Since April this year, the first national meetings of the Policy Labs in the Netherlands, Flanders (Belgium), Hungary, Norway, Lithuania and Romania have taken place, with Italy following suit next month. Discussions during the first national meetings focused on the current state of the food system and its challenges, and addressed questions and existing related research programmes in the relevant country. The Policy Labs invited a variety of national and regional stakeholders from the various areas of the food system to attend their sessions.
What is a policy lab?
Policy Labs within FIT4FOOD2030 aim to maximise the impact of Research and Innovation (R&I) on the food system in the country-specific contexts. They bring together different stakeholders, including people who are usually not involved in policy discussions. In a series of national meetings over the course of the project, each Policy Lab will analyse the current food system and related R&I landscape, define knowledge gaps and opportunities and work on innovative R&I policies. Central aspects in this process should be a holistic approach and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). Potential outcomes could be policy briefs, methodologies or new R&I funding programmes.
As part of the FIT4FOOD2030 project, a first group of 6 countries and 1 region started organizing a Policy Lab each in February 2018.
What is the focus of the Policy Labs?
As the food system is very large and complex, the Policy Labs will focus on specific areas. Some Policy Labs decided on the focus with their stakeholders during the first meeting, others had already narrowed down the scope or chosen a certain angle relevant in context of their own work and country. This has much to do with their different starting points and specific circumstances. The Policy Labs of Flanders and Norway are looking at food and health for example, while the focus of Italy will be on aligning the regional approaches.
The Policy Labs of Italy, Hungary and the Netherlands will be working together with the respective FIT4FOOD2030 City Labs in their country.
What is next?
At the end of November the Policy Lab coordinators will have their third training session, which will help them prepare for the organisation of the second national meeting. The second national meetings should take place in early 2019 and will focus on a shared vision and first ideas for a roadmap to improve the R&I landscape so it can contribute better to a future-proof food system.
Three more countries or regions will be recruited in 2019 to start a Policy Lab, completing the total set of ten Policy Labs that will be part of the FIT4FOOD2030 project.
For more information about the Policy Labs in FIT4FOOD2030 please visit our website.