Fostering Food System Transformation by Integrating Heterogeneous Perspectives in Knowledge and Innovation within the ERA

The vision of FOSTER is to build a foundation from which a new Knowledge and Innovation System (KIS) for Europe’s food system can emerge. The current structure is insufficient to address the emerging challenges of nourishing people in a healthy and sustainable way. Key objective is to gain insights into how it can be built to be more inclusive and better governed. 

FOSTER shall help to transform Europe’s food system outcomes and will achieve this by: 

  • building a FOSTER Platform including food system-state of the art knowledge, foresight by semi-automated Horizon scanning, trend and threats-analysis and new multi-dimensional scenarios of EU food systems to 2040; 
  • implementing the FOSTER Academy – including four Summer Schools – for integrating food system-related disciplines and citizen science to enhance food system understanding across the ERA; 
  • initiating and assessing a co-creation and co-learning process within six national resp. regional Citizen Driven Initiatives (CDIs), in which new knowledge, strategies and Action Research Agendas are gained; 
  • scaling out and deep CDIs solutions and approaches to other territorial contexts; 
  • studying different R&I mechanisms of policy support for mission-oriented R&I policy for food systems transformation, and analysing and ground-proofing them in each CDI; 
  • strengthening science-policy interfaces by co-learning processes with external experts and developing recommendations for food systems R&I policies tailored to different geographies and sectors; 
  • identifying the trigger points to help ‘unlock’ system lock-ins and support further dynamics towards system transformation; 
  • and applying reflective monitoring on all FOSTER’s co-learning activities to develop insights into how the KIS can be broadened from an agricultural-KIS to a food system-KIS. 

To inspire adoption of FOSTER learnings, over 20 workshops and a final conference will be conducted; scientific position papers and policy briefs will be widely communicated. 


09/2022 - 08/2026


European Commission


  • DIL – German Institute of Food Technologies EV
  • University of Hohenheim
  • European Citizen Science Association – ECSA EV
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung EV
  • University of Oxford
  • Insitut de Recerca ITecnologia Agroalimentaries
  • Biosense Institute 
  • Stichting Wageningen Reasarch
  • Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação
  • Stichting VU
  • Johann Heinrich Von Thuenen-Institut
  • Pannon Helyi Termek Kereskedelmi
  • Kislepteku
  • Delta Foundation
  • Insitut D'arquitectura Avancada de Catalunya
  • Stichting Transitiecoalitie Voedsel
  • Fundacio Privada Institut de Recerca de La Sida
  • Ernährungsrat StadtRegion Stuttgart