Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ERA-HDHL (ERA-NET Biomarkers for Nutrition and Health implementing the JPI HDHL objectives)
Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2017-01-31
The promotion of healthy lifestyles with high quality diets and adequate physical activities is of utmost importance for public health and well-being. It has become clear that unhealthy diet and sedentary life-style choice are key determinants for the development of many non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs). Overweight and obesity are the predominant causes of NCDs. In addition to the effect on public health, NCDs have a dramatic impact on health systems as well as on the economy and the social structures of member states. ERA-HDHL, aims to provide a robust platform for implementing Joint Funding Activities that address some of the needs identified in the JPI HDHL SRA and to create a transnational network of researchers collaborating in the field. The ERA-NET cofund will allow new partners, not yet involved in the JPI HDHL, to join the planned activities (as Turkey), reducing the fragmentation of research funding and efficiently aligning the JPI HDHL activities among partners and beyond. In addition to the organization of JFAs, ERA-HDHL will also implement additional activities towards the creation of a transnational network of researchers collaborating in the field of Nutrition and Health. The first aim of ERA-HDHL is to support research in the field of Biomarkers for Nutrition and Health (BioNH) through a cofunded call. The main objective of the cofunded call, launched under ERA-HDHL in 2016, is to support multidisciplinary transnational research consortia that will use innovative and scientific approaches to increase knowledge on the development and validation of biomarkers for nutrition and health, including biomarkers for food intake and for the risk of diet-related disease. The cofunded call will encourage the development of improved methodologies, the collaboration of researchers with industrial partners and the use of existing research infrastructures, data and sample collections as well as cohorts. Networking between the funded research consortia through the ERA-HDHL cofunded call and the ones funded through the first JFA on BioNH 2014 will be promoted via the organisation of common meetings to facilitate methodology, data and knowledge exchanges. Additional activities, namely JFAs, of the ERA-HDHL will be based on the Implementation Plans of the JPI HDHL to fulfil the JPI HDHL objectives. All activities will support excellent research groups to work together and to share knowledge but also to contribute to the reduction of the fragmentation of research efforts and increase efficiency of invested funds.
ERA-HDHL consortium is now working on the next JFA, which will be on the establishment of a multi-disciplinary research network for the monitoring, benchmarking and evaluation of policies that affect dietary and physical activity as well as sedentary behavior with standardized protocols across Europe. This JFA arise from the first JFA implemented by JPI HDHL, DEDIPAC-KH, the Knowledge Hub on the Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity. The toolbox, generated, by DEDIPAC to develop, monitor and evaluate multi-component interventions related to dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviours using natural experiments across European countries will be of used. The JFA will be launched on the 28th of February and the final results will be known by the end of 2017.
ERA-HDHL is further improving the linking, efficient integration and coordination of national programmes in the nutrition and health area. To insure the coordination and reduce the overlap and duplication of national and EU funding in the field of nutrition and health, ERA-HDHL is bringing together programme owners and funding bodies to fund research in this field. In addition, in 2016, the EC top-up funding was incentive for countries to increase their budgetary commitment and allowed the funding of all recommended project by the evaluation committee. Moreover, this EC top-up funding had also facilitated the compensation of funding gaps linked to possible insufficiency in earmarked budgets thus leading to higher success rates.