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CREED researchers Sander Onderstal and Joep Sonnemans have been awarded an EU Horizon 2020 grant for ‘Improving Sustainability in Food Processing using Moderate Electric Fields for Process Intensification and Smart Processing’ (MEFPROC).

CREED (Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision-making) is a research institute of the Amsterdam School of Economics. MEFPROC is a transnational research project funded by SUSFOOD2, a Horizon ERA-net co-fund instrument on sustainable food production and consumption.

Partner universities

The consortium participating in the research consists of seven European universities: coordinating institution University College Dublin (Ireland), Sheffield Hallam University (UK), Università degli Studi di Salerno (Italy), Technical University of Valencia (Spain), Lund University (Sweden), TU Berlin (Germany), and the University of Amsterdam. The total amount received for the project is 1.3 million euros, with 0.25 million euros allocated to the University of Amsterdam. The Dutch part of the grant will be covered by NWO's (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) natural sciences domain (ENW).

Auctions and lab experiments

CREED will hire a post-doc who will contribute to the project using a behavioral economics approach. The post-doc will focus on the following question: Why does the industry take up sustainable food products at a slower pace than technological progress would justify? MEF processing technologies have been around for some time but have not yet had much traction in terms of uptake by industry. This is in spite of the fact that they are both energy and cost efficient.

The post-doc will run online experimental auctions and economic lab experiments to improve the understanding of potential drivers behind the slow adoption of MEF processing technologies, including consumers’ relatively low willingness-to-pay for innovatively produced products, senior management conservatism, and stringent anti-cartel legislation. The auctions will be run on the Veylinx platform and the lab experiments will be conducted at the CREED lab of the University of Amsterdam.

About Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is an EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). The programme couples research and innovation and is part of the EU's blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.