Cascade funding

Cascade Funding Call for Collaborative Projects: Spoke 05 Lifelong nutrition, University of Naples

Related to



Dec 18



Feb 1


Official webpage

Go to external link

  1. Home

  2. Opportunities

  3. Cascade Funding Call for Collaborative Projects: Spoke 05 Lifelong nutrition, University of Naples

The OnFoods Program, funded by the European Union - Next Generation EU under the PNRR MUR funds - Mission 4, Component 2 - "From Research to Business" - Investment 1.3. "Creation of Extended Partnerships with universities, research centers, and companies for the funding of basic research projects" promotes a scheme based on cascade funding to support research projects promoted by external businesses and public and private research organizations interested in the topics addressed by the HUB and Spokes. This involves the provision of appropriate funding.

The objective is to involve entities interested in implementing fundamental and applied research projects and technology transfer in the field of food and nutrition that are original, innovative, and of medium to large scale.

The financial allocation for this call, delivered by the University of Naples Federico II as the Implementing Entity of Spoke 5, amounts to €5,270,000.00, allocated from the funds assigned to the OnFoods Program.

Only project proposals submitted by research partnerships composed of public and private legal entities are eligible. Eligible entities to submit project proposals in response to this call are:

  • Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) meeting the size criteria in Annex I of Commission Regulation (EC) No 800/2008 of August 6, 2008 (General Block Exemption Regulation) in Official Journal of the European Union L 214 of August 9, 2008. The total allocation for MSMEs can be a maximum of 70% of the total eligible project cost.

  • Large Enterprises (LEs), provided the collaboration requirement with at least one MSME persists. The total allocation for LEs can be a maximum of 30% of the total eligible project cost.

  • Public Universities and research organizations, both public and private, supervised and unsupervised by the Ministry of University and Research (Research Organizations), provided the collaboration requirement with at least one MSME and/or LE persists. The total allocation for Research Organizations can be a maximum of 40% of the total eligible project cost.

Call code PE00000003_1 – Published on 18/12/2023. University Official Register no. 10469/2023.

Deadline: February 1, 2024 (at 2:00 PM)
Proposal evaluation period: February 2, 2024 – March 13, 2024
Communication/publication of results: within 45 days from the closing of the call
Project commencement: within 15 days from the signing of the Obligation Agreement

Attachment 1 – Regulatory References
Attachment 2 – Definitions.
Attachment 3 – Research Themes.
Attachment 4 – Obligation Agreement Template.

Guidelines for completing the application
Privacy Policy

Research areas

The research themes, identified by the Spoke and complementary to the intervention areas on which the Spoke itself is engaged within the OnFoods project, are detailed in Annex 3 to this call.

Each project proposal may focus on a single theme among those listed in Annex 3 and must be consistent in terms of the repercussions and impact of the results with the objectives of the research activity of the Spoke outlined in the aforementioned Annex.

The project proposal to be submitted with the application must highlight the coherence of the project with the chosen theme and the specific competencies of the entities to carry out the activity.

Research Themes

According to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SD), adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, adherence to a healthy lifestyle can contribute to achieving the following SD goals (SDGs): a) ensuring a healthy life and promoting well-being throughout the entire life span, including high-quality educational campaigns (SDGs 1-4); b) reducing inequalities and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDGs 5 and 10); c) making cities and human settlements inclusive and safe, also through the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDGs 11 and 12).

According to the latest report from the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE, 2020), sustainable food systems are based on food production, production chains, the environment, habitual diets, and consumer food choices, including their nutritional, environmental, and socioeconomic effects.

These themes represent some of the key points in the OnFoods project (Research and Innovation Network on Food and Nutrition Sustainability, Safety, and Security – Working ON Foods), which aims to design and implement innovative strategies to increase the sustainability of food systems with significant benefits for the health of individuals and the planet. This approach involves the engagement of research entities and industrial partners to integrate diverse expertise, including social and legal sciences, agricultural economics, chemistry, food technology and engineering, microbiology, marketing and communication, human nutrition, and other disciplines in the biomedical field.

The OnFoods project is structured into seven Spokes, each focused on specific themes related to all stages characterizing food systems (from production to consumers). Specifically, Spoke 5 engages in research activities aimed at promoting food and nutritional security based on the specific needs of different population groups. The multidisciplinary approach involves understanding the key determinants of various lifestyle factors that impact the psycho-physical health of the general population (eating habits, physical activity, biorhythms, etc.), with particular attention to vulnerable categories such as pregnant women, children and adolescents, and the elderly. Furthermore, the activities of Spoke 5 aim to develop innovative strategies for researching: a) new dietary patterns for use in personalized nutrition; b) biological markers and algorithms capable of providing information on the effects of the interaction between lifestyle factors and the individual.

Through the research and development activities of Spoke 5, it will be possible to contribute to the achievement of the following sustainable objectives defined in the project proposal. To achieve the various general and specific objectives, Spoke 5 has promoted several Research and Innovation themes within the OnFoods project, aimed at supporting a careful characterization of the specific needs of different population groups. In this regard, one of the objectives of Spoke 5 is to further promote some strategic project activities that can increase the impact of research and innovation achievable in the 3 years of the project, stimulating the creation of new partnerships between businesses and research organizations for some of the core themes of the Spoke.

Description of Research Themes

Based on the premises outlined earlier, the general objectives of the OnFoods project, and the specific objectives outlined in Spoke 5, dedicated to food and nutritional security based on the specific needs of different population groups, the following strategic research themes are defined to implement the expected results and impact of the research and development activities of Spoke 5.

Theme 1. Evaluation of the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of bioactive compounds characteristic of plant-based food patterns

In 2019, the EAT-Lancet Commission proposed a healthy and sustainable dietary pattern based on a drastic reduction in the consumption of unhealthy foods, such as red meat, animal fats, and sugars, in favor of doubling the consumption of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. Numerous epidemiological and clinical evidences suggest many beneficial effects of plant-based foods and the bioactive compounds contained therein. However, it is necessary to investigate the mechanisms through which these components can exert their health benefits without posing a risk to consumers. The objective is to characterize the bioactive components of some commonly used food matrices in the national territory (e.g., olive oil, fruits, etc.) and study their effects in in vitro and animal models. The information obtained will then be used to develop new, healthier, and more sustainable dietary patterns, with positive implications for human health and the environment. Special attention will be given to basic research models that explore the effects of these bioactive compounds in pregnant women and children during the first thousand days of life. Furthermore, the potential use of nutraceuticals containing these bioactive compounds to increase the sustainability of innovative dietary patterns should be investigated. Project proposals may include various research deliverables that may need to be added to one or more of the deliverables planned within Spoke 5 (WP5.3 -


Theme 2. Dietary Patterns, Fertility, and Longevity

In line with the "One Health" approach to health based on the interconnectedness of the health of all terrestrial ecosystems, every food system must be structured and, if necessary, integrated and implemented to ensure fertility, longevity, and prosperity for both humanity and the planet. In this context, careful monitoring of measurable determinants and their impact is necessary to ensure prosperity, quality of life, and longevity for individuals. The goal is to map populations representative of the general population (from young adults to those over 70 years old) to identify key variables to use as targets for interventions aimed at promoting lifestyle improvements (especially local food consumption and psycho-physical activities). Additionally, the collected information should be used to create predictive algorithms to estimate the potential effects of lifestyle interventions involving not only individuals but also national and local public administrations. Project proposals may include various research deliverables that may need to be added to one or more of the deliverables planned within Spoke 5 (WP5.1 -, WP5.3 -, WP5.4 -

Theme 3. Innovative Approaches for the Development of Functional Foods

Improving the safety and nutritional quality for the general population can also be promoted through innovative strategies for producing functional foods from new food matrices. This approach will improve the quality of the general population's diet by providing alternatives to consumers to integrate into a proper diet. Activities may involve the use of new raw materials, innovative processes, and technologies to develop new functional products containing bioactive components. Moreover, particular emphasis will be given to the implementation of strategies to personalize new functional products based on the specific needs of vulnerable population groups. Project proposals may include various research deliverables that may need to be added to one or more of the deliverables planned within Spoke 5 (WP5.3 - in connection with Spoke 2 (WP2.1 – of OnFoods.

This call is related to

Spoke 05

Lifelong nutrition

A healthy diet for all

Lead organisationUniNa

Spoke leaderAnnamaria Colao