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).