both from academia and industry. Optimal use and development of the common research infrastructure will be realized in close interaction with users and stakeholders, and at the interface with data science, computer science and advanced data analytics.

  All COMFOCUS activities are designed to ensure the integration, optimal use and joint development of research installations within 11 RIs from 10 countries in Europe. 

Easy and efficient access will be ensured by the user-friendly interface and be implemented through two rounds of Open Calls. 

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 • Advance the discipline to better serve its scientific multidisciplinary objectives  

 • Be the data rich science area it could be in support of public and private strategies in support of 
 stimulating and facilitating healthy eating patterns 

 • Better address the urgent and relevant higher-level research questions that policy makers in 
 private and public spheres face 

 • Prepare FCS discipline to work with increasingly “bigger” data that transcend the individual, 
 local, smaller scale studies that characterize the field currently. 

The proposed transition of the food consumer science discipline, is most likely led by a new generations of researchers. COMFOCUS will contribute to this future generation, through supervised coaching of these researchers as part of its Open Call research activities. COMFOCUS will develop training and supervision plans, that in the longer run will also be made available for inclusion in BSc, MSc and PhD curricula, so that future generations of food consumer scientists come prepared.


COMFOCUS Kick-Off Meeting

The project kick-off meeting took place online on March 15th, 17th and 19th. The three-day meeting was attended by the COMFOCUS consortium led by STICHTING WAGENINGEN RESEARCH (WR).

The event marked the launch of the project and was an enthusiasm-generator for the project, providing valuable information for all the partners and allowing them to meet and share ideas.

Workshop Measurement Tools for Food Consumer Science
Date: November 18th

Target: technology developers This workshop aims to identify technologies that are not yet utilised in the institutional infrastructures of consumer science and to develop joint understanding of these new and emerging technologies, the effect on harmonisation of measurements and protocols and guidelines on FAIR and RRI design and data management.



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COMFOCUS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement nº 101005259. The website represents the view of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility: it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). The European Commission and the Agency do not accept responsibility for the use that may be made of the information it contains.

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