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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 integrating key European research infrastructures in the inherently multidisciplinary field of food consumer science, in order to promote their optimal use and joint development.

The COMFOCUS Open Call #1 invites proposals for studies in the field of consumer science with a connection to healthy eating.
COMFOCUS is a pan-European project with a shared ambition to make the field of food consumer science work more integrated, more collaborative and more meaningful than it is today. The value of our individual and collective efforts would be so much bigger if our data would be linkable, inter-operable and share-able.

You, as an early career researcher, can be part of that and making a substantive contribution to this “transition”. HOW? Sign up for the COMFOCUS Open Call 1, and contribute one of your data sets, collected within the COMFOCUS harmonization approach and tool (EQT). In “return” you will get feedback and be linked to other COMFOCUS early career researcher with comparable research interest to explore further opportunities for data sharing and brainstorming on where your research efforts could synergize.

Ultimately, fourteen selected applicants from European countries - Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia - as well as non-European countries - Canada and Costa Rica, are working on their projects. Most applications were submitted by the research teams rather than individual researchers.

Interested? Make your team and apply!

Apply Now

The 2nd annual project meeting of COMFOCUS | February, 9, 2023

The participants of the project consortium gathered together to summarize what was done so far and talk about future plans.
The agenda of the meeting included several parallel work sessions, the Stakeholder Forum, the International Advisory Board meeting. It also included an interactive part where participants had the opportunity to present
their vision on how the future dissemination strategy steps should look like.

During one of the plenary sessions, Noldus Information Technology BV presented a demo on the Noldus Hub prototype software. Participants were informed about how the use of emerging technologies like eye-tracking can be real-time followed and recorded.

During the event, participants summed up the practical issues and theoretical challenges of further work on the project. It was an inspiring and fruitful meeting, where everyone could share their experience and thoughts!

Session on Open Calls

The slogan of this year's meeting was "Making it happen" and this was directly related to the goal of demonstrating proof of principle. The project members emphasized that these principles require a lot of work to be done by the Open Call applicants as well as the consortium members.

The Open Call #1 concerned virtual access to the COMFOCUS toolings. Approved applicants who joined the community before, had an opportunity to use the Easy Questionnaire Tool (EQT) as part of the COMFOCUS Toolbox, and create their own space, and later an own survey and search in the database of the EQT.

The second part of the plenary session was devoted to practical aspects of preparation for Open Call 2, participants also highlighted the importance of having connection between Open Call 1 and the upcoming Open Call 2.

The Open Call 2 will offer some new opportunities and features, it will also offer transnational access to the research infrastructures across Europe. Together, these capabilities will allow food consumer researchers to do a great part of work for future achievements.

The Stakeholder Forum

The 2nd face-to-face Stakeholder Forum meeting brought together stakeholders and project members to update and gather information and proposals for increasing the stakeholder´s engagement in the project.

Participants had a conversation on how to encourage young researchers to participate in the project for getting their scientific contribution. They also analyzed the benefits they can get from the project.

Another very important point for discussion was to emphasize the importance of getting feedback from commercial organizations. Participants also talked about the desired outcomes of the project, consumer benefits and policies. They agreed that bringing together similar studies would be beneficial for the entire industry and would raise more opportunities.
At the end of the meeting, participants emphasized that the role of the Stakeholder Forum is to critically analyze the project progress, provide guidance on the industry and public needs for the research priorities and related technological developments, promote a culture of collaboration between academia, industry and policy makers, and support promotion of transnational and virtual access for young researchers.

The International Advisory Board meeting

The members of the International Advisory Board take an important role in the project development. Their mission is to extend outreach to the food consumer institutions outside the project and increase ability to inform researchers and policymakers about the project developments. This year’s meeting started with a project update, following a discussion on communication and dissemination. The main targets of what the project wants to communicate were defined. Board members talked about the principles of data storage and the importance of extracting meaningful data.

A discussion on ontology and different approaches to it also took place. Further conversations on ontology will take place in the upcoming sessions. In summing up, board members were updated on the project status (including harmonization of emerging technology measures, and on ontology), and expressed their suggestions on improving the project visibility through communication and dissemination.

Professor of Wageningen University Hans Van Trijp on behalf of COMFOCUS Consortium shares his scientific contribution in the recently published article “Higher level data integration: A new reality for sensory and consumer research?

“The field of food consumer science faces new challenges that it needs to address to be(come) the scientific data rich discipline to support the transition towards healthy and sustainable consumption. The European consortium COMFOCUS has taken up this challenge, emphasising three important needs… “... full text here.

Noldus develops innovative technologies for the objective measurement of the experience of food consumers. The COMFOCUS project will use Noldus technology for integrating, synchronizing, and carrying out advanced analysis of a range of sensor data streams. More info

NoldusHub is the all-in-one research platform for human behavior studies. It is designed to solve all research challenges that come with studying human behavior. The platform collects data from a webcam, eye-tracking device and several physiological devices. With these, you can measure a variety of signals and behavioral input. Events of interest can be marked during or after the recordings, using a self-created marker list.


• One point of access and control
• Setup, connect, calibrate, and start devices from one place
• Monitors status of all connected devices in real-time
• Valuable insights created during and after data collection

Find more information here about NoldusHub.

COMFOCUS is developing a knowledge platform for both industry and scientific researchers. This platform enables them to find, generate, and share data in the field of food consumer science. This way, the community is facilitated towards higher levels of collaboration. At first mainly within the community, but eventually also between communities. For example, by exchanging data with other key research infrastructures.

The COMFOCUS knowledge platform will offer a set of easy-to-use tools for data searching, generation, validation, analysis, and sharing.

Presently, via the COMFOCUS Open Call, young career researchers are given the opportunity to try out the Harmonised Protocol Search Tool, the Easy Questionnaire Tool (EQT), and the Harmonised Dataset Search Tool. These three tools are highly integrated with each other and provide the user a ‘one stop shop’ for consumer study data management. Within the online environment, they can search through available harmonized content, develop questionnaires based on harmonised measures, store and share relevant study data.

How it works:

The researcher selects harmonised measures, creates a questionnaire, and uploads a dataset.


The COMFOCUS knowledge platform will also enable you to connect and work together with other researchers having their own datasets with the same connectors and to create new research questions in addition to the primary purpose of your study.

Have you become enthusiastic and do you want to make use of these COMFOCUS tools?
Apply for Open Call 1


Workshops «Sharing best practices among Сonsumer Science experts»

Six roundtables in two rounds will take place in three countries: Slovakia, Denmark and Spain. The first roundtable in each country is mainly focused on identifying the necessary steps; while the second roundtable will be used to define, distribute and publish the agreed protocols and standards.

The upcoming round tables will gather together consumer science experts from universities, research institutes and food companies to discuss the approach adopted in COMFOCUS community and steps needed to progress towards more harmonised measures and protocols in food consumer science. 

The first two roundtables will be held in Slovakia and Denmark:

The First Roundtable takes place in Slovakia, Nitra | Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra,
Faculty of Economics and Management | April, 19, 2023.

The official launch of Open Call 2 will take place during the workshop! Get a valuable opportunity to visit a consumer science institute and conduct research using innovative equipment! Please be informed that the participation is free of charge, but participants  need to cover their travel expenses.
Registration is prior to the event by 11th April, 2023. 

Click to register

The Second Roundtable takes place in Denmark, Taastrup | Danish Technological Institute
April, 25, 2023.

Please be informed that the participation is free of charge, but participants need to cover their travel expenses. Registration is prior to the event by 17th April, 2023.

Click to register

Workshop in Prague, June 13th 2023

Join us for a free COMFOCUS workshop on the latest developments in food consumer science, exploring the role of BIG(ger)data from interlinking our efforts. Hosted just before the International Food Marketing Research Symposium (IFMRS) in Prague on Tuesday afternoon June 13, 2023, this workshop will feature presentations on the importance of making data FAIR and the role of marketing, sensory, and consumer science in health and sustainability transitions. Engage in interactive discussions and gain a deeper understanding of harmonization of measures and data sharing in the field.

Don't miss this opportunity to expand your knowledge and connect with fellow researchers!
Click here for more information and simply register by sending e-mail to: Ellen.vanKleef@wur.nl
before June 9.

Q&A session Open Call 1

An online Q&A session Open Call 1 will be organised on April 20 2023 at 3PM CET. The main objective of this session is twofold:
(1) to provide applicants the opportunity to ask questions and to provide feedback; and
(2) to keep applicants more involved.

If you're interested to join, please send an email to: elena.horska@gmail.com

Open Call #2

Open Call 2 offers 67 positions for early career researchers to conduct collaborative research on important food consumer science questions at European consumer science institutes specializing in psychophysiological measurements, virtual and augmented reality research. Research topics covered are diverse, and each position offers a unique opportunity for researchers to gather data for their dissertations or articles.

Our COMFOCUS approach enables data integration and the formulation of new research questions, and researchers will follow harmonized protocols when collecting data.

The official launch of Open Call 2 will take place during the workshop in Slovakia! Be sure to stay updated for more information, and take advantage of this valuable opportunity to advance your research career in the field of food consumer science.



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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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