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The Training Network will develop and integrate modelling capabilities to assess the effects of climate change on chemical and microbial food borne hazards with the following specific scientific objectives:

  1. Advance and develop new knowledge on the influence of climate change on food and water safety through the application of advanced modelling techniques.
  2. Identify and assess emerging modelling techniques and computational efficient tools to overcome current limitations in climate change research and food safety and to assess uncertainty propagation for future climate change scenarios. 
  3. Evaluate the dynamics of microbiological change (E. coli, Salmonellaspp., Campylobacter spp., mycotoxins produced by fungi, spoilage bacteria) under climate change pressures (ecosystem, raw materials and environment).
  4. In conjunction with industrial partner organisations, develop superior decision making on risk augmentation of climate assisted hazards, improved food sustainability and reduced food waste with real-life applications in industrial relevant scenarios.
  5. Promote knowledge transfer on innovative modelling techniques to overcome future food safety management issues.
  6. Produce a White Paperand integrated Decision Support System (DSS) for the implementation of future food safety and preservation plans and to scientifically support management options and decisions on new emerging food safety threats and food waste factors related to climate change.

It is envisaged that this research work will contribute significantly to the development of a lasting network and critical mass within Europe and form acore centre of excellencewith regard to modelling the influence of climate change on food safety and provide a protocol for the implementation of future food safety protection plans. Each early stage researcher (ESR) will benefit from international cross-discipline and cross sectorial collaboration and training. Through fulfilment of the objectives the Training Network will provide enhanced career perspectives across different fields in both the academic and non-academic sector through international, multidisciplinary and inter sectorial mobility. 

PROTECTTraining Network schematic

This Training Networkconsists of a number of complementary and interconnected stages, each addressing a particular issue in the food chain (i.e. microbial stress responses, chemical contamination, water quality, food decontamination during processing, contamination during processing, distribution and storage, environmental impact) with a focus onthe influence of climate change using predictive modelling tools. Predictive models will be used to address risk management questions, support decision-making, and assess alternatives. The application of predictive modelling techniques to climate change and transfer of pathogenic microorganisms to food– an emerging research area– will increase understanding on the interaction between future climate, land use scenarios and pathogens/chemicals in food. This understanding will facilitate the development of novel food safety simulation capabilities for future food protection from potentially harmful microorganisms and chemicals. 

Protect ITN

UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering, Room 303a, UCD Agriculture & Food Science Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7777 | E: protect.itn@ucd.ie