BC3 Researcher Neus Escobar wins Audience Award at the MSCA Conference Policy Pitch Competition

Neus Escobar, MSCA researcher at BC3, was recognized for her outstanding contribution to the Policy Pitch Competition at the MSCA Conference 2023, held in conjunction with the Spanish Presidency of the EU on 14-15 November. Out of 170 participants, Escobar was selected as one of the 15 finalists, competing with four other MSCA-IF projects in the category ‘Exposure to Policy Making’.

Neus Escobar participated with her pitch ‘Tracking Chocolate to Fight Deforestation’, in which she summarized the work carried out in the MSCA project GIFTS (Global Interlinkages in Food Trade Systems). The project focuses on the development of a model to trace and identify global agri-food product value chains in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Escobar presented a compelling example of the application of the methodology to address environmental impacts related to chocolate consumption, especially those taking place in cocoa-producing regions. With more than 1,000 votes collected throughout the conference, both in person and online, Escobar won the Audience Award.

“This opportunity has allowed me to show the relevance of the GIFTS project to provide transparency to agri-food value chains and its application to make more targeted policies to mitigate impacts derived from food consumption at a global level. It is not only important to do meaningful and rigorous science, but also to be able to convey the implications to the general public and decision-makers. After all, this is one of the motivations of the GIFTS project and the research we do in BC3.” – Neus Escobar, BC3 Researcher

The MSCA Conference, a platform that brought together more than 150 national and European stakeholders, aimed to reflect on the role of science in shaping public policy. In particular, the event emphasized the importance of MSCA programmes as crucial instruments for the professional development of researchers and the importance of promoting diverse research careers that transcend across different sectors of society and are able to have an impact beyond the purely academic.

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