Towards the harmonisation of analytical methods for monitoring quality and safety in the food chain

Key data
Acronym: 
MoniQA
Project type: 
Network of Excellence (NoE), funded by EU's 6th Framework Programme (FP6)
Project reference ID: 
FOOD-CT-2006-036337
Duration: 
01 February 2007 - 31 January 2012
Budget: 
12.3 million €
Funding: 
12.3 million €
Coordinator
Name of Coordinator: 
Roland Ernest Poms
Organisation: 
International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC)
Country: 
 AT (Austria)
Description
Short summary: 

MoniQA (Monitoring and Quality Assurance in the Food Supply Chain, www.moniqa.eu) is an EU-funded Network of Excellence (NoE), which involves experts from around the globe working for safer foods by harmonising worldwide food quality and safety monitoring and control strategies. MoniQA is coordinated by ICC - the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (www.icc.or.at) and concerns the safety and quality assessment of all foods and feeds including grains and crops, fruits and vegetables, meats and sea food. The initial network of over 155 scientists from 20 countries has grown to over 500 experts from some 40 countries from 5 continents. The consortium has committed its knowledge, international relations, and communication resources to providing reliable information, globally agreed standards and tools to ensure safe foods, to support regulatory bodies in drafting better future regulations, food manufacturers in achieving legal compliance and producing high quality foods, and finally avoiding remedial, legal or re-call costs, and improving the quality of life for consumers.

MoniQA focuses on validation of and setting performance criteria/requirements for methods used to analyse foods and food products for safety and quality. The main emphasis is on rapid methods and emerging new testing technologies, and their applicability and reliability in routine testing. The work involves validation studies, design and development of reference materials/testing materials, and validation guidelines, as well as socio-economic impact assessment of new and amended regulations, and thus contributing to better future regulations. MoniQA is aiming at integrating European and worldwide food quality and safety research by creating a virtual laboratory for joint research, training, dissemination and mobility programmes. MoniQA actively promotes sharing of data and knowledge, as well as of equipment, materials and personnel through creation of a global platform for food Q&S researchers, lab practitioners, and policy makers.

ICC's role: 

ICC is coordinator of MoniQA.

As coordinating institution in MoniQA ICC is responsible for the management of the project activities, overseeing and approving the MoniQA yearly budgets for all MoniQA partners, and the communication and negotiation between the European Commission and the MoniQA consortium.

Due to its standing as international organisation and its core activities in the validation and standardisation of analytical methods for the cereal and general food safety and quality assessment, ICC is also scientific coordinator of MoniQA activities and outputs. Within the project structure, ICC is involved in all 10 work packages and is leader for WP10 "Management" and co-leader of WP3 "Sustainability". Furthermore ICC manages the finances on behalf of the consortium (WP10), the travel bursaries and exchange grants (together with WP2 "Mobility" leader IFR), monitors and manages the outputs of the MoniQA working groups (incorporated in WP4 "Validation and Standardisation"), manages the MoniQA website (part of WP8 "Dissemination"), organises and manages most of MoniQA's conferences and meetings (WP8 and WP10) and contributes to MoniQA FSTs providing lecturers and negotiating finances with local hosts (WP9 "Training and Education"). ICC is the prime contact for the consortium in case of disputes and ICC takes an active part in conflict management.

Finally, ICC is a driver for new research collaborations and proposals, as well as actively linking various initiatives and activities of international consortia, international organisations, and international/EU projects to MoniQA, the European Commission, and other relevant EU and non-EU bodies, and to ICC and its member countries and institutions.

Contact
Contact person at ICC: 
Michaela Pichler