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ERA-NET for establishing synergies between the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Horizon 2020

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - JPI-EC-AMR (ERA-NET for establishing synergies between the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Horizon 2020)

Reporting period: 2015-11-01 to 2016-10-31

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives from once deadly infectious diseases. However, the overuse, underuse, and misuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobials in both humans and animals have accelerated the selection and emergence of resistant bacteria and fungi. The ERA-NET JPI-EC-AMR aims to tackle this central challenge of understanding the mechanisms of selection of resistant bacterial clones and their transmission between humans, animals and the environment, in order to design preventive measures to address this public health threat.
JPI-EC-AMR is supported by national research funding agencies from the member states of the Joint Programme Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), and by Portugal and Latvia. It will be closely coordinated with the JPI in its implementation of the JPIAMR Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) (

In JPI-EC-AMR a new level of coordination and collaboration between the JPIAMR and EC Framework Programme will be possible. The Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERA-NET Cofund mechanism includes both EC top-up funding for a trans-national call and support for additional alignment activities. The JPI-EC-AMR programme will specifically address aspects of research and alignment activities identified in the SRA priority topics on Transmission, Environment, and Interventions, through a co-funded call of 30 M€ with the EC.
In this way, the JPI-EC-AMR will complement the SRA activities organised by the JPIAMR, including a 2015 call in the area of therapeutics and a workshop on diagnostics among others. Furthermore, the JPI-EC-AMR additional activities will include several additional joint trans-national calls on complementary topics identified in the JPIAMR SRA Implementation Plan.

The JPI-EC-AMR co-funded call and other activities will also be instrumental in producing new innovative approaches and advancing existing research in order to create the foundation for the development of cost-effective prevention and intervention strategies to decrease the transmission of AMR in society. Outcomes from this research could improve public health and wellbeing of populations while boosting research advances and innovations, increasing the competitiveness of the European Union. However, it is expected that the results will lead to economic and societal benefits not only in Europe but also globally.
During the first 12 months in Reporting Period 1 the major work performed has been centred around the development, launch, and implementation of the co-funded call with the EC.

In WP1 a management and coordination framework was implemented for the project, in order to continuously orientate all activities towards the objectives, and to ensure their fulfilment within time plan and budget.

The aim of WP2 was to prepare and launch the JPI-EC-AMR co-funded call. In accordance to the Grant Agreement, the co-funded call was implemented “…in line with one or more of the priority areas of the SRA and is expected to lead to a lower, smarter use of antibiotics in veterinary and clinical settings and to a significant reduction of the risk that antibiotic-resistance poses to public health.”
The JPI-EC-AMR transnational call topic spans the three priority topics Transmission, Environment, and Interventions in the JPIAMR SRA and aims to support projects that will identify and characterise the determinants that contribute to the spread of resistance in and between different reservoirs; including animals, the environment, and people at genetic, bacterial, animal, human, societal, and environmental levels, in order to design and evaluate preventive and intervening measures to control resistance.
Within this work package, the call text and all relevant call documents were delivered, and an electronic submission tool was implemented for the pre- and full proposal stage. Consultation was provided to the potential applicants at national and international level.

The objective of WP3 was to select the best proposals for funding that were submitted in response to the JPI-EC-AMR call. The proposal evaluation and selection process was carried out by a two-step procedure according to the Horizon 2020 evaluation criteria “Excellence”, “Impact” and “Quality and efficiency of implementation”. Proposal selection was based on international scientific peer review. Nineteen project proposals were recommended for funding by the Peer Review Panel based on scientific excellence and by the Call Steering Committee based on budget availability. The list of projects is available on the JPIAMR website. This initiative saw more the 28 million euros been made available from the JPI-EC-AMR members and the European Commission.
The call was widely announced and the results communicated via different JPIAMR information channels (including web, twitter, newsletters, promotion materials, and press releases) by WP5.

WP4 and WP5 will begin 2017 with the aims to monitor, disseminate, and exploit the results from the research projects financed by the JPI-EC-AMR call.

Finally, WP6 “additional activities” aims at implementing parts of the JPIAMR Strategic Research Agenda in collaboration with JPIAMR. At least three additional joint transnational calls will be organised or supported by the JPI-EC-AMR. During 2016 JPIAMR organised a call for Working groups of networked scientists which will generate information on topics for future JPI-EC-AMR calls. The 2nd JPI-EC-AMR call will be launched in January 2017 on Prevention and Intervention of AMR, thus covering the 6th pillar of the JPIAMR SRA.
The JPI-EC-AMR leveraged transnational research by funding new, excellent research proposals responding to a broader and more impactful call encompassing three linked scientific priorities identified by the JPIAMR strategic research agenda. By implementing a transnational call with a strong One Health focus it has motivated countries to strengthen and align their national strategies in this area. The coordination of research priorities will directly impact the Health theme by providing a framework that will attract the best research groups to work cooperatively and collaboratively, maximising the potential for high impact outputs.
The implementation of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) should also improve the integration of disciplines and fields of research by developing linkages between research in human, veterinary, and environmental medicine and public health and social research.
JPI-EC-AMR is an effort to mobilize more resources in this field and to coordinate national agencies in a more efficient way in funding more strategic research. Thus, JPI-EC-AMR will be an efficient tool for enlarging the ERA in the field of AMR and an additional contribution to the share of transnationally coordinated research.
Research supported in this call will decrease the knowledge gap in this area by bringing new teams of multi-national scientists together performing multidisciplinary research on this topic, strengthening the ERA and the One Health approach to control AMR. JPI-EC-AMR will coordinate, fund and promote research which will generate knowledge on the effect and risk of the use of existing drugs for the selection and transmission of AMR. This will ultimately yield benefits for all countries involved and will allow for the better management and treatment of infectious diseases in the future.