Knowledge Based Bio-Economy

AGRIFOODRESULTS

European initiative for a better use of the results of agri-food research (European Research Area)

Project acronym: AGRIFOODRESULTS

Title of project: European initiative for a better use of the results of agri-food research

Research area: Environmental impacts and total food chain

Contract No: 226927

EU contribution: €996 383

Start date: May 2009

Duration: 25 months

Status: finalised

AgriFoodResults was intended to expand the dissemination of food research results. The vision was to improve the cost effectiveness of agri-food research activities by enhancing the transfer of results to end-users. The project combined capacity building with the creation of sustainable services for dissemination managers. These services include websites, innovative approaches to communicating scientific results, and guidelines for project and dissemination managers. The scope of AgriFoodResults was food science with an emphasis on food safety, food processing technology, nutrition and health.

The focus was primary on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small research projects and there were three main objectives:

  • to offer innovative and sustainable dissemination services
  • to improve European food scientists’ dissemination practices
  • to disseminate recent results from agri-food research projects.

The food sector needs to respond to societal and consumer demand for safe, healthy and sustainable food, while continuing to provide jobs for more than 4 million people across Europe.

Innovation is becoming a key factor in the sector’s development, enabling it to respond to these challenges. The food sector has certain characteristics that make innovation more challenging than in other sectors. One is the importance of small businesses: among the 310 000 companies involved in food and drink production, more than 90% are SMEs. Compared to other sectors, such as automotive, ICT or health, innovation is much more incremental and there are fewer connections between the research performers and the users of research results.

The AgriFoodResults project was developed against this background and foresaw boosting innovation by ensuring the results of agri-food research are used more effectively. Enhancing the use of research results requires – in turn –improvements to dissemination practices used by food research projects.

The project has produced:

  • A survey report on dissemination practices in FP6 and FP7 food research projects;
  • A report on strategies for communication of scientific results in the food sector;
  • Four sets of guidelines: a general guide for dissemination managers and three guides for communication targeting specific audiences (food SMEs, policy makers and consumers);
  • An on-line directory listing contact details for more than 200 information relays relevant to the food sector;
  • Virtual supermarket: an innovative web solution for communicating project results;
  • AgriFoodResults.eu/wiki: a collaborative website presenting results of food research projects;
  • Communication Star 2011: a European competition rewarding European food research projects for their dissemination practices;
  • A final report summarising the key findings and presenting recommendations on communicating results from food research projects to be taken into account in the Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

The reports and tools will remain available at http://www.agrifoodresults.eu until at least 2014. Registered members have access to the directory and can publish information about their events. Scientists and communication managers are encouraged to include their results in the virtual supermarket and in AgriFoodResults.eu/wiki.

Website of project: www.agrifoodresults.eu

Coordinator: Mr Christophe Cotillon, c.cotillon@actia-asso.eu

Organisation: ACTIA - Association de Coordination Technique pour l’Industrie Agroalimentaire, France, www.actia-asso.eu/

Partners: