In recent years, attention for the role of nutrition in relation to (preventive) human health has increased. This is because healthy food and a healthy lifestyle are said to ensure a longer healthy life and can thus extend the healthy life span.

vegetables and fruit displayed in a supermarkt

Knowledge about food and food systems is necessary

Societal challenges, such as the growing and ageing world population, more chronically ill people, and the growing differences in health between people with different socio-economic positions, make the pursuit of a healthy diet and lifestyle for the current and future population even more important. Moreover, a transition to a sustainable food system is needed. It is therefore necessary to broaden the knowledge of healthy food and food systems.  

Purpose of the call

This call encourages interdisciplinary research into sustainable and innovative food systems that produce healthy and safe food for the current and future population. This research requires an integrated approach to multiple focus areas, in order to achieve a more holistic understanding of healthy and safe food and food systems. This call focuses on 4 areas:

  • Nutrition and health in different population groups
  • Influence of environment on healthy choice behaviour
  • Development of sustainable and healthy food products
  • Food safety, environment and health

When to apply

The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is January 17, 2023. The deadline for submitting full proposals is June 15, 2023.  The maximum duration of the proposed project is 6 years.


On 1 November 2022 NWO will facilitate a matchmaking activity for this call in Utrecht. Participation in this activity is recommended but not mandatory. Matchmaking in the KIC 2020-2023 aims to bring together and connect researchers from different scientific disciplines (alpha, beta, gamma; including universities of applied sciences) and practical organisations in order to develop interdisciplinary research proposals. Further information and the possibility to register for this meeting can be found on this page.  

KIC seeks technological economic opportunities

The NWO research programme KIC focuses on groundbreaking innovative solutions with societal and economic impact. Companies, knowledge institutions and government bodies jointly invest in the commercial application of knowledge to tackle major societal challenges through the use of smart technologies. By doing this, both jobs and income can be secured for the future. This is established in the Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC) 2020-2023 that connects with the Mission-driven Top Sectors and Innovation Policy of the Dutch government. NWO brings together companies and knowledge institutions and funds groundbreaking research based on their innovative, high-impact research proposals.

Within the main line Mission, NWO annually develops several large thematic programmes, which each have a budget of between 5 and 11 million euros: the mission-driven programmes. The choice of subject is determined on the basis of a ranking within the Knowledge and Innovation Agendas. Researchers submit proposals for collaborative projects with a budget of between 750,000 and 4 million euros per proposal.

More information can be found on the website of NWO: Call for proposals: KIC Safe and healthy food and food systems

ZonMw’s role

This research programme connects very well with research that ZonMw programmes and funds within the realm of food, nutrition and health, especially internationally. Please refer to our Dutch website to find out about the specific research we support on the interrelation between food, nutrition, health and the prevention of chronic diseases.  

The Dutch version of the news item is available.



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