Brussels   |  

"From Linear to Circular" - How R&I can transform the future of food systems

A Science|Business Network roundtable

In its recent Horizon Europe proposal, the European Commission calls for a unique mobilisation of science, industry and other stakeholders to transform our current, unsustainable approaches to food production and consumption.

The urgency for action is clear. Climate change, population growth, resource scarcity & overexploitation, biodiversity loss and other macro trends are imposing significant stress on food systems and value chains. The transition to more sustainable models will also require an interdisciplinary policy plan, ‘breaking the silos’ to bring together fragmented objectives in fields such as agriculture, environment, research and innovation and oceans.

In response, on October 17 Science|Business will stage a closed-door roundtable to discuss these important issues.

Featured participants
Jerzy Plewa
Director-General, Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
Elsi Katainen
Member, European Parliament
Rob Opsomer
Systemic Initiatives Lead, Ellen McArthur Foundation
Raoul Bino
Managing Director, Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group (AFSG), Wageningen University & Research
Ulrike Sapiro
Senior Director, Water Stewardship & Sustainable Agriculture, Coca-Cola
Achim Irimescu
Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representation of Romania to the EU; Former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Erik Mathijs
Professor of Bioeconomics; Director of SFERE Sustainable Food Economies Research Group, KU Leuven
Barend Verachtert
Head of Unit, Agri-Food Chain, Directorate of Bioeconomy, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
Lokesh Joshi
Vice President for Research, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway
Francesco Capozzi
Associate Professor, Head of Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Agrofood Research, University of Bologna
Gianluca Brunori
Professor, Agricultural and Agro-food economics, University of Pisa
Mascha Zurbriggen
Scientific Advisor, Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI)

October 16         Private dinner for Science|Business members and invited guests

October 17         Morning roundtable with max. 35-40 participants, followed by a networking lunch


09:00  Welcome coffee and registration

09:30  Introductory remarks

09:40  The case for a new R&I policy agenda in food systems

Framing the critical policy questions and challenges to be addressed in Horizon Europe and beyond, and the strategic rationale for EU ambitions in the domain

Featuring an extended Q&A with Jerzy Plewa, Director General of DG Agriculture

Moderated by Maryline Fiaschi, Managing Director, Science|Business

10:45  Coffee break

11:15  Circularity and unlocking the innovation potential throughout food value chains

Exploring how circular economy-based research and innovation can transform current strategies, business models and partnerships to achieve sustainable food futures.

Moderated by Simon Pickard, Network Director, Science|Business   

12:15  Assessment of future R&I pathways and themes  

Identifying the highest potential areas for R&I investment into breakthrough science and technologies throughout food value chains. Open discussion to gather latest insights recommendations from participants to start shaping the thematic framework and action plan.

Moderated by Simon Pickard, Network Director, Science|Business

13:00  End of roundtable, networking lunch for participants

Practical Information

The roundtable will be held at the European Free Trade Association offices (Rue Joseph II 12 - 16, 1000 Brussels).


For more information, please contact Stefania Gavra at [email protected] 

Event Pack


From Linear to Circular - How R&I can transform the future of food systems, 17 October 2018, Brussels