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EIT Food Protein Diversification Think Tank

The Think Tank convenes selected stakeholders and partners, fostering broad and inclusive participation to overcome barriers to innovation in the field of protein diversification.

2022
2024

Protein is an essential part of a healthy human diet, but the overproduction of animal-based protein is damaging to the environment. Furthermore, with the global population expected to increase from 8 billion today to almost 10 billion by 2050, the world needs sustainable ways of producing new, high-quality, safe and healthy proteins to ensure adequate nutrition for the planet. Protein diversification has the potential to alleviate many of the current food system’s challenges, and EU policymakers are already taking note of these advancements. 

EIT Food Protein Diversification Think Tank

Bringing protein diversification to the mainstream for the people and planet is one of EIT Food's three high-value areas, cross-cutting EIT Food Missions to deliver system change. Therefore in 2022 experts from the EIT Food community established the EIT Food Protein Diversification Think Tank.
The Think Tank convenes selected stakeholders and partners, fostering broad and inclusive participation to overcome barriers to innovation in the field of protein diversification.

We are facing serious global challenges impacting the whole agri-food system, and protein diversification is a primary concern. It is therefore vitally important to lift the barriers and accelerate innovation and move towards a sustainable, healthy, and fair agri-food ecosystem. In order to achieve this EIT Food, together with its partners has established the Protein Diversification Think Tank and is aiming to contribute with initial reflections and recommendations.

- Marja-Liisa Meurice, Director of EIT Food North and East Region

The Vision

By 2050, Europeans should have access to a diet with appealing and affordable protein that is sustainable, resilient, healthy, and safe.

Sustainability and health issues related to protein production and consumption are at the heart of the problems with the current food system and so a shift will be essential to address pressing issues such as agricultural emissions, nutrition, and food security.

The Mission

To achieve this vision, protein diversification should be at the forefront of all relevant policies, and it is the goal of the EIT Food Protein Diversification Think Tank to enable this by fostering dialogue.

As a neutral, independent body, the Think Tank engages all stakeholders of the food system in structured discussion to identify gaps, barriers, and opportunities as well as co-creates evidence-based roadmaps and recommends actions and policies for protein diversification to drive the food systems transformation.

Think Tank Leaders

President - Kari Tronsmo, Open Innovation manager at Danone
Vice-President and Leader of the Policy Working Group
- Acacia Smith, Senior Policy Manager at The Good Food Institute (GFI) Europe,
Vice-President and
Leader of the Ecosystem and value chain impact Working Group - Deniz Koca, Researcher and principal investigator at Lund University and the Centre for Environmental and Climate Science

Think Tank Leaders for the EIT Food

Key Leader - Marja-Liisa Meurice, Director EIT Food North and East Region
Co-Leader - Lorena Savani, Mission Lead (Healthier lives through food)

Think Tank Task Force Leads

Research and Innovation Lead - Dr Peter Holl, Deputy Head of DIL Brussels Office, Senior Manager EU Programmes

Biotechnology Lead - Kevin Camphuis, ShakeUpFactory co-founder

Working groups

Protein Diversification Think Tank is focusing its activities within two working groups
- Ecosystem and value chain impact Working Group
- Policy Working Group
in order to:

  • To identify specific gaps with the different stakeholders, and implement needed activities to narrow these gaps
  • To better understand the different types of alternative proteins
  • To reply with innovative solutions to Protein Diversification momentum happening globally
  • To foster a science-based public debate on Protein Diversification in Europe
  • To map and coordinate the emergence of European network of expertise

EIT Food Protein Diversification Think Tank 2023 Policy Brief on “Accelerating Protein Diversification for Europe”

This policy brief sets out a comprehensive set of recommendations, advocating for a systems thinking approach and acknowledging the importance of engaging with the entire food system. It builds on the white paper published in December 2022 by the EIT Food Protein Diversification Think Tank and the feedback received, going a step further to look at the pathways ahead. It is the result of a collaborative process between the Think Tank members, bringing their own expertise, as well as consulting with various experts and stakeholders from the protein diversification field for a more accurate representation of required developments.

Whitepaper on Protein Diversification

As one of many ongoing activities, the Protein Diversification Think Tank co-created a new whitepaper detailing the latest innovations and critical factors in bringing more planet-friendly proteins to our plates.

Project lead

Kari Tronsmo
Kari Tronsmo

Think Tank President, Open Innovation manager at Danone

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