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In February 2018, JPI HDHL launched the call “Nutrition & the Epigenome” to create dedicated, top-class transnational research consortia in the emerging field of nutrition and epigenetics.

In total 41 full proposals have been submitted to this call. JPI HDHL is currently checking if the submitted proposals meet the call conditions and the compliance with national funding regulations. Eligible proposals will be evaluated by an international panel of experts.

The final funding decision of this call is expected in September 2018.

The call statistics of the co-funded call “Interrelation of the Intestinal Microbiome, Diet and Health” in the frame of the ERA-Net Cofund “HDHL-INTIMIC” has been analysed. This call was launched in January 2017, with the aim to support research projects that address important research questions regarding the cause-and-effect relationships between diet, the intestinal microbiome and human health.

Evaluation and indicators
To evaluate the results of the co-funded call, an analysis on the call statistics has been performed using indicators like:

  • number of submitted proposals in the two different evaluation stages (including the number of involved partners, countries and funding agencies)
  • requested and awarded funding
  • gender distribution
  • collaboration with private partners etc.

The results of this analysis will feed into the evaluation of the impact of the co-funded call.

Number of proposals and budget
In total 80 pre-proposals have been submitted during the first stage, of which 66 pre-proposals were formally eligible. After the evaluation, 28 consortia were invited to submit a full proposal of which 11 proposals have been selected for funding. In the 11 awarded projects, a total of 43 research groups from 8 countries and 6 collaborators are involved. The total requested budget of the 11 projects is 9.6 M euro of which 2.2 M euro will be contributed by the EU as top-up funding.

Addressed topics
Six of the awarded projects focus on the role of diet-gut microbiome interactions in cardiometabolic diseases, in particular Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome and their risk factors. The other projects focus on a variety of topics like cognitive function, colorectal cancer, maternal immunity and neonatal colonization as well as basic mechanisms of host-microbe interactions.

The Commission adopted on 14 March 2018 the Implementation Roadmap for the European Science Cloud. The document presents the results and available evidence from an extensive consultation process that started with the publication of the Communication: European Cloud initiative. The consultation upheld the intervention logic presented in the Communication: to create a fit for purpose pan-European federation of research data infrastructures, with a view to moving from the current fragmentation to a situation where data is easy to store, find, share and re-use.

The Food Biomarkers Alliance, FOODBALL is a project funded by the JPI HDHL in the Joint Action Biomarkers in Nutrition and Health. It aimed at identifying, quantifying and validating dietary biomarkers to obtain a good coverage of the food intake in different population groups within Europe and improve the capabilities of nutritional assessment and research.
The FOODBALL consortium includes 22 partners from 11 JPI HDHL countries and a partner from New Zealand as an observer. The project ran for three years from December 2014 to December 2017 and the finals results will be presented and discussed in the final conference that will be held on 14 May 2018 in Wageningen (NL).

ILSI Europe and the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) organised a free webinar on the 12th of April (15.00 - 16.30 CEST). The aim of this joint webinar was to highlight the conclusions on the beneficial aspects of (gut) microbial fermentation resulting from recent activities of both scientific organisations.

ILSI Europe is an important stakeholder of the JPI HDHL and the content of this webinar was closely related to running JPI HDHL Joint Actions on Intestinal Microbiomics. From ILSI Europe, the webinar was organised by the Prebiotics and Functional Foods Task Forces.

The JPI HDHL developed an overview of ongoing funding activities in the field of food, nutrition and health besides national & JPI HDHL level. Examples of the several mapped research programmes and activities are (upcoming) calls of the European Commission that are running within Horizon 2020 and activities from initiatives like COST and SUSFOOD in the field of food, nutrition and health.

The included research activities are divided per pillar of the JPI HDHL:
1. Determinants of diet and physical activity;
2. Diet and food production and
3. Diet-related chronic diseases.

Available information
For each research activity, information is presented about the initiative, research programme, the scope and lifespan, amongst other things. All the information included is publicly available and has been obtained from the websites that are shown in the overview.

Other research activities?
The overview provides a general insight in the running and upcoming research activities in the field of food, nutrition and health. It will progressively be updated. Please feel free to contact us for any question and in case you miss research activities or if you have additional information to include in the overview.

To stay up to day follow us on the JPI HDHL website
Missions could be a powerful way to create measurable impact, with a transformative potential for science, industry and society. To solve the global challenges of our time, part of the answer could be a mission-oriented approach in FP9 for R&I. Professor Mariana Mazzucato was asked by Research, Science and innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas to advise him on missions. On 22 February 2018, prof. Mazzucato presented her report on missions. A call for feedback has been opened by the Commission until 3 April 2018 to collects views from stakeholders on future research and innovation missions.

Following up on our previous news about the role of the City Labs and Policy Labs in the Fit4Food2030 project, we are happy to announce the six countries and one region that will be running a Policy Lab. They are:
  • Flanders
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Romania
The coordinators of the City and Policy Labs came together on 22nd and 23rd February for their first training session. At the VU University in Amsterdam the participants got to know each other and learned more about everybody’s motivation to join the project.
There were informative sessions about the goals of the Labs and Fit4Food2030 in general, but also various exercises to develop important skills.

43 research teams from eight countries involved in 11 research projects will start working for the upcoming two to three years to gather new insights about the relationship of diet, intestinal microbiome and health. Nine additional research teams will collaborate with them with own resources. A summary of each project is now available on the JPI HDHL website dedicate section. Together with other actions of the ERA-Net, these projects should contribute to the development of new strategies, health promoting products and the prevention of lifestyle-related chronic diseases.