It is acknowledged that historically anti-food fraud capability within Europe has not been consolidated and lacks the coordination and support structures available to those working in food safety. There are various initiatives underway to redress this balance e.g. DGSanté’s Food Fraud network, DG Research’s FoodIntegrity project, as well as numerous national programmes and industry initiatives. One pivotal area that still needs to be addressed is bringing together national research funding bodies to facilitate the development of transnational research programmes. AUTHENT-NET will address this need by mobilising and coordinating relevant research budget holders in order to facilitate the eventual development of a transnational European funding vehicle that will allow Members States (MS) to jointly fund anti-fraud research. Authent-Net comprises a core group of 19 participants from 10 MS, 1 NGO and the US, who are either National research funding bodies; experts in food authenticity, and/or experts in transnational funding mechanisms. AUTHENT-NET will:
1) Bring together relevant MS R&D budget holders to coordinate inter-disciplinary research effort and build a cohesive and sustainable network
2) Undertake stocktaking of existing national research and assess against the international landscape
3) Establish transnational mechanisms and instruments for collating and exchanging information on food authenticity research
4) Develop a high level research and innovation strategy for transnational research and a rationale for a potential ERANET on food authenticity
The two year project will have the following expected impacts: improved coordination and communication between relevant MS research budget holders; enhanced cognisance of existing national research; joint strategy for food fraud R&D; agreed priorities and capability to deliver transnational European research on food fraud.