Opportunity to run a Fit4Food2030 Policy Lab

FIT4FOOD Policy Labs

The aim of FIT4FOOD2030 is to establish the sustainable, multi-level, multi-stakeholder Food2030 platform. This platform will support the European Commission (EC) in developing and implementing the Food2030 policy framework and its action plan. A key instrument in realising the aim of FIT4FOOD2030 are the national Policy Labs. We hope your country is willing and able to join FIT4FOOD2030 by running a Policy Lab.

What is a Policy Lab?

The goal of the Policy Labs is to establish multi-stakeholder strategic alignment and policy coherence in order to inform the national food and nutrition security (FNS) research agenda and ensure maximum impact of research and innovation (R&I). To achieve this, the Policy Lab creates a dialogue between regional and national stakeholders along the FNS value chain, including science, industry and consumers, to explore novel ways of policy design. The Policy Labs are set up as a series of innovative, interactive sessions with dedicated topics and methods and will be guided by experienced partners. Potential products of a Policy Lab can be policy briefs, methodologies or an R&I programme. An EU think tank will be the linking pin between the EC, the Policy Labs and a number of regional City Labs. Over the course of three years, about four large-scale meetings for the Policy Labs should take place, supported by small scale activities (e.g. for community building). It is important to note that there is no blueprint for a Policy Lab; countries should tailor them to their national context. However, each country is asked to appoint two persons to coordinate the Policy Labs, who ideally bring different skill sets to the table.

What is expected of the coordinators?

The role of coordinator will be a challenging and rewarding one. They will follow a number of mandatory training sessions with Policy Lab coordinators from other countries. These training sessions are organized by the VU Amsterdam and the Austrian Institute of Technology and will give the coordinators the know-how to coordinate the Policy Labs in their countries. This will involve identifying and motivating relevant stakeholders, organizing meetings and making sure that outcomes of the Policy Labs are converted into usable end products. All of this requires skills in project and relationship management. In total a series of 5 sessions of 2-day training are foreseen in a period of 2.5 years.

Being a Policy Lab coordinator offers the person in question the chance to influence national policies regarding the food system by working in an innovative, out-of-the-box manner. Coordinators are also invited to take part in the Fit4Food2030 EU think tank. The training sessions will teach them new skills and contribute to their professional and personal development. They will receive a certificate from VU Amsterdam for taking part in the training sessions.

How much time (and money) will it cost?

We estimate that the coordination of a Policy Lab will take about 1,5 day a week on average, divided over two persons. The actual time spent will differ over the course of the project. Included in this estimation of the time investment are the coordination of the national meetings, attending the trainings for coordinators and the optional attendance of a number of other meetings and events, like the EU think tank and the Food2030 high level conference in Plovdiv in June 2018.  Besides the staffing costs and travel expenses for the coordinators, funds are needed for organizing the meetings. These costs will of course vary greatly per country.

What support does FIT4FOOD2030 offer?

The first five countries running a Policy Lab (the so-called first wave) can claim up to 20.000 Euro from FIT4FOOD2030 to help cover their costs – like travel expenses to the training sessions and cost related with the organisation of national meetings. The second wave of countries can claim up to 10.000 Euro. The training sessions for the coordinators are funded by the project and we will provide guidance for setting-up and implementing the national Lab sessions.

What are the criteria for being eligible to run a Policy Lab?

There are three main criteria:

  • High level political commitment is essential. Countries are therefore asked to submit letters of commitment from two or three ministries, ensuring a holistic approach. The letters should endorse the goals of the Policy Lab and the Food2030 framework, briefly outline the intended national interest and commit to the required resources.
  • Availability of both coordinators on February 22 & 23, when their first training session will take place in Amsterdam and participation in the other training sessions
  • If more than five countries apply, a selection will be made based on geographical spread, according to a first come, first serve principle.

We need a declaration of intent from interested countries before the end of 2017. The deadline for submitting the letters of commitment is January 26 2018. We will let you know if you have been selected in the first week of February.

Norway has already committed, so we are offering this exciting opportunity to 4 more countries. Attached, you will find a number of documents with further information. If you have any questions or would like to apply for running a Policy Lab, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can do so by emailing Chrissie Brierley, programme officer for FIT4FOOD2030, at brierley@zonmw.nl. We invite and encourage you all to do so, because it is only through joint efforts that we can ensure that there is enough healthy, sustainable food for everyone in 2030 and beyond!