This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 861915. Coordinated by George-John Nychas

Work Plan

Work Packages

WP1 – Project Management | Lead beneficiary: AUA

WP1 aims to ensure the project governance and efficient communication at internal and external level to reach the set objectives in various WPs. WP1 will also deal with the financial, administrative and ethical management of the DiTECT project.

The following Objectives are designed to:

  • Provide leadership, project management and effective scientific, administrative and technical coordination to ensure DiTECT delivers high quality outputs in an appropriate and timely manner and within budget
  • Provide and apply methodologies for effective coordination of all project activities and maintenance of contact with EC representatives and establish effective internal and external communication
  • Undertake quality assessment of project progress results and impact, by managing project activities and monitoring risks
  • Achieve timely submission of progress reports and cost statements to the commission.
  • Ensure the Description of Action (DoA) and the Consortium Agreement (CA) are maintained to resolve possible conflicts.
  • Create a project management intranet for inter-consortium sharing of information, databases and project results
  • Consolidate an effective and efficient partnership to enhance the EU-China dialogue
  • Manage knowledge and IPR related to the achieved results, in strict connection with the WP8 exploitation activities

WP2 – Tracking Hazards & Contaminants across Food Chain | Lead beneficiary: ADIV

Main objectives of WP2 are the:

(i) Definition of the DiTECT value chain actors’ expectation leading to trustful food market transactions.
(ii) State-of-the-art in tools and models/protocols for food analytic and risk assessment services
(iii) Hazard mapping in pilot food systems and selection of contaminants and hazards that will be monitored
(iv) Indicators for monitoring efficiency improvements ensured by the DiTECT services
(v) Review of regulatory and legal aspects on food safety across continents

WP3 – Detecting & Monitoring Tools for Hazards, malpractices or adulteration | Lead beneficiary: VIDEOM

The aim of this WP is:

(i) to assess the developed laboratory protocols to acquire in-situ, real-time information on the biological, chemical and environmental hazards from available existing sensors, applied in different stages of food production (including pre-harvest stage) in the four pilots designed in this proposal (WP2 & WP7) for an in-situ diagnosis of hazards;

(ii) to evaluate and validate the developed instrumental approach(es) (in tandem with data analytics) in relation to the official methods (eg. ISO) that will be used by the accredited partner laboratories (HAO, FOODA, SGL, CAAS, SICU, NAU & YIOTIS), to detect (qualitatively and quantitatively) biological, chemical hazards and environmental contaminants across the food chain. The ultimate goal of this WP is to establish the foundation for developing the next-generation monitoring platforms for food safety & quality, through the development of a simple, “smart”, big data-driven tool, that enables real time predictions for safety and the freshness profile for a given food product. WP3 is linked with WP4, WP5, WP6 and WP7 as it will constantly provide measurement data throughout the project duration for building and validating the models and iFSMS.

WP4 – Data Management | Lead beneficiary: UMAAS

The objective of WP4 Data Storage and Management is to develop a set of data management tools, including a largescale data repository to enable the collection, integration, storage and access to the large quantities of data collected by the analytical and high throughput processes in WP3, as well as providing an infrastructure supporting the decision support tools needed by the iFSMS (WP6). The work package will build on data standards for the agrifood sector as well as the FAIR data principles for data collected as part of this project in order to provide a centralised repository for data integration. The infrastructure developed will have two functions: first to provide a unified repository for data sets to be used in the development of the quality, safety and hazards machine learning predictive models for decision support; and second to provide a real time API for the iFSMS platform to obtain food adulteration and safety assessments based on these models in WP5. Specific objectives of the WP include:

  • An overall framework for harmonisation and FAIRification of data including an analysis of the heterogeneous data streams which will be integrated into the consolidated large-scale repository, such as data from microbiological laboratory analyses, a range of different types of sensors, high throughput metagenomics, and geolocation data. This should cover both EU and CN data streams and lead to tools for data upload, initially tailored to specific partners but with a pathway to a standards-based framework for data publishing.
  • The design and implementation of a scalable central data repository in combination with suitable APIs both for data upload and querying the database. The database will need to be designed in view of the data standards that are (or will be) used for data sharing across the food system. The repository will be implemented in a modular way, providing a futureproof design to include other foodstuffs and analytical platforms beyond the current use cases outlined in this project.
  • In view of the governance and business barriers to data centralisation (cf. 4.5), a federated architecture based on semantic web technologies will also be developed, while guaranteeing rigorous access control based on Attribute or Ontology-base Access Control techniques.
  • The identification, integration and where appropriate extension of data standards to enable both research laboratories and food value-chain actions to ensure the data availability and provide querying functionalities in standardised formats. We will be building on extensive existing work on agrifood standards including AGROVOC, GACS, Foodex2, FoodOn, as well as relevant standards from the supply chain (GS1 EPCIS/GTIN), for hazard data (HACCP Ontology ), for laboratory data (Foodex2, E-lab), for machine learning results (ML-Schema, sorfML –, and sensor and IoT data (SAREF). A major focus here, is the alignment and or mapping between EU and CN data standards (where these differ).
  • The FAIR data principles will be adapted to the needs of the agrifood sector, especially with regard to making data Findable (both for research and commercial real-time purposes), Accessible (depending on the actor’s role, the usage purpose), Interoperable (by the use of data standards) and Reusable (e.g. for the construction of decision support systems). Data governance will also be addressed in this work package, following the FAIR principles, to ensure clarity of data ownership and control, helping with the engagement of Food Value-Chain Actors.

WP5 – Risk assessment of biological, chemicals hazards across food chain in EU and China | Lead beneficiary: AUTH

The objective of WP5 is to develop accurate risk assessment models as part of DiTECT integrated food safety approach for detecting, assessing, and mitigating relevant pathogens and contaminant hazards within the risk analysis framework.

The risk assessment models will be used to:

  1. Assess and compare the current food safety risks associated to selected food/hazard combinations in the food chains of EU and China
  2. Evaluate the impact of implementing the detection and monitoring tools developed and validated in WP2, WP3 and WP7 in reducing safety risks in the EU and China.
  3. Identify the combinations of the developed technology and management tools and the specific stages of the food chains in the EU and China where their application can deliver the most efficient and greatest possible impact on public health.
  4. Develop the DiTECT Risk Framework (linked in WP6) by implementing the developed risk assessment models into a risk-based food safety management system
  5. Integrate the DiTECT Risk Framework into a practical decision-making tool and a early warning system

WP6 – Development of a Web-Based interactive decision Food Safety Management System | Lead beneficiary: WINGS

The main objective of WP6 is to develop the “intelligent” Food Safety Management System (iFSMS) that will be developed as a Product-specific Food Safety tool, a shared and openly curated food knowledge base. This platform will provide a live real-world food chain data feeds; FVAs-generated content; and, constant monitoring of food chain related threats and hazards.

The specific objectives are:

Task 6.1; (a) To develop customisable and interoperable open interfaces allowing access to the centralized and federated data management systems, (b) including their different technical functionalities for security, live tracking, social media feeds and end-user visualisations.

Task 6.2; (a) To provide an interactive dashboard that will enable visualisation screens for different user requirements, (b) including food safety parameters on the target use cases.

Task 6.3 (a) To design a blockchain layer to enable trustworthy transactions. (b) To collect required food quality indicators at critical points and write measurements directly to blockchain(s) thus avoiding possibility for tampering with the measurements.

Task 6.4 (a) To enable careful security controls that will be implemented to ensure both business confidentiality and respect for privacy concerns. (b) To provide IT-risk analysis and implementation of IT security requirements. (c) To provide privacy protection and anonymization. (d) To establish capabilities for a future proof robust secure platform capable of protecting existing nexus and ability to adapt and adjust to future threats.

Task 6.5 (a) To develop the product registration software tool, based on QR-code, that will create unique food product identifications through all stages of the value chain. (b) To provide means for registering the product meta-data that can be easily integrated with the existing product packaging system by using a unique identifier generated that can be embedded within the packaging system.

Task 6.6 (a) To design and develop the open DiTECT technology hub (b) To provide a shared and openly curated food knowledge (c) To access constant monitoring of food chain via media intelligence of social media, news and web feeds.

WP7 – Pilot Trials monitoring and evaluation | Lead beneficiary: AUA

WP7 aims to showcase the effectiveness of the DiTECT developments, services and tools via their usage in concretely defined piloting activities pertaining to the food supply chains.

Driven by the tracked Hazards and Contaminants across Food chain produced by WP2, the objectives of this Work Package will:

  1. Design a detailed plan for the execution of the piloting sessions;
  2. Ensure that all relevant data and resources are timely available and the relevant stakeholders are properly trained;
  3. Define the final implementation protocols and processes to be employed on the four (4) DiTECT Use Cases – mentioned in WP2;
  4. Evaluate the results of the pilots and assess the impact of DiTECT developments via a System Usability Analysis and Performance Indicators, critical for the systems and practices involved in the pilots.

WP8 – Dissemination, Exploitation and Training | Lead beneficiary: INNEWS

This WP aims to (i) increase awareness of biological, chemical and environmental hazards, and food safety (ii) the enhancement of cooperation with China, by developing linked activities alongside this project and (iii) facilitate the dissemination, education and exploitation of the project results, which is of paramount importance in order to ensure project sustainability. Indeed both Knowledge transfer, together with training, can be considered the key instruments for reinforcing cooperation and increasing the level of collaboration as well as enhancing synergy between the EU and China in food safety area. All training, dissemination and exploitation activities will be planned through WP8 to ensure effective management and achievement of the project aims.

Specific objectives of this WP are

  • Maximize the relevance, outcomes and impact of DiTECT actions by establishing communication and dissemination activities specifically addressed to over 5,000 actors and stakeholders along the food supply chain including opinion leaders/regulators and the media; professionals working in agriculture and food manufacture, educators, training actors and other knowledge multipliers; food and drink industries (including SMEs); consumer organizations; the scientific community and the general public.
  • Consolidate a productive partnership to enhance the EU-China dialogue;
  • To facilitate collaboration, information exchange and interaction between different actors and organizations involved in the control and management of hazards across the food chain through the organization of international DiTECT workshops (>2), webinars (>4) and training sessions (>8) for end-users (to be launched in both China and the EU). Also with the active participation and presentation of DiTECT at international conferences (>8).
  • Strengthen international networking, scientific cooperation in research and innovation on food safety and to ensure sustainable dialogue with China, via common research publications (>12)
  • To develop exploitation plans, including a business model, to ensure the use of the project outputs among the farming and food industry end users (including farmers and food processors), opinion leaders, decision makers, etc. and to establish and verify a rigid business model for the DiTECT platform.

WP9 – Ethics requirements | Lead beneficiary: AUA

This work package sets out the ‘ethics requirements’ that the project must comply with.

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