The JPI HDHL aims to provide a holistic approach to develop and implement a research agenda to understand the interplay of factors known to directly affect diet-related diseases, discover new relevant factors, mechanisms and strategies, as well as to contribute to the development of actions, policies, innovative products and diets, with the aim of drastically reducing the burden of diet-related diseases.
In the framework of this Joint Programming Initiative 26 Member States and Associated Countries are engaged.
Jointly, the partners are looking forward to the challenges lying ahead and are confident that by working together, it will be possible to establish a fully operational European Research Area on the prevention of diet-related diseases to increase knowledge and deliver innovative and improved nutritional and health intervention strategies.
A schematic overview of the main actors, programmes and governance structure for alignment of national research.
Additional Information on Belgian activities in the domains of JPI HDHL
Funding in the scope of JPI HDHL
The Belgian research system is highly decentralised, with responsibilities for research policy and funding assigned to the regions and the communities. Several regional governments carry out these tasks with complete autonomy as follows:
- Regions (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels-Capital: responsible for research related to economic development purposes (technological development and applied research)
- Communities (Flemish-, French- and German-speaking): responsible for education and fundamental research. However, due to its small size, the German-speaking community does not have a research policy
- Federal state: responsible for research areas requiring homogenous execution at the national level and research in execution of international agreements
- Own research programmes: some research institutions have their own research programmes, whose resources can be autonomously assigned (for example, University BOF grants)
BELSPO is active in the H2020 - Bio Economy pillar with one of the topics concerning a Sustainable and competitive agri-food sector for a safe and healthy diet. BELSPO has funded among others in their 'science for a sustainable development' (SDD) programme projects in the past within the scope of JPI HDHL.Regional
FWO (Scientific Research Foundation – Flanders) supports fundamental research in all areas of scientific domains. FWO is participating in the JPI HDHL and in the last years it has provided funding for the current joint actions DEDIPAC, BIOMARKERS and ENPADASI.
IWT (agency for Innovation by Science and Technology) supports applied and strategic basic research in all areas of science fields oriented towards economic valorization. It has funded many research projects concerning a more healthy food (e.g. reduced salts, sugar replacement, ...) and 'Food for focus groups' via Flanders' FOOD research calls. Flanders' FOOD is the Flemish centre of excellence for food manufacturing. Furthermore, IWT has shown interest in the upcoming joint actions 'Food Models and Food Processing' and 'Malnutrition' of JPI HDHL.
FNRS (Fund for Scientific Research, French-speaking Community) also supports fundamental research in all areas of scientific domains. FNRS has participated in the ENPADASI joint action as well as in the Malnutrition in the Elderly Joint Action and is interested in the other upcoming joint actions calls.
National Grant Programmes
- Apart from the Flemish funding organisations FWO and IWT and the research funding by RPOs themselves, there is no national grant programme
- FWO and FNRS use their programme 'research projects' for its participation in JPI and ERA-Net There is a dedicated budget for funding for food-industry related topics within the innovation platform Flanders' FOOD. This projects align with programmes of IWT. No other dedicated programmes for food and health are established
- IWT has different type of grant programmes. The Programmes with the most potential (in terms of budget availability) are the industry research projects (applicant is an enterprise, RPO's or other organisations are subcontractor of that enterprise). Other programmes that can be 'used' are collective research (VIS trajects and LA-trajects), with benefits for a group of companies (For VIS projects the applicant is an association of enterprises, for LA-projects the applicant is an RPO). Subsidy percentages varies from 90% (LA), over 80% (VIS and some collaborative projects for industry with SME involvement) towards 25% (prototype research from a single company).
Governance structure for alignment of national research programs
- European and other international cooperation between Flemish research funding and performing organisations and the Flemish Department of Research and Innovation convene regularly in a Europe Platform. There also the policy regarding the involvement in the JPIs is discussed.
- Actors involved in research funding from the Walloon Region and Wallonia-Brussels Federation convene regularly in a the 'Contact Group for International research'. At the Belgian level, a concertation meeting (CIS) between different actors involved in research funding and programming is organised according to the pillars and challenges of the H2020 Programme.
- IWT, FWO and FNRS are active in several ERA-Net projects, and FWO and FNRS in several JAs of JPIs.
Participation in the JPI HDHL activities
In the current two JPI HDHL Knowledge Hubs, several Belgian research institutes have been involved.
Several institutes as University Ghent (with prof. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij as Leader of the theme 'Evaluation and benchmarking of public health and policy interventions aimed at improving dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviours') is participating in DEDIPAC.
In ENPADASI, many Belgian research institutes with Prof. Stefaan De Henauw and Prof. Carl Lachat (both from University Ghent) as coordinators of two Flemish consortia, are participating.
In the Joint Action Biomarkers in Nutrition and Health, University Ghent and ILSI Europe are participating as Belgian partners.
Interesting activities in the domains of JPI HDHL
At January 22, 2015, an interesting international Symposium on Nutrition and Health with theme 'Let the food be the medicine' was organized and coordinated by the Public Health Department (coordinator Prof. De Henauw) of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Ghent. The objective of this event was stimulating nutrition research and inauguration of the Nutrition & Health platform.
A schematic overview of the main actors, programmes and governance structure for alignment of national research.
Additional Information on Czech activities in the domains of JPI HDHL
Funding in the scope of JPI HDHLMinistry of Education, Youth and Sports
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS, MŠMT in Czech) is responsible for public administration in education, for developing educational, youth and sport policies and international cooperation in these fields. According to the Act No. 130/2002 Coll. on the Support of Research, Experimental Development and Innovation from Public Funds and on the Amendment to Some Related Acts, MEYS is central administration authority responsible for R&D, particularly institutional funding for higher education sector, research infrastructures policy and funding and international R&D collaboration.
Ministry of Agriculture
The Ministry of Agriculture is a central authority of state administration for agriculture excepting preservation of agricultural land fund, for water management excepting preservation of water quality, and for food industry. The target of the Ministry of Agriculture is based on agricultural policy of the government and of its official program. The Ministry of Agriculture is supporting the development of organic farming in the Czech Republic, guarantees compliance with the rules for organic farming, and administers state aid for organic farmers in the form of national subsidies and under the Rural Development Programme. The Ministry of Agriculture also promotes healthy, quality domestic food.
Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic is the central body of the state administration in the field of health care and protection of public health, medical science research, direct health care providers, treatment of addictive substances, preparations, precursors and auxiliary substances, searching, protection and use of natural healing resources, natural healing spas and sources of natural mineral waters, pharmaceuticals and medical devices for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of people, health insurance and health information system. The Ministry of Health provides the largest volume of activities in issues of food safety in the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Governance structure for alignment of national research programs
The system of support for research, development and innovations of the Czech Republic includes a total of 15 providers of support from the public funds of the Czech Republic. The central authority of the state administration of the Czech Republic responsible for the research and development agenda, including the international cooperation of the Czech Republic in these areas, is the MEYS. Public support providers in the relevant sectoral areas of applied research and experimental development on the national level are also the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health.
National Grant Programmes
The Strategy of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic with a view by 2030 (Ministry of Agriculture).
The Strategy identifies the main purpose is to strenghten a common strategic Framework for the further development in the agriculture.
The Strategy responds to ongoing changes in the climate and the immediate and long-term strategic challenges that result from implementing measures to mitigate the negative impacts of drought and water scarcity.
Health 2020 – National Strategy for Health Protection and Promotion and Disease Prevention (Ministry of Health)
The Health 2020 – National Strategy for health Protection, Promotion and Disease Prevention is based on the principles of Health 2020 – the World Health Organization programme focused on improving health and well-being of population, reducing health inqualities and strengthening the role of public health. Its objective is to create a sustainable health system based on quality, availability and equality of people who become partners in attainning better health for all.
The MEYS – There is no national grant programme related to JPI HDHL, e. g. no other dedicated programmes for food and health are established. In the relation to JPI HDHL, the MEYS is active role in ERA-NET projects and in several of JPIs.
Future Funding Initiatives
The budget allocation of the MEYS for funding acitivities is determined after the approval of the state budget for research, development and innovation for relevant years.
The Ministry of Agriculture manages R&D for the entire agricultural sector, and invests significant funding into its support and development. Thanks to this funding, the results produced by some Czech research teams rank them among the best in their field both in Europe and worldwide. The Ministry of Agriculture has an active financial role in supporting marketing, awareness programmes and education as well.
A schematic overview of the main actors, programmes and governance structure for alignment of national research.
Additional Information on Finland activities in the domains of JPI HDHL
Food2030: Finland feeds us and the world
A report on food policy has been published in March 2017 by the Finnish governement. The aim of the food policy is to promote the population’s nutritional status and well-being through food. Food policy covers a broad range of issues concerning the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food. The national economy, public health and the well-being of the environment are all closely connected to food policy decisions.
The report is part of Finnish national food policy, and it sets out the policy objectives and key priorities of the activities far into the future. It is stated that “food policy cannot achieve its goals and the vision cannot be made reality unless the Government, the Parliament and the entire food system are committed to the common strategy and its long-term implementation”.
The report also includes an research and innovation chapter which mentions amongst other that:
“While Finnish research relevant to the food system is of a high standard in many ways, in places it still remains too fragmented. More multidisciplinary networking across the boundaries of different branches of science is needed in Finland. In addition, internationalisation of the research sector needs to be improved and financial instruments for international research should be utilized. Food is in a key role not only in bioeconomy but also in culture, social interaction and health. More international research and product development cooperation between different branches of science could open up opportunities of a completely new type”.
Additional Information on Germany activities in the domains of JPI HDHL
Research in the area of food, nutrition, physical activity and health research in Germany is financed by institutional - and project funding of the Federal Government and the Federal States. The Federal Government coordinates its activities by strategic programmes which define the priorities and strategic orientations of future research funding.
Public Health: Academies give recommendations on the further development of health research
During the last decades, a big success has been achieved in the area of public health. However, in order to better make use of its full potential, further political support, a further development of research infrastructures and more international engagement is needed. This is what the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech ─ German National Academy of Science and Engineering and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities suggest in the common statement „Public Health in Germany ─ Structures, Developments and Global Challenges" which was published on 16 June, 2015.
The Health Research Framework Programme of the Federal Government:
Action Plan: Prevention and Nutrition Research
The fact that people live longer and their living and dietary patterns have changed considerably within the last decades also means that there is a marked increase in the number of people suffering from chronic diseases. This situation confronts not only each individual, but also the German health system and society as a whole, with new challenges.
To address these challenges, research funding of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) intends to strengthen prevention and health promotion in all areas of society by focusing on the development of new approaches through interdisciplinary research and innovation activities. It was against this background that in the end of 2010 the Federal Government introduced "Research into Prevention and Nutrition" as one of the six fields of action in its Health Research Programme - Health for Everyone - - BMBF. The Action Plan "Prevention and Nutrition Research", published in June 2013, describes the strategic aims of research funding in this field. It combines relevant research approaches in an interdisciplinary manner – ranging from biomedicine to epidemiology, prevention research and nutrition research.
The key objectives of the action plan include:
- Obtaining dependable knowledge on influencing factors and their effects as well as their relevance for the occurrence of diseases as starting point for successful prevention measures
- Developing effective prevention measures and dietary recommendations
- Establishing an efficient, interdisciplinary and internationally competitive nutrition research sector
- Devising new recipes for processed foods based on the latest scientific findings
- Gaining more knowledge about the long-term effects and health-economic impact of prevention measures
To achieve these aims, the action plan initiates several novel funding measures and strategically links them up with existing funding activities. In total, the action plan provides project funding for research and development projects of up to €125 million in the period 2013-2016.
The funding measures of the action plan with relevance for the scope of JPI HDHL include:
Competence clusters in nutrition research to improve the health status in Germany
BMBF intends to establish regional, theme-focused competence clusters in nutrition research which pool the nutritional competences of universities, non-university research institutions and industry. These clusters will develop targeted strategies to combat diseases that are associated with nutrition. Furthermore, the international visibility and scientific excellence of German nutrition research will be enhanced. In general, the funding measure aims to orient German nutrition research towards a more interdisciplinary approach and increase its relevance for practical applications. Clusters are expected to start in spring 2015. A total funding budget of up to 21 Mio € for three years will be provided for this funding initiative.
Research Consortia on Primary Prevention and Health Promotion
BMBF intends to establish interdisciplinary research consortia on a regional basis which pool all the expertise and resources that are needed for the respective research objectives. The consortia will focus on topics of overarching importance and are intended to improve the scientific basis for primary prevention and health promotion measures as well as accelerate their transfer to everyday life. Consortia are expected to start beginning 2015. A total funding budget of up to 19 Mio € for three years will be provided for this funding initiative.
Evaluation studies on the long-term effects of primary prevention and health promotion
BMBF supports evaluation studies to clarify whether and how prevention measures work. Funding is provided for follow-up studies of evaluations that have already been completed with the aim of examining the long-term effects of primary prevention and health promotion. Research projects start beginning 2015. A total funding budget of up to 4 Mio € for three years are being provided for this funding initiative.
Funding measures in the area of obesity research:
About 16 million Germans are suffering from obesity and about every third German adult is overweight. Obesity causes personal suffering and high costs: The allocated costs of obesity are considered to be about 17 billion Euros per year for the German health care system.
Competence Network Obesity
Aim of the Network is to enhance research into prevention, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for obesity and its associated diseases. By a closer networking of fundamental, application-oriented and clinical research, results will be translated more quickly into medical care and/or successful prevention strategies. Since 2008, the competence network is funded by the BMBF with €18.4 million.
Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) Adiposity Diseases
The IFB is a joint center of the University and the University Hospital Leipzig. It cooperates with many relevant institutions in the area of medicine, obesity, and nutrition. Moreover, it offers several activities to inform citizens, scientists and health care professionals. The IFB team investigates and treats obesity (adiposity) as well as its secondary diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. For the funding period of 2012 – 2015, a budget of € 24 million is provided.
National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030 of the Federal Government
The overall goal of the bioeconomy concept is a structural transition from an oil-based to a bio-based industry. The target vision is a natural cycle-oriented, sustainable biobased economy that carries the promise of global food supplies that are both ample and healthy, and of high quality products from renewable resources.
With the National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030, the German Federal Government has established the conditions for realizing such a vision. BMBF funding initiatives in the field of bioeconomy reflect the five priority areas of the national research strategy, of which three priorities are closely involved in the field of food production and security.
- Action area "Producing Healthy and Safe Foods"
The development of consumer-oriented product and process innovations along the food manufacturing chain for healthy, high-quality, affordable and safe foodstuffs is supported through the action area "Producing Healthy and Safe Foods". This takes into account that demographic change, the increase in nutrition-related diseases, as well as changing lifestyles and circumstances are some of the central social and scientific challenges in our times.
To support research on sustainable food production that is highly efficient and has a low environmental impact, the BMBF is engaged in the ERA-Net SUSFOOD (SUStainable FOOD production and consumption). This European initiative focus on food chain sustainability beyond the agricultural production and cover processing, packaging, transport, retailing, food services, storage and consumer activities. In January 2014 the 2nd joint call was announced.
In terms of meat, a prerequisite for healthy foodstuffs is healthy animals. Various factors such as diseases, epidemics, methods of treatment, animal husbandry, etc. can seriously affect the health and welfare of farm animals. This can have a considerable influence on the economy, environment and society including meat quality and consumer protection, and does not simply have only effects on the animal and its keeper. The BMBF thus participates in European initiatives which aim to fund transnational cooperations in the research area "Animal Health and Welfare", in particular the ERA-Net EMIDA (Emerging and Major Infectious Diseases of Livestock) and the new campaign ANIHWA (Animal Health and Welfare).
- Action area "Securing the Global Food Supply"
Plants are fundamental to produce healthy foodstuffs and to securing the global food supply. The increase and security of plant-based production, the quality of plant-based raw material, and the sustainability of agricultural practices are thus global challenges that require new approaches in research and cultivation. The National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030 broaches this important issue within the action area "Securing the Global Food Supply". The BMBF has established a funding priority in the research field of plant biotechnology named PLANT 2030. This program subsumes the national "Plant Biotechnology for the Future" (web link in German only) and the international "PLANT-KBBE" (Transnational PLant Alliance for Novel Technologies - towards implementing the Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy in Europe) funding initiatives that aim to increase the efficiency of cultivation, develop targeted and optimized plants with combined characteristics, e.g. to enhance the production of healthy foodstuffs, and to make plant production more sustainable in general.
Action area "Ensuring Sustainable Agricultural Production"
A third action area of the national research strategy, "Ensuring Sustainable Agricultural Production", has also an significant impact on food-relevant research topics. The area of plant breeding is focused on the expansion of the productive potential of crops, on stabilizing yields through improved resistance to pathogens, and on enhanced tolerance - among other things to heat, drought, cold and salinity. Research and innovation into breeding, feeding, housing, and into the health of livestock (including bees) and fish supports the sustainability objectives of the bioeconomy concept.
In addition to project funding both ministries BMEL (Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture) and BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) as well provide institutional funding.
The BMBF's Institutional funding
• German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE)
The mission of the institute is to conduct experimental and clinical research in the field of nutrition and health, with the aim of understanding the molecular basis of nutrition-dependent diseases, and of developing new strategies for prevention, treatment, and nutritional recommendations. To do so, interdisciplinary cooperation comprising a broad spectrum of experimental and epidemiological methods is pursued. A particular focus of the institute is research on common diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer, whose development involves nutrition-dependent factors.
The BMEL's Institutional funding>
The BMEL has streamlined and technically well-organised research institutions; their research provides a foundation on which the ministry can form opinions and make specific decisions.
- four Federal Research Centres: Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), Max Rubner Institute (MRI) and the Thünen Institute (TI),
- the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment,
- the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety and the
- German Biomass Research Centre
The four Federal Research Centres draw up scientific decision aids for the BMEL in the fields of food, agricultural, forestry, fisheries and consumer policy. They broaden the state of the art in their fields for the common good. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also conducts research into health-related consumer protection.
The most important departmental research centre for the field of JPI HDHL is the
Max Rubner Institute, Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food
In addition to its headquarters in Karlsruhe, MRI also conducts research at centres in Kiel, Detmold and Kulmbach. And there is a unit with research focus on fish quality in Hamburg. Four of MRI's eight departments as well as the MRI Analysis Division use a cross-product approach, focusing their research on investigating the quality rating of foodstuffs in terms of nutritional physiology and health, food safety and bioprocess engineering. This approach traces the active chain of nutrition from the level of molecules and cells to the entire organism. One particularly important area is the study of nutritional behavior. The results of this cross-product research are incorporated in recommendations for healthy nutrition.There are eight departments at MRI:
The research work undertaken in the other four departments relates to specific categories of foodstuffs such as cereals, vegetables, milk and meat. In these departments the entire food chain is studied. MRI's research, which is geared to the production chain, targets the safety and quality of foodstuffs as well as the sustainability of food production. Investigations cover the whole period from the moment of harvesting or production through to the consumer..
The Max Rubner-Institute is responsible for the continued development and implementation of National Nutrition Monitoring and the Federal Food Key. It also undertakes national tasks in the context of the Agricultural Statistics Act and the Precautionary Radiation Protection Act.
- Department of Nutritional Behaviour
- Department of Physiology and Biochemistry of Nutrition
- Department of Food Technology and Bio Process Engineering
- Department of Safety and Quality of Fruit and Vegetables
- Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Department of Safety and Quality of Milk and Fish Products
- Department of Safety and Quality of Cereals
- Department of Safety and Quality of Meat
The ministry is also supported by six Leibniz institutes, which conduct applied research and complement the technical spectrum of the above research institutions. These institutions from the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific ¬Association (WGL) are supported by the BMEL; their scientific findings are used for the ministry's consultation requirements. The most important WGL-Institute within the scope of JPI HDHL is the
DFA – German Research Center for Food Chemistry
- Working Group I. Structure and Bioactivity of Low-Molecular Food Ingredients (Hedonic Value) is aiming at characterising naturally occurring, odour active compounds of foods or raw materials and their changes from the raw material to the consumer.
- Working Group IIstrong>. Biopolymers is working on the characterisation and quantification of plant biopolymers, in particular those of cereals.
- Working Group IIIstrong>. Physiology – Chemoreception of food ingredients aims to clarify the interaction of food ingredients with cellular target molecules (i.e. receptors, ion channels).
The BMEL departmental research does not confine itself to addressing national issues, but also covers European and global topics. Research is, for example, also conducted to further the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, to fight global hunger, and to fulfil international agreements. BMEL's departmental research bodies participate in many EU cooperative projects, work within European and international bodies, and have alliances with international research institutions.
The ministry needs a scientific foundation for its work. The research findings are always made available to the public. This means that consumers, practitioners in the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors, the business community, and people living in rural areas all benefit from BMEL research.
If the departmental research bodies do not have the capacity, or do not have sufficient capacity, to work on topics relevant to policy consultation, the BMEL can also finance research assignments carried out by third parties.
Additional Information on Norway activities in the domains of JPI HDHL
The RCN's programme BIONAER"Sustainable innovation in food and biobased industries" has launched a call for proposals to support national-international networking activities within the scope of the programme.
Four groups were funded, two of which were diet and health related. The first one is a multidisciplinary network "Next generation's food production for a healthy life" based at The Norwegian University for Life Science. It aims to support the food industry and other stakeholders that must handle important future diet related challenges and to integrate the network with (at least) two networks at European level.
The second network is the "Norwegian Technology Platform (NTP) Food for life", at the Federation of Norwegian Food and Drink Industry. The aim of the network is to stimulate the Norwegian food industry to cooperate on solving common needs in R&D through national and European activities, to increase innovation in the food industry and stimulate participation from Norwegian food industry in European research cooperation.
Networks funding in the JPI HDHL domains
The second JPI HDHL conference on March 28th, 2014 in Brussels was widely promoted by the Research Council of Norway(RCN) among relevant researchers and representatives from the industry, resulting in several Norwegian participants in Brussels. For more information please visit the website for the RCN programme BIONAER.
To support Norwegian researchers participation in the JPI HDHL Joint Action on "Biomarkers in Nutrition and Health" (BioNH) a National Information Day has been organized by RCN in April 2014.
Relevant institutions and researchers from all over the country were invited to the meeting to spread up information on the BioNH call and the JPI HDHL in general (SRA and 2014-2015 Implementation Plan presentation). To facilitate networking between partners and help to apply, a session for questions and/or work with the application forms was also organized.
As a result, 35% of the applications to the BioNH call include Norwegian partners, of which 29% in a leadership position.
In August 2014, an update on DEDIPAC KH (Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity Choice) progress was published on the website of the RCN programme Folkehelseprogrammet (Public Health) and picked up by Forskning.no , the Scandinavia's largest website for research news. The focus is on Work Package "Development and pilot-testing of a toolbox to develop, monitor and evaluate policies related to dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviour using natural experiments across DEDIPAC member states" and on why so many people choose an unhealthy diet when they actually know better. An English translation of the article is available.
Additional Information on Netherland activities in the domains of JPI HDHL
In the Dutch government the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport cover the main tasks in the area of Nutrition and Health. The Dutch government has prioritised five topics: healthy food, food safety, sustainable food production, food waste and nutrition in relation with the Millenium Goals. In the Dutch Health Policy the health related topics are further elaborated. Making the healthy choice the easy choice and the establishment of a healthier food supply e.g. by enhancing innovation and making agreements with the food industry and food suppliers are key elements of the Dutch Health Policy. The youth and elderly are important targets groups. Special attention is given to promote a healthy lifestyle for youth with a focus on a healthy weight – nutrition is mentioned as one of the four key elements of a healthy lifestyle. With a growing elderly population – a special focus is to prevent, identify and cure malnutrition within this group.
Top sector policy and JPI HDHL
The Dutch government has identified 10 sectors in which the Netherlands excels globally and which are a government priority. The first nine sectors were established in the 'To the top' policy document (in Dutch), the area of head offices was added later. The top sector approach is geared towards providing a solid exchange between businesses, knowledge institutes and the government. The government does not make its own proposals for the sectors, but invites businesses and scientists to draw up action plans.
One of the items of each top sector is research and innovation. By collaboration between business, government and knowledge institutes knowledge should be translated faster into products and services. In order to achieve this institutes like NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), KNAW (the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) and the large technology institutes are adjusting their programmes to the top sectors. NWO approves research proposals based on scientific criteria and assigns resources to the various plans in collaboration with the top teams.
The Strategic Research Agenda is closely related to the top sectors AGRI & FOOD and Life Sciences and Health. For AGRI & FOOD the upcoming JPI HDHL topics on Biomarkers, Food models and Processing, Intestinal Microbiomics and Nutrition and Cognitive Function are part of their Action Plan. In the cross-over between these two top sectors – the JPI HDHL related topic Intestinal Microbiomics is of high interest. Furthermore the JPI HDHL topic on Malnutrition and Personalised Nutrition are part of the Action Plan of the LSH topsector.
Budget for Joint Action JPI HDHL
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) provided ZonMw for the period 2014-2015 with a labelled budget to collaborate with the top sectors to invest in Joint Actions of JPI HDHL. First investments have been made in the running Joint Actions ENPADASI and Biomarkers in Nutrition and Health. In 2015 investments in three to four upcoming joint action is expected.
Joint Action call secretariats and coordinating Task Forces
ZonMw hosts the call secretariat for the running Joint Actions Biomarkers in Nutrition and Health and ENPADASI. Furthermore ZonMw will lead the preparation of the upcoming Joint Actions on Intestinal Microbiomics and Malnutrition.
National structure JPI HDHL
The ministry of Economic Affairs and the ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport are participating in JPI HDHL. They are represented by Martijntje Bakker – member of the Management Team of ZonMw – in the Management Board of JPI HDHL. The national Steering Committee of JPI HDHL consists of representatives both ministries, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and ZonMw. The members of the national Steering Committee are also linked to the two top sectors 'Agri and Food' and 'Life sciences and Health (LSH).
Additional Information on UK activities in the domains of JPI HDHL
The Cohort Directory is a searchable tool of the UK's largest population cohorts. The aim of the directory is to signpost users to individual cohorts to maximise the use and translation of findings of these valuable UK assets. It has been developed in response to recommendations in the MRC Strategic Review of the Largest UK Population Cohort Studies (PDF, 2.07MB).
The information included in the cohort directory provides a high level overview of the cohort profile and type of variables and data collected.
Further details can be found here
The UK Global Food Security Programme (GFS)
The UK's main public funders of food-related research and training are working together through the Global Food Security programme to meet the challenge of providing the world's growing population with a sustainable, secure supply of safe, nutritious, and affordable high-quality food using less land, with lower inputs, and in the context of global climate change, other environmental changes and declining resources.
Priority Research Questions for the UK Food System
The UK Global Food Security Programme (GFS) has undertaken an exercise to identify "Priority Research Questions for the UK Food System" to help define a research agenda for the UK food system in a global context. It complements other studies that have focussed on food production (e.g. agriculture) but not the full food system; such studies may have included some questions on markets and consumption, but framed from a productionist viewpoint. This project involved the wide range of actors engaged in the full suite of food system "activities" along the food chain (i.e. producing, processing, packaging, retailing and consuming); and others interested in food security or other socioeconomic and environmental "outcomes" of these activities. Emphasis was placed on incorporating a wide range of 'world views' from different stakeholder groups: policy, private sector, non-governmental organisations, advocacy groups and academia.
A summary of the project and its outcomes can be found here
Full details can be found in the following publication: Priority research questions for the UK food system. 2013 Food Security 5, 617-636.
Food Waste within Global Systems
A report commissioned by the UK's Global Food Security (GFS) programme has outlined the vital priorities for future research to address the growing problem of food waste. 'Food Waste within Global Systems' provides an independent assessment of the issues around food waste and losses in developing and developed countries. It suggests a number of potential future research priorities across the food supply chain, from food production through to food processing, retail and consumption, and at home. The report indicates that tackling waste is a major part of providing enough food to feed a growing population sustainably in the future.
The report in full can be found here