From next year, member countries will finance the supportive structure of JPI HDHL by paying an annual membership fee. Continuation of the JPI HDHL and its unique role in bridging the thematic areas of food, nutrition and health is of key importance, especially at this crucial time in the developments around food systems transformation at EU and member state level.
In 2010, countries joined forces to kick-start the JPI HDHL, after the relationship between food, nutrition and non-communicable diseases was part of the first wave of topics identified by the European Commission for the new Joint Programming Initiatives. Under FP7 and Horizon 2020, the supportive structures of the JPIs (i.e. the secretariats and their activities) were financed by the EC through a Coordination and Support Action. As further CSA funding for the JPIs was uncertain, JPI HDHL has explored ways to become financially self-sustainable.
Many current member countries are committed to continuing their international collaboration through the JPI HDHL in the research area of food, nutrition, physical activity and health, and have agreed to pay an annual membership fee to support the secretariat from 2021. So far,15 countries have committed to paying the fees that are needed to fund the secretariat, thereby remaining full members of the JPI HDHL. A number of countries that were not in a position to pay a membership fee at this time, but wish to stay connected to the JPI HDHL, will become observer members.
As a self-sustainable initiative, JPI HDHL will continue to work towards achieving its vision, which is that “ By 2030 all citizens will have the motivation, ability and opportunity to consume a healthy diet from a variety of foods, have healthy levels of physical activity and that the incidence of diet-related diseases will have decreased significantly”. While the focus of JPI HDHL is on healthy diets, we work from a food system perspective, and the transition to healthier diets must take place in an environmentally sustainable and fair way. To achieve further impact on the societal challenges related to food, nutrition and health, JPI HDHL is currently developing its next implementation plan for the years 2022-2024, defining the topics for Joint Funding Actions as well as various non-funding activities, for example on the topic of alignment. A continuation of our strong relationship with the EC is also foreseen, among others through the involvement of the JPI in the development and implementation of the Safe and Sustainable Food Systems Partnership, and close connections with the ERA4Health Partnership. Both partnerships are being developed as part of the EC framework programme Horizon Europe.
The Dutch Organisation for Healthcare Research Funding (ZonMw) will continue as coordinator of the JPI HDHL secretariat. Other members of the secretariat will be ILVO in Belgium and BMBF in Germany. Tasks of the JPI secretariat include organising the MB meetings, monitoring of developments and aligning with related initiatives, developing strategic documents and supporting the Scientific and Stakeholder Advisory Boards. Coordination of funding activities is not part of the tasks of the central secretariat and should be part of instruments of Horizon Europe, or delivered in kind by a participating funding organisation.