Food4Health projects continue in 2020

The project teams will build upon the outcomes from 2019

In the inaugural year of the Cross-KIC Food4Health, EIT Food and EIT Health mobilised major European players from their networks to commit to a shared strategy; to provide European citizens with new food and lifestyle products and services to improve their health.

To initiate the programme, the two projects, STOP MetSyn and MuscleCancer, were launched. Despite having only 4 months to complete the 2019 tasks, the partners successfully realised all deliverables, outputs and KPIs. The project teams will use these outcomes as a basis for the continuation of the projects in 2020.

For the 2020 tasks, 18 partners have once again been selected to work on these projects, many of whom also participated in the 2019 activities. The project partners are as follows:

STOP MetSyn: Achmea (NL), Ets. Franz Colruyt (BE), KU Leuven (BE), RISE (SE), Technical University of Munich (DE), University of Ghent (BE), Université Grenoble Alpes (FR) and University of Reading (UK).

MuscleCancer: AZTI (ES), BeYou (ES), Danone Nutricia Research (FR), Imperial College London (UK), University of Hohenheim (DE), University of Maastricht (NL), University Medical Centre Groningen (NL), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ES), University of Cologne (DE) and University of Torino (IT).

As the 2020 activities officially started on 1 February, the two projects teams met in late February/early March. During these kick-off meetings, the teams discussed outcomes from 2019 along with the project plans for the rest of the year.

Food4Health finalises the 2nd call for Expressions of Interest

10 tasks were open for applications

On the 23rd October 2019, Food4Health launched the 2nd call for Expressions of Interest for the 10 tasks that will be conducted in the two projects – STOP MetSyn and MuscleCancer – in 2020.

When applications closed on 20 November, 49 Expressions of Interest had been submitted either from individual partners or teams. Applications were received from 34 partners: 12 from EIT Food, 19 from EIT Health and 3 who are partners of both networks. The applicants included universities, research institutes, hospitals and industry partners, representing all regionals hubs from both networks.

As in the first call, the applications were evaluated by an external expert panel using the same criteria and the top-ranked applicants for each task were placed on a shortlist. The selected partners from each list have already been invited to join the project consortia with the intention to officially start the 2020 tasks on 1 February.

With the successful completion of the 2019 tasks, the 2020 tasks are expected to build upon the outcomes from 2019.

Food4Health projects kick-off as new teams meet

18 partners chosen to work on two projects

With project teams confirmed, Food4Health’s first two projects officially launched on 1 September and held their kick-off meetings shortly after: the STOP MetSyn team met 20 September and MuscleCancer met 10 October.

These projects, the first in the new Food4Health programme, aim to address specific health challenges faced by both consumers and patients through the development of nutrition, exercise and lifestyle intervention programmes.

The launch of the STOP MetSyn and MuscleCancer projects is another milestone in bringing together the partners of both EIT Food and EIT Health, who are collaborating in Food4Health. At the two project kick-off meetings, the partners had the opportunity to get to know one another and to align the activities and way of working.

The partners for each project

Of the 18 partners selected to work on these projects, 10 were from EIT Health, seven were from EIT Food and one partner is a member of both networks. The partners taking part in each project are as follows:

STOP MetSyn: Erasmus Medical Centre (NL), Hospital Sant Joan de Déu (ES), Institut Català de la Salut (ES), KU Leuven (BE), OME Health (UK), Pepsico (UK), RISE (SE), University of Ghent (BE), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ES), and University of Reading (UK).

MuscleCancer: AZTI (ES), Danone Nutricia Research (FR), Imperial College London (UK), Sorbonne Université (FR), University of Hohenheim (DE), University of Maastricht (NL), University Medical Centre Groningen (NL), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ES), and University of Torino (IT).

These projects will be overseen by the Food4Health Core Team, which includes Colruyt Group, Danone Nutricia Research, EIT Food Central and EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands.

In 2019, the 14 tasks being conducted will establish the basis for the intervention programmes that will be further developed and tested in 2020. The call for participation in the 2020 tasks will be launched later this month.

163 applications received in the 1st call for Food4Health Expressions of Interest

The first Food4Health call was open from 29 May to 26 June.

An overwhelming 163 Expressions of Interest applications were submitted by 48 partners who are ready to start work in 2019 on the first two projects of Food4Health, a collaboration between EIT Health and EIT Food to help bring innovations for healthy eating to the market.  

Some 14 partners from EIT Food, 29 from EIT Health, and five who are partners of both networks submitted the applications to start work on the two Food4Health projects:

  • STOP MetSyn – Using Indicators to Influence Consumer Behaviour and Prevent Pre-Disease Through Food and Lifestyle-related Interventions: Metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) represents a clustering of different metabolic abnormalities, present in approximately 25% of all adults with increased prevalence in advanced ages. Having MetSyn increases the risk of developing other serious diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, but it can be controlled with food and lifestyle interventions. This project will help to develop marketable solutions to address this challenge.
  • Muscle-Cancer – Tackling Muscle Mass Loss in Cancer Patients Through Nutrition Solutions and Lifestyle Interventions: Involuntary body weight loss in cancer patients is prevalent, and evidence shows that having low or losing muscle mass has a negative impact on the prognosis and survival rate of cancer patients. This project seeks marketable solutions to promote physical or nutritional interventions that can help prevent muscle wasting.

Applications were received from 23 universities, 15 institutes/hospitals, eight companies, one city and one NGO. The evaluation of these applications was conducted by an external expert panel based on three criteria: Competence (25%), Expertise/Experience (25%) and Motivation (50%).

The top-ranked applicants for each task were placed on a shortlist and several partners from each list have been invited to join the project consortia. The Food4Health team is currently contacting these partners to confirm their participation in the projects.

Fourteen tasks involved in executing STOP MetSyn and Muscle-Cancer will begin in September 2019, and the partners who are chosen will start work on those tasks.

Food4Health will continue in 2020 and the 2nd call for Expressions of Interest for the tasks that start next year will open October 2019.

EIT Food and EIT Health Partners identify areas for cooperation at the Food4Health Workshop

Discussion revolves around plans for 2019 and focus areas for future projects

The role of nutrition in preventing disease, and in helping cancer patients maintain their health, were part of the discussion when members of the EIT Health and EIT Food communities met 15-16 May 2019 in Rotterdam, Netherlands to shape plans for cooperation in the new Food4Health programme. Participants learned more about two Food4Health projects that are already under development and discussed the four focus areas identified for future initiatives.

Food4Health, a collaboration between the two EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of EIT Health and EIT Food, was launched earlier this year to help bring innovations for healthy eating to the market. The Rotterdam workshop allowed 80 participants from the two KICs to learn more about each other, the Food4Health programme and how they can be involved.

The Partners discussed the two top-down projects that Food4Health has already identified for 2019:

  • Using indicators to influence consumer behaviour and prevent pre-disease through food and lifestyle-related interventions.
  • Tackling muscle loss in cancer patients through nutrition solutions and lifestyle interventions.

Partners of both EIT Health and EIT Food can participate in a call for Expressions of Interest to apply for a chance to join in these projects.

Later in the Rotterdam workshop, Partners had the chance to share ideas for potential projects within four focus areas identified for future collaboration. Based on the business case ideas that were submitted by the Partners in April, it was agreed that initial Food4Health activites should focus on:

  • nutrition for the prevention or treatment of diseases;
  • food-drug interactions;
  • gut microbiome;
  • healthy food design.


The workshop also featured presentations to inspire further cooperation in the areas of food and health. These included a lecture from EntrepreNURSE Shawna Butler on recent innovations that link food and health. She emphasised the valuable insights nurses have and encouraged everyone to involve nurses in their projects. Another interesting presentation came from Dr. Pauline Jansen from Erasmus University, who discussed “fussy” and emotional eating in children.

For more information

See the Food4Health activity page or contact Hayley Every or Yu-Mi Lee.

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EIT Food is a network of industry, academic and research partners, set up to transfer our food system. By connecting consumers with businesses, start-ups researchers and students from around Europe, EIT Food supports innovative initiatives that improve our health, our access to quality food and our environment.

EIT Health is a network of best-in-class health innovators backed by the EU. We deliver solutions to enable European citizens to live longer, healthier lives by promoting innovation. We connect the right people to work on societal challenges across European borders so that innovation can happen at the intersection of research, education and business.