Call for Partners for COST Proposals in FOOD Industry and Call for Journal Contributions

Dear Colleague,

please find enclosed in the email 2 Calls for participation in COST proposals for FP-7 and 2 calls for contributions for journal papers, which came forth out of the discussions at the last EUROSIS FOODSIM conference.

For the COST Proposals you can contact me
by email on
mention in subject: COST 1 or COST 2
- your area of interest and expertise
- all your contact data
- a list of past projects
- a short description of your group or company
- your CV.


For the Journal papers you can contact the people linked directly.




Abstract ( 300 words )

Our goal is to establish this network as a worldwide reference point for complex modelling in the food and bio-industries. Our project is justified for two reasons; first a need to clarify the complex behaviours of the material flow in different stages of the food supply chain and second by the fact that research teams in the EU, who are working on these problems using simulation models, are difficult to identify. Faced with the complexity of the non-linear problems common to physics and logistics, modelling techniques are an excellent alternative for solving industrial problems. While taking account their complexity and while also requiring less time and resources than carrying out real world experiments they can provide similar results. New approaches like genetic algorithms, neural networks, simulated annealing, hybrid simulations, can provide solutions for improving food production processes. Thus four fields of research will be investigated in modelling and simulation applied to food engineering, food sciences and economics.

Key Words ( open format, 400 characters ):

Food quality and security improvement, food and bio-industries, Innovative simulation tools, new methodologies for complex system modelling, original learning methods by simulation.

Preferred COST Domain: Food and Agriculture

You can download the more extensive proposal from:

”How to find new solutions for sustainable food chains – Integrated modelling on different systems levels”

The food sector is an important part of the European economy (put in some figures to show the significance)
Moreover, environmental impact of food is an important part of society’s total impact, for global warming around 25%, globally. Hitherto, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been used to assess the environmental impact of food products, by use of statistical data and yearly averages on energy use, raw material utilisation etc. By that a relatively good understanding has been achieved about what the important issues along the food chains are.
The next, logical, step is to start working on finding improvements for food chains. In that work, statistical data and averages will not be sufficient. The food chain is complex and anything but static. In order to move towards environmental improvements, detailed knowledge about the chemical, physical and biological processes in food products is needed, as well as knowledge about processing technology and functioning of the food system as a whole. An example is food safety and quality modelling, where the food wastage in later stages of the chain as a result of degradation have an important effect on the total environmental impact, since a lot of resources has been spent on that product, which later will be sent to disposal.
In order to include all detailed knowledge into the larger systems models used in LCA, a lot of considerations need to be done. It is not possible just too simply add all detailed models together, but simplifications are needed, and such simplifications must be done very thoroughly to keep the overview without loosing the content. This is the core idea for this COST proposal, to arrange seminars and workshops where these issues are discussed from various perspectives in order to synchronise research efforts to create tools for managing sustainable food chains.

Issues that need to be discussed and synchronised are:

•Structure and format of data to be transferred through the food chain. By agreeing on a certain format for data describing microbiology, efficiency and environmental impact the research conducted can be made compatible through the whole food chain at different levels.

•Knowledge transfer: The output of food chain research on different levels needs to be communicated in order to provide input to the real need of research in order to cover up for weak points. The knowledge transfer will ensure that research focus for the participating groups is formulated in such a way that it will contribute to the most for reaching sustainable food chains.(This will strengthen the research output from the group participating belonging to the Excellences of research groups in Europe in this area).

Areas that need to be synchronised are:
• Food safety
• Food Environmental analysis
• Production
• Logistics
• Food Traceability

In the project we will use a few food chains as case studies or “ballparks” for our discussions, e.g. cured meat or cheese (to be defined definitely later). The delivery from the project will be a description of a working procedure how to approach the challenge in modelling on extremely different systems levels simultaneously and in several scientific areas, applied on the case studies. Additional efforts when discussion sustainable food chains in this multidisciplinary forum is to achieve a better understanding of how each area of research/application influence on others. Efforts will also be made to form an FP7 project proposal from this group if/when this area is addressed in a call from the European Commission.

Some comments:

Which modelling topics to include in such a proposal?

• Population modelling (e.g. of cows on a farm)
• Process modelling
• Logistics modelling
• Production modelling
• Consumer modelling
• Recycling?

"Food production and supply chain management "

to be published in the ISI rated journal OR Spectrum.

Possible topics for contributions are

• Design of food production and distribution systems
• Advanced Planning in the food sector
• Application of OR to problems in agriculture
• Risk assessment, safety management and traceability in food supply chains
• Detailed planning and scheduling of processing operations
• Shelf-life and perishable inventory management
• Logistics execution and transportation management
• Demand and revenue management in the food industries
• Sustainability, such as environmental issues in production and distribution, reverse and closed-loop supply chains, animal friendliness

Due to the focus of the journal on Operations Research, the papers must also make an original contribution with regards to the development of quantitative methodology.

Editors of the special issue are Jack van der Vorst from Wageningen University and myself, Martin Grunow, Technical University of Denmark. Deadline for submissions is 31 December 2008. Please find more details in the attached call for papers.

We are looking forward to your submissions. Please contact me in case you have any questions relating to the special issue.

Best regards, Martin

Martin Grunow
Technical University of Denmark
Department of Management Engineering
Industrial Engineering and Management
Building 425, office: 111
2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Copenhagen), Denmark
phone : + 45 45 25 44 40
secr. : + 45 45 25 44 34
fax : + 45 45 25 60 05


Dear Colleague,

I would like to inform you about a special issue of the journal “Systèmes d'Information et Management” :

This issue is edited by Richard Boland & Daniel Thiel . An international scientific committee will review submitted papers.

The topics of this special issue is : "SIMULATION AS A MODE OF INQUIRY"

The deadline for sending the full paper is on September 15th, 2008.

Best regards

Daniel Thiel

Contact :