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EXPO, Official Participant

Research & Innovation Events at EXPO 2015

The World Expo 2015 is taking place in Milan, Italy from 1 May to 31 October, 2015.

The EU's exhibition area, located inside the Italian pavilion, goes by the theme ‘Growing Europe’s Future Together for a Better World’.

These are the EU research and innovation events that have already taken place

Collab4Safety: understanding uncertainty

Workshop 4 May – 14:00-17:30

Collab4Safety has developed an online network to encourage global collaboration in research and innovation on food safety. The project’s network, portal and research aim to improve food safety in Europe and reduce health risks.

The Expo workshop will:

  • present the results of a global Delphi study on research required for policy development and emerging policy needs policy for emerging food risks (the Delphi survey technique uses expert opinion to understand and problem-solve within a particular field, through repeated polling using anonymous questionnaires)
  • look at the role of expert uncertainty over evidence used in the policy process
  • discuss strategies for integrating the biological and social science evidence associated with emerging food risks

The output of the discussions will be used during the drafting of a policy position paper on research needs for global food safety that will integrate information on emerging science requirements, capacity and capacity building internationally. The output will also contribute to the development of a food safety road map.

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The Grand Debate on Nutrition Security

Workshop 13 May – 11:00-18:00

Health is the key driver for Europe's growth and prosperity. At the moment, however, the Western diet is neither healthy nor sustainable. How can European research contribute to providing adequate and healthy food without causing irreversible damage to the environment?

The event was focused on the impact of climate change on providing a sustainable food supply that has the nutritional requirements to ensure a healthy population. It brought together 10 international experts in the area of food and nutrition security.

The objective of the event and of the published joint paper on the outcomes of the workshop, is to serve as the FACCE-JPI – HDHL contribution toward a European strategy on food and nutrition security and to identify priority joint actions that FACCE-JPI and JPI HDHL can develop collaboratively. The content of this paper will feed into the future strategic plans and activities of the JPIs, and was submitted to the EC public consultation on “The role of research in global food and nutrition security”.

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DEDIPAC: Physical activity and sedentary behaviour, surveillance and assessment

Workshop 14 May – 11:00-13:30

Under the heading "Physical activity and sedentary behaviour, surveillance and assessment – maximising Europe’s resources", the DEDIPAC project’s workshop will look at the state of the art in surveillance in this field, the views of the World health Organisation and the industry, and the international children accelerometer database.

Physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours are closely linked to food intake and dietary behaviour and are linked to many non-communicable diseases. Food intake should therefore almost always be considered in relation to physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

The workshop aims to bring together researchers, policy makers and the activity monitoring industry to facilitate an interactive dialogue on the future of pan-European surveillance.

DEDIPAC is the first knowledge hub to receive funding from the Joint Programming Initiative A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life.

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  • Programme (PDF icon 342 KB)
  • Registration (Registration is now closed)

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Tackling obesity via EU-funded R&D

Conference 14 May – 14:30-17:00

In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight; of these, over 600 million were obese (source: World Health Organisation). This workshop will give an overview of the obesity research that the EU is currently funding.

Obesity prevention is a complex issue, and can be tackled from different angles, such as understanding the dietary needs of specific target groups, promoting healthy diets or creating new foods. The seven EU projects presented at this workshop (EarlyNutrition, SATIN, I.Family, PREDIMED Plus, PREVIEW, Food4Me, NUDGE-IT) are investigating different approaches to combating the obesity epidemic.

The event will also be a networking opportunity for stakeholders interested in obesity.

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EuroDISH project "A food and health research infrastructure for Europe"

Final Conference 15 May – 10:30-15:30

Are you a policy maker, involved in funding decisions or food and health research? Have your say on the research infrastructure needed to advance food and health research in Europe!

Photo from the Conference
Presentation by Dr Lilia Ahrné - ©Senia Ferrante

The EuroDISH event will present the project’s proposal for a food and health research infrastructure for Europe. The event is a unique opportunity to discuss the steps required to make the conceptual design for the infrastructure a reality, to strengthen research on food, nutrition and health, and find out how you can be part of it.

How EuroDISH’s findings relate to societal and scientific challenges in the food and health domain and, to other research infrastructures, will be explained by speakers from other initiatives, such as the Joint Programming Initiative A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life, the FP7 project FoodManufuture and the European Science Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).

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Dietary strategies for a healthy ageing

Conference 18 May – 11:00-14:00

The proportion of people aged over 65 in Europe is predicted to increase from 25% to 40% by 2030, which is likely to create huge challenges.

Research into the types of problem likely to lie ahead includes topics as diverse as how to prevent functional decline and prolong quality of life, and the effect of diet on ageing.

The workshop will present past and future EU-funded research projects (PERFORMANCE, NU-AGE, OPTIFEL, SIFORAGE) that are helping researchers to understand the older population’s nutritional needs.

A roundtable discussion will offer stakeholders an opportunity to exchange ideas on dietary strategies and innovation potential.

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Coping with climate change and water scarcity in Africa and Europe: improving monitoring and water use-efficiency in agriculture

Workshop 17 June – 13:30-18:00
Photo of the panel
Damiá Barceló (Project GLOBAQUA), Adriano Battilani (Project FIGARO), Massimo Burioni (European Commission), Daniel Hering ( Project MARS) - © Alessandro Vecchi

One of the more immediate effects of Climatic Change is the increasing water scarcity in many regions of the World, with negative consequences for food production.

In this scenario, population growth, demographic changes and urbanization represent the most pressing challenges for agriculture, which in many areas already relies heavily on irrigation and water supply.

The promotion of a wiser and more efficient use of water in agriculture is becoming a strategy of paramount importance for food security.

Different options for monitoring water availability and alternative water sources to be used for irrigation need to be explored, to decrease the unsustainable pressure on groundwater extractions.

This dissemination event will provide state-of-the-art information on innovative tools, techniques and practices for enhancing the monitoring and the management of fresh water resources, and improve water use efficiency at farm level, to ensure food security.

The overall common goal of the six projects present at this event is the improvement of water monitoring, water management and the efficient use of fresh water in European and African irrigated agriculture.

One speaker per project will present the activities carried out and will highlight the main results obtained and gaps identified in the course of their projects.

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Health Checks and Smart Treatments for Our Plants

Conference 15 July – 10:30-19:30
Photo from the event
From left to right: Neil Audsley, Véronique Decroocq-Ferrant, Neil Boonham, Jürgen Köhl, Annegret Schmitt and Françoise Lescourret

This conference accompanied by the dedicated workshop is one of the European Commission's, DG RTD, EXPO events addressing global food security and nutrition.

The conference gives an overview of practicaloutputs of EU funded research of the Seventh Framework program (FP7) on Plant Health and Plant Protection related issues.

Presentations of the objectives and the results of certain EU funded FP7 projects will be given in the morning and early afternoon.

Late afternoon, tangible outputs of these projects will be demonstrated on the spot.

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Xylella fastidiosa: Options for its control

Workshop 15 July
Photo of the workshop

In parallel to the conference Health Checks and Smart Treatments for Our Plants, a workshop of invited experts in the field, including industry/SMEs will focus on Xylella fastidiosa. In view of the recent outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa in the south of Italy, this workshop will act as a forum to identify the role that research and innovation can play in tackling this pest worldwide. The first conclusions of the workshop will be presented in the conference in the afternoon during the conclusion session.

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Can innovative food packaging help us ensure food quality and reduce waste?

Innovative and Sustainable Food Packaging Technologies
Workshop, 6 October – 10:00–19:30
Photo of the panel

The "Innovative and Sustainable Food Packaging & Manufacturing Technologies" workshop will take place in the EU Pavilion at the EXPO Milan on 6 October 2015. The event will provide consortia of successful FP7-funded projects a unique opportunity to present their results and discuss potential applications with relevant stakeholders at the heart of the EXPO Milan "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life".

Representatives of the food & drink industry including SMEs are invited to discuss research gaps and needs in the area of food packaging with multidisciplinary experts to help develop strategies for the future. Discussions will focus on the following themes:

  1. Safety and Quality Monitoring
  2. Novel Manufacturing Techniques
  3. New Packaging Materials

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GLAMUR - Global and Local food chain Assessment: a MUltidimensional performance-based approach

Event, 13 October
Illustration of a consumer

The EU-funded GLAMUR project, ran by a consortium of 15 European partners, is examining what distinguishes a ‘global’ from a ‘local’ food supply chain. The project, running from February 2013 for 36 months, has developed a multidimensional network approach to analyse the performance of different supply chain configurations, balancing economic determinants with other attributes related to health, environment, society and ethics.

The Expo event aims to present most of the GLAMUR findings, with specific reference to the overall project structure, the methodologies implied in its accomplishment, the integrated assessment characterizing the food chains performance, the policy implications.

GLAMUR findings will be presented by members of the research team and its scientific coordinator. The event will mainly address the scientific community, food businesses and institutions, consumers and active citizens to engage in a dialogue with society.

Dynamics in the value chains, socio-economic and biophysical indicators, local/global categories and their limits will be discussed, based on the assumption that links in the chain are often not independent. Global salt gives flavor to local foods and local spices enhance the taste of global provisions: Global and local food chains are thus not an unusual pattern and the study will reveal to what extent.

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Strengthening Global Food and Nutrition Security through research and innovation - lessons learned from Expo 2015

Conference, 15 October
The symbol of the Conference

One day before World Food Day, the European Union offers with this high-level conference the opportunity to discuss the recommendations for an "European Research and Innovation Agenda for Global Food and Nutrition Security" that have been produced by the EU scientific steering committee for Expo 2015. These recommendations are based on the Steering Committee's discussion paper "The role of research for global food and nutrition security" and on the six months discussion during more than 200 conferences and workshops organised in Milan in the framework of the EU scientific programme for Expo 2015. They also take into account the online consultation on the discussion document organised by the European Commission from April until September. The recommendations for the European Research & Innovation Agenda will be the EU's contribution to the legacy of Expo 2015.

The conference will be addressed by Commissioners for Health and Food Safety - Vytenis Andriukaitis, for Agriculture and Rural Development - Phil Hogan, for International cooperation and Development - Neven Mimica and for Research, Science and Innovation - Carlos Moedas.

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Towards an EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

Event, 18 October
Close up of the event poster

The Directorate for International Cooperation of DG Research and Innovation organises an interactive round-table with international experts from public and private sector, on the role of EU-Africa cooperation in science, technology and innovation in supporting food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA) and its roadmap.

The event offers a unique visibility opportunity and an exclusive platform for bringing together new ideas, discuss innovative solutions and challenging opportunities. The focus will be on the role of women and youth as game changers in the field. Best practices and lessons learned from other EU-Africa cooperation models will be shared by a variety of key actors at international, regional and national level.

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