TheFSM: The Food Safety Market: an SME-powered industrial data platform to boost the competitiveness of European food certification

  • Completed
  • Programme: H2020
  • Call: ICT-13-2018-2019 - Supporting the emergence of data markets and the data economy
  • Start date: 01.02.2020
  • End date: 31.01.2023

TheFSM (The Food Safety Market: an SME-powered industrial data platform to boost the competitiveness of European food certification) is a project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, call “Information and Communication Technologies” (H2020-ICT-2018-2020). It addresses the topic “Supporting the emergence of data markets and the data economy” (ICT-13-2018-2019), innovation action and aims to create a transparent data-powered certification ecosystem for a safe food supply chain.

Project website:
CORDIS website:

Contact: Svetla Boytcheva

Project Overview

TheFSM aims to develop an industrial data platform that improves the way food certification takes place in Europe and give it a digital boost. The project builds upon existing state-of-art blockchain technologies to create an open and collaborative virtual environment that would facilitate data exchange between different participants in the certification process.

The project conducts 5 pilots in 10 countries (i.e., Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Romania, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan), where food companies and their supply chain stakeholders test, improve and drive the adoption of the data platform and the integrated software tools. This contributes to speeding the pace of the digital evolution in this data-intensive, but still quite traditional, business environment.

Main Objectives, Innovations and Outcomes

TheFSM tries to capture the various needs of the different participants in the certification process. For example, certification bodies need an easier and more reliable access to the data about the food companies and agricultural producers they inspect, while farmers and food manufacturers require simple ways to share the data they monitor, measure and document about the food safety of their products as well as the compliance of their facilities.

Therefore, the main objectives of the project are:

  • understanding the needs of critical business scenarios on food safety specifications and translate them into detailed technical, organizational, legal and commercial requirements for TheFSM platform;
  • developing both the backbone and the front-end services of TheFSM platform so that it may fully support secured and controlled data sharing workflows and transactions critical to inspection and certification;
  • setting up 5 pilots to test, improve and drive the adoption of the data platform from local and regional food supply chain stakeholders;
  • designing, implementing and validating a commercial strategy that drives the adoption of TheFSM around the world.

To achieve these objectives, TheFSM uses important technology innovations. As food certification requires a wide variety of data formats and types (farm measurements, lab test reports, inspection documentation, food recalls, etc.), the project applies advanced semantic technologies for smooth heterogeneous data integration and interoperability. It also uses major ontologies such as GS1 to develop mappings towards external information systems and registries.

Another key factor in the project is multilinguality, especially when dealing with pilots and inspections in multiple countries. Therefore the project offers advanced multilinguality support for both textual information and data ontologies. Some other essential innovations are a multi-sided data brokerage service as well as big data indexing, processing and visualization capabilities to support real-time data processing and food risk model execution.

The aim of theFSM is to serve as an European platform for secure and controlled sharing of proprietary and commercially sensitive data related to food safety risk assessment and certification that:

  • enables automated, predictable and secure food certification data exchange;
  • provides full digitization of food safety data transactions;
  • lowers the cost of certification via remote audits;
  • supports localized needs of EU food SMEs and help them respond to the digitalization challenge;
  • enhances the innovation capacity of EU certification bodies, IT service providers, food SMEs;
  • empowers the EU agtech & foodtech ecosystem by matching innovative ICT SMEs with key players of industrial certification.

Ontotext’s Role

Sirma AI, trading as Ontotext, is part of Sirma Group Holding. Ontotext contributes to the project with their extensive expertise in connecting organizations’ proprietary data with global data to create reusable knowledge graphs that power deep analytics.

In TheFSM, Ontotext leads the work on data modeling, interoperability, management and integration services. The project uses two of Ontotext’s core products: GraphDB and Ontotext Platform. The company also contributes to:

  • integrating, populating and extending multilingual food safety data ontologies and classifications in a dedicated GraphDB instance;
  • integrating, customizing and improving advanced data ingestion, curation and publication workflows;
  • integrating, customizing and improving data combination, linking, transformation and delivery workflows;
  • contributing to big data and AI processing algorithms to generate derivative data from primary data assets.

By taking part in such an important project, Ontotext aspires to increase the application of semantic technology in the Agri-food ecosystem.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871703.


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