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Proof of Concept Societal Impact 2023

Proofs of concepts help to determine whether an idea, a specific concept or approach when turned into reality would bring societal impact as envisioned.

2023

Seven Proofs of Concepts (PoCs) have been selected to be implemented between April and September 2023 by individual organisations or small consortia. They will spend six months testing and demonstrating the relevance of the proposed approach for establishing the societal impact feasibility of the idea.

You can read more about each of the selected PoCs here:

Juntos Farm - Regenerative Agriculture

Only 4% of the food consumed in Ibiza is produced on the island. This makes Ibiza’s food supply dependent on imports, making the supply chain inefficient and highly vulnerable to disruption.

This Proof of Concept will address two core challenges of the island’s food system: 1. increasing food sovereignty by supporting local farmers back to the land with resources, infrastructure, and training and 2. Facilitating a transition to regenerative agriculture.

For this, as part of the Proof of Concepts, Juntos Ibiza plans to create a hub for local and regenerative food production by providing shared machinery for agriculture and food transformation, educational resources, a food market, farm shop, tasting room, food distribution and a case-study regenerative farm.

The project will bring together a wide range of actors involved in the local food economy, from farmers to consumers through tourists, academia and policy makers, in order to facilitate greater local networks of transparency, traceability and trust.

Future of Eating

The culinary landscape is predicted to undergo major changes in the decades ahead if we want to feed the increasing world population and take into account the challenges that food production brings to climate change.

The Proof of Concepts lead by VTT and implemented together with Grupo AN and Rikolto wants to anticipate the future of eating and find out what the future will mean for our food system.

The consortium will implement a study around these two questions 1) How do you envision life from the viewpoint of food and eating in 2040? and 2) How has the prolonged crisis (the COVID-19 pandemic period, war in Ukraine, inflation, raising prices of energy and food, and raising interest rates) influenced your lifestyle and future expectations? 

Urban Deltas

As the urban population grows, the role of cities in creating a sustainable future for all is becoming more and more crucial. 

Through the implementation of this Proof of Concept, Priva wants to inspire and convince city governments, city planners, architects, real-estate developers and entrepreneurial citizens to rethink the way cities are designed and embrace the idea that cities can produce a major part of its own healthy and nutritious food.

How? By creating Sustainable Urban Deltas cities can embrace and integrate their Green Belts -where food for the city is produced- and provide more green space, saving water, balance energy sources, help reduce carbon emission and thus contribute to a better climate.

The project team will test and refine their approach in Hamburg, Germany. They will advise communities and city officials in a collaborative manner to understand their current urban food system and to propose interventions to make the food system more resilient.

Food Councils

Various district municipalities across the Nordic and Baltic countries have put food and sustainability as a theme in their long term regional strategic plans. However, the lack of knowledge, experience and competencies in sustainable food, food security and how to work with the SDGs at the municipality level, and the bottom-up collaboration scarcity, have become impediments on the development of resilient and sustainable food cities and regions.

Food Councils are the central nodes to all the food related things happening around the local community. It’s an efficient way to create a space for multi-stakeholder interactions that result in increased food literacy, healthier grown food and a thriving local food system.

With this Proof of Concepts, Sustainable Gastro and Coompanion aim at implementing the steps that lead to the creation of a food council in Vilnius and Upsala -coordinate a series of information meetings to inform all layers of society that have an interest in food and a series of workshops with a focus on specific points of the food chain- and see if this is a concept that could be successful in those cities as it has been proven successful in other Nordic cities.

The Food Science Web 

There is a need for an accessible/appealing and engaging venue for young consumers to access fact-based, scientifically correct information, without any conflicts of interest. The Food Science Web, proposed in this PoC could be such a platform. It can help consumers meet their information needs for specific food knowledge which could then also improve their food involvement and engagement. The Food Science Web would also be valuable for the food industry, which could easily direct consumers to fact-based information and thereby contribute to increased transparency in the food system.

With the implementation of the PoC MATIS, The University of Iceland and the University of Warsaw aim to (1) identify the most efficient path for the creation and establishment of the Food Science Web, (2) evaluate the interest and engagement of stakeholders in Iceland and Poland, (3) test-run selected Food Science Web material in Iceland and (4) measure the impact of the Food Science Web in terms of interest, trust and usability, and thereby assessing its societal potential.

Plant-based Kitchen Adventure

Hungary has the highest obesity rates in Europe, with 25% of children overweight and with 45% and 55% of its population admitted not eating fresh fruits or vegetables, respectively, on a daily basis (State of Health in the EU - Hungary, 2021). Adolescents have even poorer stats with 60% not eating either fruits or vegetables every day.

Studies say eating home-cooked meals is associated with better dietary quality and health outcomes, greater fruit and vegetable intake and decreased BMI (Mills et al., 2017). Children with a low frequency of eating home-cooked meals were 2.27 times more likely to be obese.

This PoC, which will be implemented by Climate Smart Elephant in Hungary, wants to achieve a behavior change through a cooking intervention for children aged 10-12 and their parents, with the aims at (1) having them cook more at home and push them toward healthier and more sustainable dietary choices, while also (2) educating them about the food system and the consequences of their choices. If the PoC results are promising, Climate Smart Elephant (3) plans to involve participants in shortening the food supply chain.

Timeline: March-September 2023

Education Toolkit

This PoC aims to support the EU's efforts towards a more sustainable food system by placing consumers at the centre of this transition, starting with young people, and recognizing their key role in the necessary transformation.

Vest Stroy, Agricultural University of Plovdiv and the University of the Peloponnese, will target with the PoC students aged between 12–14 years in Bulgaria and Greece. It will equip them with the skills they need to make the shift toward healthier food choices, and towards products and services that facilitate healthy and sustainable diets. Additionally, participants will share their knowledge with their families and peers, which will bring about behavioural changes by their families and their wider circle.

As part of the PoC, the project team will create a Food and Nutrition education toolkit that will provide a teaching methodology that can be easily transferred to the classroom and become part of the curriculum.

Participants will finalize their educational journey by participating in an entrepreneurial workshop that provides them with an opportunity to share what they have learned and the potential solutions they feel need to be put into practice to facilitate the change to healthy and sustainable food systems.

Parallel to this, the PoC will pioneer a connection between the schools, restaurants, and local farmers. Children will be introduced to the process of growing the produce, its journey to the market through farmers' markets, and its preparation into healthy and nutritious meals.

Project beneficiaries:

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