Project Description

The Institute of Food and Health at University College Dublin (UCD) brings together UCD staff with active research programmes in the area of Food and Health into one centre of excellence. It is a multidisciplinary, campus‐wide initiative, where Principal Investigators (faculty) and their teams focus efforts across four research thematic areas: Food Quality and Processing, Food Safety, Nutrition and Health and Food Chain Sustainability. Since its inception in 2008, the institute has firmly established itself as a leading player in Ireland for Food and Health research and has continued to build its international reputation. Central to the Institute’s philosophy is the translation of its research for commercial, economic and societal impact. Utilising its scientific evidence as the basis for food and health policy is also a key objective of the Institute.

UCD will partner with other organisations based in Dublin in order to facilitate the delivery of the broad FIT4FOOD2030 vision and deliver a framework to “Fostering Integration and Transformation for Food 2030”. Key partners in the Food Lab include the Science Gallery Dublin, Teagasc, Dublin City University (DCU), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Technical University Dublin (TU Dublin), the UCD institute of Food and Health (UCD IFH), Food for Health Ireland (FHI) and the Dublin City Council. This consortium will create a multi-disciplinary team to delivery workshops and outreach activities for FIT4FOOD2030.

Contacts: Lorraine Brennan, | Nessa



The Lab's vision In a nutshell: to create awareness around healthy, sustainable diets and food waste, interact with multiple partners in Dublin including the Science Gallery, and build a stakeholder group that could interact in various scenarios to develop concepts around Food Systems. Giving shape to the Food Lab Dublin A “Food Systems” pop-up exhibition - to be developed in collaboration with Science Gallery Dublin - and around which project workshops could be build was scheduled to take place from 26 to 28 June - the moment to engage citizens and key stakeholders with the Food Lab. COVID-19 restrictions and adaptations With Science Gallery Dublin closing, home working as the norm and many activities shifting online, the plans of the lab had to be adapted. What's in your jar of sauce? A workshop for a broad public was integrated in the online programme of Science Gallery Dublin. It was a chance to provide an overview of food systems to the public and challenge them to think about local source through an exercise about the ingredients found in a jar of sauce. Online; 18 July 2020 Concept maps for food system change A wide range of stakeholders met for two workshops: first an introduction, scene setting and empathy maps - what do different actors in the food system think, say, feel and do. This was followed by the collaborative construction of new concept maps for food system change. View more Online; 21-24 July 2020 Pathways for Impact A more in-depth follow-up on the FOOD 2020 Pathways for Impact - and more precisely the barriers and opportunities for urban food system transformation in Dublin. A strong wish to see food included in policy or governance of Dublin and join other cities in Ireland who had shown leadership in this regard was expressed. Online; 23 October 2020 Reflecting on impact New interactions with stakeholders such as funding agencies, policy influencers and industry were considered beneficial, as well as the initiation of dialogue around food systems in the Dublin ecosystem. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, boding well for the continuation of activities.