Climate change and food safety have become interdependent worldwide research priorities. The overarching aim of this Innovative Training Network (ITN) is to provide high-level training in Predictive mOdelling Tools to evaluate the Effects of Climate change on food safeTy (PROTECT). The project will provide sound scientifically based knowledge for management options and decisions on new and emerging food safety threats due to climate change. Specific case studies will be focused on the dairy industry (e.g. cheese, yogurt, liquid milk) and emerging chemical and biological threats. Tools will focus on the change in chemical levels and microbial populations in relation to the dairy industry and assess how levels will change under climate change pressures. The skills and knowledge gained through the network will be a critically important step towards better management of future food supplies.
The goals of the network will be achieved by a unique combination of “hands-on” research training, non-academic placements, summer schools and workshops on research-related and transferable skills facilitated by the academic and non-academic composition of the consortium. PROTECT brings together intersectoral and multidisciplinary expertise from 11 European Countries (7 third level educational institutions, 6 industry partners, 1 United Nations agency). The consortium will share technical and training expertise to recruit and train 8 highly skilled Early stage researchers (ESRs) in advanced modelling tools to investigate the impact of climate change on food safety. The research work consists of 3 technical work packages with 8 individual research projects each looking at a specific aspect of predictive modelling and the influence of climate change on food safety. An important element of the training network is the Network wide training events and industry secondments and the emphasis on training all ESRs in key transferable skills.