EFSA has launched its second thematic grant call for proposals on methodology development in risk assessment. The thematic grant scheme aims to facilitate scientific cooperation in the EU, boost innovation and support the exchange of expertise and best practice in areas relating to EFSA’s work.
To ensure scientific excellence in its work, EFSA constantly reviews existing risk assessment methods and develops new methods in key scientific areas related to food safety. EFSA designed its second thematic grant call to support this process.
The aim of the call is to encourage cooperation between EFSA and Member States as well as among Member States through the formation of consortia. EFSA is looking for innovative projects whose results would further enhance the sharing of knowledge and expertise.
The call covers three lots: methods and systems for the identification of emerging food risks; integrated methodologies for the risk assessment of mycotoxin mixtures in food and feed; and output-based methods for the assessment of the freedom of animal disease/infection.
Eligible applicants from the list of competent organisations designated by Member States are requested to submit their proposals by 6 October 2016.
Broad objectives to boost innovation
How does EFSA’s thematic grants scheme differ from its usual grants? When awarding grants to scientific institutions or consortia, EFSA typically identifies the scientific area and expected outcomes. With thematic grants, EFSA indicates broad themes in key scientific areas identified by Member States to strengthen risk assessment. This approach allows applicants to define and develop the specific scope of a project in line with research interests of their own institutions.
Successful pilot call
In 2015, EFSA awarded two grant agreements as a result of a successful first thematic call. The pilot call attracted interest from six consortia, with a total of 34 organisations from 15 countries. Information on the two awarded projects, INNUENDO and ENGAGE, the amounts awarded for each project and the consortia composition is available at EFSA’s website.
The two project teams will carry out studies on the use of molecular approaches to identify and characterise microbial foodborne pathogens. The aim is to better understand foodborne diseases in people, how these diseases spread and how they can be traced.