The overall goals of the meeting were:
- «To make it happen»: to bring COMFOCUS beyond the tipping point and show «proof of principle» of a Food Consumer Science integrated data and research infrastructure
- To stimulate interlinkages and cooperations between Networking Activities (NA), Joint Research Activities (JRA) and Virtual and Transnational access (VA/TNA)
Besides the plenary meetings, the agenda of the event included several parallel work sessions, the Stakeholder Forum and the International Advisory Board meeting.
In the plenary session on Open Calls, the start of the application process has been announced, along with a guideline on the further applicants’ steps and information about the opportunities the COMFOCUS toolbox gives. During the interactive part of the session on communication and dissemination, participants had the opportunity to present their vision on how the future dissemination strategy steps should look like.
During the plenary session about the Noldus Hub prototype software, a demo has been demonstrated. Participants were informed about how the use of emerging technologies like eye-tracking can be real-time followed and recorded. They also discussed practical tasks to improve the product for its further use in FCS.
In the Stakeholder Forum, it was possible to obtain initial feedback from the stakeholders on the COMFOCUS project status, align mutual expectations, discuss opportunities from Open Call 1 and 2, and discuss collaboration opportunities in communication and dissemination area.
Board members were updated on the project achievements during the International Advisory Board (IAB) meeting, expressed suggestions on improving the project visibility through communication and dissemination, were updated on harmonization of emerging technology measures, and discussed different approaches to ontology within COMFOCUS.
It was an inspiring and fruitful meeting, participants summed up the practical issues and theoretical challenges of further work on the project. Future challenges lay in how COMFOCUS can contribute when moving from a food consumer science paradigm to a food citizen science paradigm, proceeding from a project structure to a viable organisation with a business plan, and progressing from a starting community to a more advance community.