Developments EU partnerships relevant to JPI HDHL research area

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An important part of the Horizon Europe framework programme, are the European Partnerships. Out of these, the ERA4Health partnership and Safe and Sustainable Food Systems partnership are the most relevant to the area of food, nutrition, physical activity and health. JPI HDHL is closely involved in the development of these partnerships and plays a key role in connecting them, to create more impact towards addressing the societal challenges related to nutrition and health and the environmental effects of diets.

The ERA4Health partnership means to continue joint programming and funding around a number of health related topics that have or had a dedicated ERA-Net, but not a specific partnership, including those of JPI HDHL. The topics are nutrition and lifestyle related disease, cardiovascular disease, nano-medicine and public health and prevention. While other topics can be included based on funders’ wishes, it is proposed to focus on these themes at least in the first years. During the first phase of two years, ERA4Health will also explore the feasibility of implementing Investigator Initiated Clinical Studies in the second phase.

Currently, a pre-final version of the partnership SRIA is being developed, after an open online consultation and a workshop that took place mid-November. The key topics for the nutrition and health theme (and partly the public health and prevention theme) are largely based on the JPI HDHL SRA. The final proposal, including the SRIA and first annual workplan is planned to be submitted to the EC in April 2022. If approved, the first joint activities are expected to be implemented in late 2022. More information is publicly available in the template document from May of this year.

The partnership on Safe and Sustainable Food Systems is projected to start at the end of 2023. The development has been an extensively co-creative process from the start, coordinated by the SCAR strategic working group on food systems and involving many stakeholders and experts. It aims to accelerate the transition of our food systems by finding the real systemic leverage points. Besides enabling joint research calls, it also foresees in launching a Food Systems Observatory, to gather and harmonize data and monitor progress, and a Food Systems Knowledge Hub.

A concise narrative answering the Why, What and How of the partnership was published in June, while a final version of the template is close to being completed. A call for Coordination and Support Action proposals to further develop the partnership and get it ready for implementation closed in October, with the CSA scheduled to start in Q2 of 2022.

“JPI HDHL aims to bring together the programming and outcomes of both partnerships and its own work - to ensure the crucial intersection of food, nutrition, physical activity and health won’t get lost in the gap between the food and health domains”

Connecting role of JPI HDHL
The activities of both these partnerships are expected to be highly relevant to the focus area of JPI HDHL. However, there is no dedicated EU partnership to address all aspects necessary for the promotion of healthy diets for all, with on the one hand their connection to a wide range of chronic diseases and on the other to environmental sustainability. Therefore JPI HDHL has an important task over the coming years to bring together the programming and outcomes of both partnerships and its own work. By doing so we can ensure that the crucial intersection of food, nutrition, physical activity and health won’t get lost in the gap between the food and health domains, as has so often been the case.

EU partnerships
The EU Partnerships are the new partnership instruments of the EC, enabling co-programming and/or co-funding between the Commission, Member States and other partners, replacing earlier instruments like the ERA-Nets. There are currently 49 partnerships and candidate partnerships spread over the various thematic clusters, which also include the EITs. The term candidate means that a partnership is still in the process of gaining formal approval to start

Text: JPI HDHL secretariat
Publication date: November 25, 2021
Image: by pch.vector

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