The Proof of Concept Societal Potential (PoC) is an opportunity for consortia to spend sufficient time on testing and demonstrating the relevance of a proposed approach chosen for establishing the societal impact feasibility of a project.
13 concepts have been selected to be tested in 2021, including 7 RIS concepts. The PoCs fit in one of three themes (click on the side menu to learn more):
Improving societal health to reduce childhood obesity
- Thinking outside the lunchbox - from a guided ‘Food diary’ for family members to a design a personalized lunch box - PoC Lead: Technion
- Food Imaginarium - Promoting healthy eating habits - PoC Lead: Matis
- Peers4Food* - Peer-to-Peer engagement in food to promote healthy, fun and smart diets - PoC Lead: University of Turin
- COACHILD* - e-Coach application for the prevention of Children Obesity - PoC Lead: AZTI
- Children obesity and how to reduce it* - PoC Lead: University of Warsaw
Improving societal health to reduce the prevalence of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)
- Developing a European portion size toolkit - PoC Lead: British Nutrition Foundation
- EngAgeing* - Prevention strategies for social engagement and healthy ageing - PoC Lead: IMDEA Food
- Picture your microbes* - A co-creation participatory action to empower citizens on nutritional health decisions - PoC Lead: IMDEA Food
- Social capital in local food systems* - Increasing capabilities of diabetic people in deprived neighbourhoods - PoC Lead: University of Turin
Sustainability in the food chain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- NoFoSYS - Novel food ingredients for large consumer groups to increase the sustainability of food system - PoC Lead: VTT
- InFormPack - An “all you need to know” online guide for sustainable disposal of food packaging - PoC Lead: University of Aarhus
- Consumers and supermarkets collaborate to make sustainable and healthy choices easy - PoC Lead: Rikolto
- Helpfood* - Investigating the potential of innovative models of food distribution for fostering transition towards fairer, healthier and environmentally-friendly food systems - PoC Lead: HIT - Hub Innovazione Trentino
* RIS PoCs
Projects on childhood obesity
Thinking outside the lunchbox - from a guided ‘Food diary’ for family members to a design a personalized lunch box
The project aims at reducing childhood obesity and food loss by creating a personalised lunch box for school children, based on examination of personal and family habits. However, awareness is only one milestone in the efforts against obesity, and was found, in general, as not as effective as assumed. Thus, this PoC goes beyond raising awareness by inclusion of active participation combined with education efforts to achieve behavioural change.
This PoC puts an emphasis on personal understanding of eating habits by conducting a guided ‘Food diary’ for each family member separately and analysing these habits as individuals and as part of a family unit. The second phase of the project makes use of the data collected and analysed during the first phase, to implement the newly acquired understanding of the family’s eating habits into designing and constructing a personalized lunch box. The personalized lunch box will support each member of the family in maintaining healthier eating.
By understanding food preferences, detecting shortage of vitamins or major food groups or eating in excess of unbalanced or unhealthy food, each member of the family, and the family as a whole can adopt higher food literacy and healthier nutritional habits. By designing and creating the lunchboxes, participants invest efforts and increase commitment to support and enable their change of behaviour regarding food uptake.
Consortium: Technion - Citizen Lab in collaboration with MadaTech Science Museum
Food Imaginarium - Promoting healthy eating habits
The origin of food is unclear to many children – they are used to the idea that food comes in packaging from the supermarket. Yet, knowledge about food is crucial to develop healthy eating habits! The PoC Food Imaginarium project will offer teachers and children (age 10-12 years old) fun and entertaining tools to talk about food - using all their senses, imagination, and creativity. The Food Imaginarium will cover different foods – starting with tomatoes as an example. A 360°/VR video takes children to a sustainable tomato farm - in a very snowy country! With virtual games and quizzes, they can dive deeper into the world of tomatoes’ nutrients and experience how tomatoes grow, smell & taste.
The Food Imaginarium has the goal to reach children at the age where they are prone to start developing obesity by approaching them via interactive and engaging activities to spark interest and increase knowledge for making healthy food choices. In the PoC, the potential impact on children’s knowledge and implicit behaviour will be measured. Feedback from teachers and experimenters on the Food Imaginarium activities will also be collected with the aim of giving direction of further development and improvement of the Food Imaginarium.
Consortium: Matis, University of Aarhus, EUFIC, IMDEA Food Institute
Peers4Food* - Peer-to-Peer engagement in food to promote healthy, fun and smart diets
The PoC provides support for overweight teenagers to develop a new awareness by sharing within a peer group focused on the same objective. A “smart food training” with shared diet, shared physical exercise and individual psychological support is designed to accompany and progressively empower teenagers. The group of peers can constitute the driving force for change: socialize and share experiences produces a sense of closeness and support that enhance self-esteem and facilitate the engagement in new lifestyles.
All Peers4Food participants will be fully involved and aware. They will:
- co-create the changing path they are going to play
- become mentors for other adolescents suffering from the same discomfort
Consortium: University of Turin, University of Warsaw, IMDEA Food
COACHILD* - e-Coach application for the prevention of Children Obesity
The Consortium will develop a mobile application (e-coach) to help and enable children and their families to improve their food literacy and make better food choices to reduce the obesity risk.
The application focuses on lifestyle monitoring and user guidance in the context of personalized nutrition (healthy food and lifestyle strategies adapted to consumer needs and preferences). Consortium will address the factors that increase the risk for obesity in vulnerable and socially disadvantaged children living in European regions with high prevalence of childhood obesity. For that purpose, it will be explored the consumer’s expectations, needs, drivers and barriers to get their food choices.
In foreseen years, the app solution will connect young people with their environment (market, food providers, school, health care professionals) to provide multiple resources because of the importance of blended care. This e-coach will serve as a communication channel to engage children in action with the intention they achieve specific outcomes (self-determination and goal setting) that responds to their needs and motivations. The developed tool could be extrapolated in future years in other countries at the same time a connected community of users is implemented.
Consortium: AZTI, KU Leuven
Children obesity and how to reduce it*
Development of an online game prototype that will educate children in the age of 10-12 on diet composition and help them to change their eating behaviours to the more healthy ones and reduce risk of obesity. The aim is to demonstrate how effective a game can be in shaping eating habits. The game will combine active interactions between players, players’ capacity to decide, striving to obtain goals, and a context which limits players’ actions. The game also helps measure users’ progress and changes in their choices.
The project is aimed at children in primary schools who have some influence on their diet composition or can use online, mobile and VR games together with their parents in order to become more conscious consumers.
Consortium: University of Warsaw, Maspex
Projects on NCDs
Developing a European portion size toolkit
Obesity increases the risk of diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Obesity rates have increased throughout the world and strategies are urgently needed help to reduce these. Many factors can influence people’s calorie intake and body weight and one of these is portion size. Most European countries do not provide consumer-facing information on portion sizes and so this is an important area in which to develop information to support European citizens in making healthier choices.
The BNF has developed portion size resources to sit alongside food-based dietary guidance from the UK Government. The work of this PoC project will be to evaluate these resources via in-depth consumer interviews and a wider ‘portion size challenge’ and to co-create revised versions with a consumer panel. Then we will talk to European stakeholders with a view to working with at least 3 EU countries to develop portion size toolkits to support countries in developing consumer information on portion size that works for their citizens.
Consortium: British Nutrition Foundation
EngAgeing* - Prevention strategies for social engagement and healthy ageing
EngAgeing is aimed to design prevention strategies for social engagement and healthy ageing through two different experiences: Break Your Routine, which consists in break talks coupled with specific gifts at work, and Smarty Foodies, which launches digital challenges in different routinely leisure spaces such us gyms, classrooms, restaurants, gourmet shops, supermarkets, etc.
Under the claim “no need to look for experiences, the experiences will find them”, EngAgeing tries to approach different targets from different perspectives with the goal of involving citizens in science and activities related to healthy habits and to prevention of non communicable diseases (NCDs), connecting with the values and priorities of EIT Food throughout gamification and citizen competitions.
The project will be designed by experts on precision nutrition and food science, gastronomy experts and chefs, and specialists in ageing and prevention of NCDs.
Consortium: IMDEA Food, UAM, BCC inno
Picture your microbes* - A co-creation participatory action to empower citizens on nutritional health decisions
#PictureYourMicrobes is a public engagement project. The main objective is to empower citizens with risk factors for developing NCDs, particularly people living with overweight or obesity, by raising awareness about the importance of caring for the bacterial communities (microbiome) living on our bodies.
To achieve this goal, we develop two participatory activities: first, a photovoice activity, a participatory action methodology where people represent a specific theme through photographs, in this case, their daily habits that can influence the microbiome's health. Second, a citizen science project in which participants will collect data and collaborate with scientific advances related to their microbiomes.
At the end of the project, we aim to join the results of both activities by creating a photovoice exhibition and an online booklet, presenting the photographs taken by the participants related to health, diet and lifestyles with infographics of the main microbial groups found in the participants' microbiome will show the linkage between microbiome and lifestyle habits to have a healthy gut.
Consortium: IMDEA Food, University of Turin, EUFIC, Danone, IARFR
Social capital in local food systems* - Increasing capabilities of diabetic people in deprived neighbourhoods
The project considers the food system as a lever to trigger social mechanisms able to strengthen people capabilities. It aims at enhancing the role of the local food system as a tool that promotes health through new relationships and alliances with other urban systems (public services, social groups, health system).
The project has 2 levels of people engagement. The final target is people suffering from chronic diseases (or at risk) related to eating habits, such as diabetes; in order to reach this goal, the project will involve health professionals, social and food industry workers and citizens to change social relationships with the final target.
Consortium: University of Turin in collaboration with EuroHealthNet
* RIS PoCs
Projects on greenhouse gas emissions
NoFoSYS - Novel food ingredients for large consumer groups to increase the sustainability of food system
The project aims at reducing greenhouse gas emission in the food chain by supporting consumer's acceptance and consumption of food products incorporated with sustainable food ingredients.
The PoC explores what influences environmentally friendly food choices and will demonstrate the effect of fact-, emotion- and social-norm based communication activities depicting the environmental benefits of sustainabile food ingredients and products in order to have measurable effect on consumer's beliefs, attitudes, intentions and even choices of sustainable food products. Based on different approaches, the project will test public engagement activities and measure change. The focus is on current, near future and future ingredients as well as "current" and "future" consumers.
Consortium: VTT, Rikolto, University of Aarhus
InFormPack - An “all you need to know” online guide for sustainable disposal of food packaging
The project explores the cross-cultural variations that exist amongst consumers in terms of awareness, information gaps, and attitudes towards food packaging as related to product choice upon purchase and disposal patterns at home and on the go. Findings will be used to build country-based, tailored consumer-centric engagement activities and incentive strategies based on facts and science.
Consortium: University of Aarhus, University of Reading, VTT, MASPEX, Bioazul
Consumers and supermarkets collaborate to make sustainable and healthy choices easy
A shift in people’s eating patterns is necessary to contribute to better health conditions of our population and mitigate climate change effects. Although European consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the impact of their food choices, making the right option while walking down the supermarket aisles is not self-evident. An enabling environment, in which the sustainable and healthy choice is easy, can help consumers and contribute to a shift in consumption.
We apply three strategies to make sustainable and healthy choises ‘easy’ in supermarket.
- We create awareness and willingness for a shift towards more healthy and sustainable choices
- We engage citizens to become active agents in reshaping their food environment
- We stimulate retailers to adjust their food environment in favour of sustainable consumption. Together with academic partners we figure out how we can test certain tools in supermarkets and have real impact.
During our PoC we will test the effectivity of each of these strategies, applied by different type of partners to reach a diverse audience. On top is, research partners will build strong, scientific evidence for these strategies and identifying gaps in research necessary for a follow-up project
Consortium: Rikolto, KU Leuven, in collaboration with UNiversity Ghent, Test Aankoop, WWF
Helpfood* - Investigating the potential of innovative models of food distribution for fostering transition towards fairer, healthier and environmentally-friendly food systems
By combining multi-level perspectives and practice approaches on socio-technical transitions, HelpFood investigates the potential of innovative online food distribution models in favouring the adoption of a more sustainable and plant-based diet in times of multiple emergencies.
We are interested in investigating innovative approaches of circular economy linked to regeneration of urban and rural communities through the construction of Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) and deploy concrete initiatives of education, training, dissemination and communication for the key actors (citizens-producers and citizens-consumers). AFNs are commonly defined by attributes such as the spatial proximity between farmers and consumers, commitment to sustainable food production and consumption and to more democratic, healthy, ethical, culturally appropriate and better quality ways of food provisioning.
In recent years in Europe, the challenge posed to sustainability by the global food system has spurred the rise of alternative practices for food provisioning (European Farm to Fork strategy, being part of the European Green Deal). The emergence of new consumer demands for healthy food products with minimal environmental impact has been followed by the spread of different initiatives, which aim to ‘re-socialise’ and ‘re-localise’ the food production-consumption chain. HelpFood aims to analyse the potential of recent socio-technical innovations occurred in the food systems also as a consequence of the severe COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Consortium: HIT - Hub Innovazione Trentino, UNiversity of Trento, Fondazione Edmund Mach
* RIS PoC