Research activities

Research activities

Core HDHL research activities

HDHL aims to enhance dietary quality sustainably, drawing from insights in food, nutrition, and health sciences. The goal is to provide evidence-based recommendations and innovative food product formats, coupled with addressing sedentary behavior. This approach aims to significantly impact public health, improve quality of life, and extend productive years while reducing the environmental impact of diets. HDHL is refining its programmatic approach to achieve these objectives. HDHL is developing its programmed approach by:

  • Stimulating National Alignment and Inter-governmental Exchange
  • Supporting Research Excellence
  • Supporting Development of Research Infrastructure
  • Investing in Policy-Science and Stakeholder-Science Dialogues

Strategic Research Agenda

The Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) defines the mid to long term framework for coordinated and structured research activities. The Implementation Plan defines the road map of activities that HDHL and its member countries aim to carry out jointly in a period of 2-3 years. see here.

In the current SRA, nutrition and physical activity are at the centre of the research direction, spanned by three interconnecting and interacting areas:

  • Area 1: Citizens, Diet and Behaviour Measuring, monitoring and changing dietary and physical activity behaviour
  • Area 2: Food for Health Providing safe and nutritious food products for a healthier and sustainable diet, that will contribute to secure a future-proof food system
  • Area 3: Diet, Health and Disease Targeting the mechanisms to promote health and help reduce lifestyle-related diseases.

International context

At the European level, Horizon Europe is the European Union's flagship research and innovation program for the period 2021-2027. It succeeds the Horizon 2020 program and aims to stimulate scientific excellence and innovation across various sectors.

The EU Horizon Europe work programme has introduced new instruments called EU Partnerships, aimed at facilitating co-programming and co-financing among the Commission, Member States, and other partners, spanning various thematic clusters. Cluster 1 is focused on health whereas Cluster 6, on the other hand, focuses on food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and the environment. Two partnerships specifically address food, nutrition, and health: ERA4Health, within cluster 1, focusing on public health, nutrition, and lifestyle-related diseases, and the Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Partnership, within cluster 6, targeting changes in the way we eat, process, supply food, connect with food systems, and govern food systems

As outlined in the HDHL position paper, HDHL combined with the extensive network of researchers, research funders, policy-makers, industrial partners and societal actors who have benefited from HDHL-supported research, puts HDHL in a key position to continue addressing the ongoing fragmentation between research and policy actors and actions and to bridge the gap both between SFS and ERA4Health, adding value to the partnerships and beyond.