EU Think Tank


The EU Think Tank (EU-TT) supports the development & implementation of an integrated vision for EU food systems. It also supports a needed transformation in Research and Innovation to deliver impact on the societal challenges of Food and Nutrition Security, focusing on creating a blue print for global collaboration on this matter.

The EU-TT enables the European Commission (EC) to liaise with the merging network and the lessons that FIT4FOOD2030 generates. It also acts as the linking pin between EC and Member States & Associated Countries and serves as a sounding board with global outreach. The EU-TT was established in May 2018 comprising 15 members. So far it is contributing proactively to the project via the development a collection of policy briefs: Policy brief 1 – A systems approach to research and innovation for food system transformation; Policy brief 2 – Key research and innovation questions on engaging consumers in the delivery of Food 2030; Policy brief 3 – Research and Innovation supporting the Farm to Fork Strategy of the European Commission.

Professor Maggie Gill, chair of the FIT4FOOD2030 EU Think Tank

explaining the role of the EU Think Tank and its outcomes


EU Think Tank Members

João Breda

João Breda works in the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Life-course at the World Health Organisation (WHO)/Europe. He provides support to the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region on the implementation of the European Charter on Counteracting Obesity and evaluates their progress. His team is responsible for the world’s largest and most comprehensive surveillance mechanism for childhood obesity. Before joining WHO he was the Portuguese focal point to WHO/Europe for nutrition and physical activity, and the High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity and the European Platform on Diet, Nutrition and Physical Activity of the EU. Dr Breda was the first coordinator of the national platform against obesity under the Portuguese Ministry of Health. He worked as a public health nutritionist at the general health directorate in Ministry. He was the Head of the Nutrition Department at Atlantic University in Lisbon and lecturer and researcher at the Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra (ESAC), the University of the Algarve and the School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Coimbra. For more informaion, please click here.

Jean Cahill

Jean Cahill is responsible for pre-award research development and strategic planning in Food & Health Sciences as well as promoting research and enterprise activities at the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) in Research News and on the Dublin Research and Enterprise (DRE) website. She has worked as an evaluator for over 25 years for the European Commission including Marie Curie; Food; SME; and COST programmes. She was a member of the Societal Challenge 2 Expert Advisory Group and the H2020 Advisory Group on Gender from 2014 to 2016 and the Science with and for Society H2020 Expert advisory group until ​from 2016 to ​2018. She represents TU Dublin on the National Athena Swan Steering Committee dedicated to improving gender equality in Higher Education in Ireland. She has previously worked for 12 years as a Senior Food Researcher as PI for a large number of EU funded consumer research studies; worked with food companies across Ireland as part of her roles as Manager of the ​TU Dublin Food Product Development Centre and Head of Innovation & Industry Services. She has been a Director of Bord Bia the State Food Marketing Board and the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She has completed undergraduate degrees in Science; Food Science & Technology; and Law and holds a Masters degree in Food Science & Technology. For more information, please click here.

Carolin Callenius

Carolin Callenius is Managing Director of the Hohenheim Research Center for Global Food Security and Ecosystems (GFE). The main tasks of the GFE are to promote and support collaborative research projects on global food security and nutrition, planetary boundaries, climate change and adaptation, ecosystem services, and development oriented agricultural research. The center promotes and supports international research cooperation, inter- and transdisciplinary research, and science-policy-interface. Before joining the GFE, Carolin Callenius worked for 25 years with faith based development organizations in Germ any as Senior Policy Advisor on the Right to Food, as Coordinator of a Campaign on World Food Security and as Gender Advisor. She received her M.Sc. degree in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Hohenheim, with the focus on rural socio-economics and agriculture in the tropics and subtropics. For more information, please click here.

Patrick Caron

Patrick Caron is currently the International Director of Montpellier University of Excellence (MUSE). He is since November 2015 the Chair of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). He was also until recently (2010-2016) the Director of the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), that he joined in 1988. He is a veterinary doctor and a researcher in geography and his works relate to the analysis of the role of agriculture and livestock in rural transformation. He spcially looks at the trans-scales combination of processes and actions (from household to international levels) which underpin changes at territoral level, and, in return, at the capacity of territory to play a regulatory function. He is also member of many institutional and interinstitutional bodies, e.g. he is charing the Scientific Council of AgroParisTech. For more information, please click here.

Zoya Damianova

Zoya Damianova is the Programme Director of the Applied Research and Communications Fund, Bulgaria. Since 1997 Zoya has been involved in several sectoral foresight projects (agriculture, energy, and environment), as well as in projects focused on public engagement with research. Recently, she coordinated the CASI project (Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation, Jan 2014 – Jun 2017, FP7). She is currently working on (i) Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice, a project aiming to understand the barriers and drivers to the successful implementation of RRI in research conducting and research funding organisations, (ii) research infrastructures in the Danube Region, and (iii) sustainable eneregy consumption. Zoya has participated in several working groups at DG RTD of the European Commission: 2010 – 2011, member of the 3rd foresight expert group at the EU Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR FEG3); Jan – Sept 2012, member of International STI cooperation expert group; 2014 – 2015, member of an Expert group on identifying cross-sectoral research priorities at the junction of health, environment and bioeconomy.

Maggie Gill

Margaret Gill

Margaret Gill is a former Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government on Rural Affairs and the Environment. She is Professor of Integrated Land Use at the University of Aberdeen, and also chair of the CGIAR(a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food-secured future) Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC). She also chairs a Science Advisory Panel for the Our land and Water Challenge programme in New Zealand and chaired the Science Advisory Board of FACCE JPI until June 2017. Her original research career was in animal science, broadening out over time to an interest in the impacts of agriculture on the environment and how science can provide an evidence base to inform policy. She is also a Trustee of GALVmed a charity which seeks to make animal products affordable for smallholder livestock owners in developing countries. For more information, please click here.

Mirjana Gurinovic

Mirjana Gurinovic MD. PhD Nutrition, Scientific Research Advisor, FAO Nutrition consultant, research team leader at the  Centre of Research Excellence in Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Serbia, is recognized public health nutrition scientists, actively engaged in research on nutrition, food composition data bases, public health nutrition epidemiology,  harmonization of the  dietary intake assessment, nutrient recommendations, food and nutrition policy, Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets, nutritional tools development and research infrastructure for food and nutrition research, preschool and schoolchildren nutrition improvement , diet and health and capacity development in food and nutrition specific for  CEE countries. She had leading and active role in national and international food and nutrition research projects (EC FP6 and FP7 NoE projects, including EURRECA, EuroFIR, BaseFood , CHANCE, EuroFIR-Nexus , BACCHUSS, ODIN , four EFSA projects and member of  project advisory board in Euro DISH project). Dr. Gurinović is a Chair of the Network for Capacity development in Nutrition in CEE Countries (CAPNUTRA) ( which was established in 2005 in FAO in Budapest and contributed to food & nutrition capacity development in this region. She has over 300 published peer-review papers, abstracts, and reports in national and international journals. Dr. Gurinovic is a member of a number of professional associations including: Europe Expert Group on ‘Evaluation of New Methods for Dietary Intake Assessment’, EFSA Scientific Network on Food Consumption Data, ‘’EU Think Tank’’ FOOD 2030, World Public Health Nutrition Association (WPHNA), Nutrition Expert Group in European Heart Network where she contributed to the European food and nutrition recommendations for cardiovascular diseases prevention. She is research professor at the integrated food science module for PhD students at the University of Belgrade. For more information, please click here, or here.

Liisa Lähteenmäki

Liisa Lähteenmäki (MSc in Nutrition; PhD in Psychology) is Professor of Consumer Behaviour and Food Choice at Aarhus University.  She is part of the MAPP Centre – Research on Value Creation in the Food Sector for Consumers, Industry and Society, which has been evaluated as one of the leading centres on consumer and innovation research on food sector. Her research areas include consumer behaviour (e.g. consumer decision making, behaviour change mechanisms) with special interest in food-related behaviours, sustainable and responsible behaviours (e.g. food waste), and integrating consumer insight in innovation processes (e.g. acceptability of new innovations and technologies, communication challenges).  Professor Lähteenmäki has acted as an expert in evaluating research proposal in several national and international committees and acts currently as one of co-executive editors in journal Appetite. For more information, please click here.

Tim Lang

Tim Lang has been Professor of Food Policy at City University London’s Centre for Food Policy since 2002. He founded the Centre in 1994. After a PhD in social psychology at Leeds University, he became a hill farmer in the 1970s in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire which shifted his attention to food policy, where it has been ever since. For years, he’s engaged in academic and public research and debate about its direction, locally to globally. His abiding interest is how policy addresses the mixed challenge of being food for the environment, health, social justice, and citizens. What is a good food system? How is ours measured and measuring up? He has been a consultant to the WHO (eg auditing the Global Top 25 Food Companies on food and health 2005), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) (eg co-chairing the FAO definition of sustainable diets 2010) and UNEP (eg co-writing its 2012 Avoiding Future Famines report). He has been a special advisor to four House of Commons Select Committee inquiries, two on food standards (1998-9 & 1999), globalisation (2000) and obesity (2003-04), and a consultant on food security to the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House 2007-09). He was a Commissioner on the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Commission (2006-11). For more information, please click here.

André Laperrière

Andre Laperriere Executive Director Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Mr. André Laperrière joined the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative as its first Executive Director, in September 2015. During his career, Mr. Laperrière has led/managed numerous projects on behalf of large Private Corporations and subsequently, within the United Nations and the World Bank. In this context he played a senior role in the design and the implementation of major reforms within a number of agencies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), the WHO and UNICEF. He has extensive work experience in the Americas, Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, in particular in developing countries and in conflict/post conflict environments. Before joining GODAN, Mr. Laperrière was Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Washington DC. Among other positions, he has also been the first Executive Director of the Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Director of the Administration and Finance Division in the WHO, and Coordinator for reconstruction and rehabilitation activities under the responsibility of UNICEF in Iraq. Prior to his career in the UN, Mr. Laperrière was Director in the International Services of Price Waterhouse. For more information, please click here or here.

Carlo Mango

Carlo Mango started his career in 1991, working for university-enterprise research consortiums in the field of R&D and technology transfer. He has been a coordinator of several international research projects and project manager of a significant number of technology transfer projects in cooperation with leading industrial partners. Carlo Mango has been working as Director of the Scientific Research Department of Fondazione Cariplo (one of the biggest grant-providing foundations in Europe, based in Milan) since the beginning of its funding activity in February 2001. He is in charge of the entire cycle of strategic planning, programme design and management of Fondazione Cariplo’s research, education and technology transfer initiatives. He is also involved in several international scientific committees, boards of directors of research foundations and is co-founder and an independent member of the Investment Committee of TT Venture Fund, an Italian VC fund focused on early stage science-based businesses (a mission-related investment subscribed to by several Italian banking foundations). For more information, please click here.

John Ryder

John Ryder currently heads up the Products, Markets and Trade Branch of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department in the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. For the majority of his career, John has worked in post-harvest fisheries in national and international organisations in various parts of the world and has spent most of the last 25 years in international development, working for DFID, the FAO and as a consultant. Aside from his current management responsibilities, he tries to keep his hand in food safety, export compliance and market access and trade issues. For more information, please click here.

Roberta Sonnino

Roberta Sonnino is a Professor in the School of Geography and Planning (Cardiff University, UK), where she has been involved in international research on food security, urban food strategies and governance and public food policies. In recent years, Professor Sonnino has acted as a commentator to print and broadcast media organizations in Italy, Finland, Denmark, Spain and the UK and has been an advisor on food policy for the European Commission, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Welsh Government and the Soil Association. Professor Sonnino is the Director of the Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF) at Cardiff University. For more information, please click here.

Gerda Verburg

Since August 2016, Gerda Verburg from the Netherlands has served as United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. She was appointed by the UN Secretary-General based on her extensive experience in politics and international cooperation. In 2008, following her appointment the previous year as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, she was elected as Chair of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 17). From 2011, she served as Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the she served as Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations Rome-based agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP). In 2013, she was elected as Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), and in 2014 she was appointed as Chair of the Agenda Council for Food and Nutrition of the World Economic Forum (WEF). For more information, please click here or here.

Hanneke Muilwijk

Hanneke Muilwijk studied chemistry and philosophy at Leiden University. After graduating, she enrolled in the trainee program for Dutch civil servants (Rijkstraineeprogramma) and worked for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. In 2014, she joined PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency as a researcher and project manager. Today, her research focuses on environmental effects of food consumption and production in relation to public policy. By taking a food systems approach, food system actors (e.g. retail, food industry, consumers, farmers) and their interactions are of special interest. How can food system actors act in ways that the effects of food consumption and production on the environment are lessened? What is the role of public policy?
For more information, please click here.