Jana Kolar at the Explorative meeting on a challenging EU mission oriented research & innovation policy
23 January 2018, Brussels - Belgium

Mariana Mazzucato and Kurt Vandenberghe

CERIC Executive Director, dr. Jana Kolar was invited to the Explorative meeting: towards a EU mission oriented research and innovation policy with Ms. Mariana Mazzucato, Special Advisor on Mission Driven Science and Innovation to EU Commissioner for Research, Carlos Moedas, in order to explore EU mission oriented research and innovation policy. The meeting, which was opened by Kurt Vandenberghe, Director for Policy Development and Coordination at the European Commission's DG Research and Innovation, focused on the exchanges of views on designing the missions, public engagement and ensuring impact of the missions.

During the discussion on defining hypothetical examples of missions, dr. Kolar presented opportunities of the mission on reduction of food waste caused by date marking. The mission proposes an ambitious 10% reduction of food waste caused by date marking by 2030, which would reflect in a reduction of close to a million tonnes of food waste annually, and thus contribute to the objective to 'halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level and reduce food losses along production and supply chains by 2030' of the United nation's Sustainable Development Goal no.12.

The proposed mission addresses date marking on food, i.e. "use by" and "best before" dates. A recent study carried out by the European Commission estimates that up to 10% of the 88 million tonnes of food waste generated annually in the EU are linked to date marking. Modern technologies, such as sensors to detect when food gets spoiled, instrumental techniques to establish the condition of food, food tracking as well as studies in consumer behavior could help reach the goal of the mission.