In January 2020, the JPI HDHL launched PREPHOBES, the 4th call under the umbrella of the ERA-NET HDHL INTIMIC. The aim of this call is to support research projects that focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of innovative strategies designed to prevent or reduce overweight and obesity, in defined target populations based on certain life stages. To increase the impact of the research and facilitate its later use in future policies on lifestyle interventions and public health, the active integration of stakeholders (e.g. patient and/or consumer organisations) or citizen science approaches was a unique additional requirement.
Eleven funding agencies from 10 different countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands and Spain) supported this initiative. At the 1st stage, 32 eligible pre-proposals, requesting a total budget of 34 Mio €, underwent a scientific peer review process by a panel of international experts (SEC). Based on the evaluation results, the Call Steering Committee (CSC) invited 16 consortia to submit a full proposal by July 31 at the latest. The final SEC and CSC meeting of the full proposals were both held digitally at the end of September and resulted in the selection of 4 consortia for funding with a total amount of 4,6 Mio €. The selected project consortia include 22 research groups from 8 participating countries (AT, BE, CZ, FR, DE, IR, NL and ES) and 8 collaborators that will participate with their own resources.
The national negotiations for funding are ongoing and the projects are expected to officially start early 2021. A joint research projects’ kick-off meeting will be organised in Spring 2021. During this kick-off meeting, (an) additional stakeholder(s) will be invited as umbrella activity to help and advise the projects on how to better connect to the policy level. More information will follow in the next months.