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New Horizon Europe project awarded in the field of emerging biotechnologies in the food system

New Horizon Europe project awarded in the field of emerging biotechnologies in the food system


Published: 07.03.2024
Oppdatert: 13.03.2024

A new €5m project funded by the European Commission (EC) under the Horizon Europe framework will bring together outputs from analytical detection science and digital solutions to address food traceability and food safety.

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The DARWIN project (Transition to safe and sustainable food systems through new and innovative Detection methods and digital solutions for plAnt-based pRoducts derived from neW genomIc techniques, under a co-creatioN approach) is a 3 and half year project which started January 2024. It will re-purpose and customise analytical methodologies and traceability schemes through an interdisciplinary Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)-based collaborative ecosystem for the co- creation and validation of novel NGT detection methods.

DARWIN aims for Europe ‘to benefit from innovation in the food and agricultural sector while maintaining high safety standards’ with a focus on five key areas: targeted and untargeted analytical methods; digital traceability solutions; validation and standardization of novel methods; capacity building of law enforcement authorities and informed consumer choices. In each of the five areas, partners will deliver validated analytical and digital tools for screening, detection, identification, and quantification of NGT products in the food chain under an interdisciplinary and co-creative approach.

DARWIN will also bring forward 3 cases which will test the methods in realistic scenarios together with industry and law enforcement authorities, showcasing fit-for-purpose solutions for a variety of NGT organisms in the agri-food sector. DARWIN will serve as an open incubator of ideas and knowledge to ensure future robust and reliable solutions towards traceability and authenticity, enhancing transparency of the food chain.

DARWIN also aims to inform the EC Proposal for a new regulation on plants produced by certain new genomic techniques (NGT) and the European Union’s new biotechnology agenda.

Digital visualization and consumer-oriented tools as well as other capacity building packages will be evaluated and further offered to international agencies, countries signatories to Cartagena Protocol, policy makers, industry and LEAs via practical training sessions, workshops, several guides and didactic materials. DARWIN will help to support evidence-based agrifood policy making and a more informed debate.

- WINGS ICT Solutions (Greece)
- Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Regioni Lazio e Toscana (Italy)
- Sciensano (Belgium), Fondazione Icons (Italy)
- Hebrew University Of Jerusalem (Israel)
- Verband Lebensmittel Ohne Gentechnik E.V. (Germany)
- International Federation Of Organic Agriculture Movements European Union Regional Group (Sweden)
- Institut De Recerca I Tecnologia Agroalimentaries (Spain)
- Justus-Liebig-University Giessen (Germany)
- Centre De Cooperation Internationale En Recherche Agronomique Pour Ledeveloppement (France)
- Universidad Nacional De Rosario (Argentina)
- Agence Nationale De La Securite Sanitaire De L Alimentation De L Environnement Et Du Travail (France)
- Nemzeti Elelmiszerlanc-Biztonsagi Hivatal (Hungary)
- Graminor As (Norway)
- NORCE (Norway) - coordinator


Odd-Gunnar Wikmark

Research Director Gene Technology, Environment and Society - Tromsø
+47 56 10 78 84