The Four Phases
Phase 1: Actor identification & mobilisation, visioning and system understanding
The first phase (months 1-12) were aimed at identify and mobilise relevant actors, unite visions, and increase understanding of barriers and opportunities for transforming the current system. During this phase the project established the EU Think Tank, ‘Policy Labs’ and ‘City Labs’ and provided training on setting up an effective Community of Practice (CoP).
Simultaneously an actor analysis was conducted, identifying important stakeholders that should be involved in the transformation of the food system. This included identifying groups that were underrepresented in the existing networks but who can have an essential contribution. The actor analysis was carried out recurrently in order to ensure that the stakeholder group continuously includes all those who can voice relevant opinions.
The EU Think Tank, Policy Labs and/or City Labs also involved different stakeholders in processes of shared vision development and system understanding; identifying the underlying barriers to the realisation of the vision and enablers that support it. The system analyses have further been informed by an inventory of current trends in food systems, food systems research and related research & innovation (R&I) policy frameworks at the three levels. This has since revealed: (a) dominances of R&I in specific areas; and (b) areas with a lack of R&I activity.
Phase 2: Developing roadmaps
In Phase 2 (months 10-16) transformation agendas were developed by identifying showcases in food systems R&I and exploring potential breakthroughs. Showcases are initiatives that have contributed, or are contributing, to food systems R&I developments. Assessing their characteristics, success factors and contributory conditions will result in criteria for best practices. A potential breakthrough is a significant achievement that may lead towards a step change or radical change of the food system, making it more sustainable and resilient. The identification of critical success factors for these roadmaps will aid in the formulation of actionable transformation agendas.
At City Lab level, phase 2 led to the formulation of educational needs for R&I for those who will contribute to transforming the food system. At Policy Lab level, phase 2 led to national transformation agendas for food systems R&I, comprising visions, and potential areas for radical change, key areas of action and rules of cooperation. These agendas have formed input for the EU Think Tank, by generating input for supported food systems research programmes that prioritise the R&I themes and approaches required to transform the European food system.
Phase 3: Action planning and training
In Phase 3 (months 16-36), the transformation agendas were put into practice. Policy labs have organised workshops to bring regional/national stakeholders together and to work towards alignment of R&I policies and programmes within the framework of the transformation agenda. City Labs have developed prototypes for (in)formal trainings for different target groups. The experiences of the Policy Labs and City Labs have been discussed within the EU Think Tank, and used as an input for further strategy development.
Phase 4: Scaling up & continuity
In the final phase, Phase 4 (months 26-36), the project aims to scale up. In year 1, the project started with 5 Policy Labs and 7 City Labs across Europe and has since expanded to 10 Policy Labs and 14 City Labs. The initial 5 Policy Labs, 7 City Labs and the EU Think Tank form the inner circle. The outer circle of ‘followers’ was developed during the later stages of the project. In addition, FIT4FOOD2030 is developing instruments (guidelines and tools) which will be distributed through existing R&I policy collaboration initiatives. Instruments include guidelines on how to identify and mobilize actors, mapping exercises on trends, showcases and breakthroughs, alignment of policies, competences training and raising awareness.