CATÓLICA-LISBON was the proud host last week of an unprecedented meeting in Portugal among researchers who focus on Food Consumer Behavior. Organized by researcher Ana Isabel Costa, with support from the CATÓLICA-LISBON research unit CUBE, the meeting brought together researchers from institutions all over Portugal to share their work on subjects related to food and consumer behavior, in marketing, psychology, food science, nutrition and sociology, among other fields.
Researchers from institutions including ISCTE, Universidade de Lisboa’s ICS, Évora’s ICAM or Porto’s FCNA, and Universidade Católica’s FCH and Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, as well as the from the company SenseTest, came together on Thursday, March 21st, at CATÓLICA-LISBON, to present and discuss their work with colleagues.
Ana Isabel Costa, who put the meeting together, sees the initiative as an opportunity to get to know other people working in the same broad field of food consumer behavior, and eventually to explore these connections as synergies for common projects. As funding for this type of work becomes more and more competitive, especially internationally, a gathering that showcases the different types of work that have been done separately here in Portugal in this field could help create new configurations and new teams for projects that require more resources and manpower.
On the European level, a select few research groups devoted to food consumer behavior have dominated funding competitions for years. “This is a difficult league to break into”, Ana Costa said to her colleagues as she gave the opening words to the event. “But I want us, as a country, to do it.”
Sixteen researchers, out of the 22 participants, gave presentations on their recent scientific research and their goals and research questions, leading to lively debates that brought up new questions and avenues to explore.
CUBE researchers Ana Isabel Costa and Cláudia Simão gave presentations on their work, and Rita Coelho do Vale gave an overview of the work done in consumer behavior at CUBE and the resources that it offers, including those of the LERNE and PEO labs. The meeting also included a presentation on funding from Daniela Guerra, a member of the CUBE management team, which included some pointers on funding opportunities in this area of research.
The participants are already planning to put together two new meetings in 2019 on the same subject, hoping to continue building on the framework of this roundtable to explore paths in research and collaboration.