SYSTEMIC is the name of the ambitious project, that will unite researchers and practitioners from different disciplines and different parts of the food system. The project participants will develop knowledge about cross-cutting solutions and identify knowledge gaps.
The researchers aim to respond to how the global food system may be sustainably transformed. To do that, it is necessary to look at the links between food production, consumption, and public health.
Habtamu Alem, project coordinator and researcher at NIBIO, explains that the research area that focuses on the links between nutrition and health, as well as nutrition-related public health interventions, often falls into the gap between the agricultural and health domains.
Institutes and researchers within these disciplines conduct research to achieve a sustainable and healthy food system, however, they don't know about each other's research and findings. Therefore, there is a need for integration to reduce repetition and use research resources more effectively, as well as facilitating knowledge exchange across disciplines. That's why this project is unique, I don't know about any similar project."
Habtamu Alem, Project Coordinator and Researcher, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
He presented the project idea at a knowledge Hub network meeting arranged by the Joint Programming Initiative 'A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life' (JPI HDHL). The idea was elected for a comprehensive application process, coordinated by Alem. Six months later the international consortium received funding, and the project will run from July 2020 till July 2023.
In this period SYSTEMIC will:
- Assess current technologies on their feasibility to address the food challenges
- Develop methods to assess trade-offs in support of decision and policymaking
- Identify knowledge gaps and research needs to funding agencies and governments
- Disseminate knowledge to industry, society, and policy, and develop and collateeducation and training tools
The overall aim of the SYSTEMIC project is to foster transnational and multidisciplinary collaboration and networking. The intention is to accelerate, further characterize and to manage the impact of climate change on the nutritional make-up of food, and to propose adaptive strategies and measures to ensure food and nutrition security.
"This is a vast multidisciplinary research project that will respond to a complex theme. It is not up to Norway or other countries to work out a sustainable healthy food system, the challenge is global, and we need multidisciplinary global solutions", says Alem.