Monday, March 8, 2010

Joint Programming Initiative for A healthy diet for a healthy life

Last Thursday I chaired a meeting of delegates from 20 European countries to discuss a joint programming initiative on Diet, Nutrition & Health. The meeting was organised by the Netherlands Organisation of Health Research and Development and the Netherlands Agency on behalf of four Ministries.

Joint Programming Initiatives are European efforts to coordinate research efforts among member states. Joint Programming offers a voluntary process for a revitalised partnership between the Member States based on clear principles and transparent high-level governance. By enhancing cooperation among those that develop and manage research programmes, it aims to increase the efficiency and impact of national public research funding in strategic areas.

One such Joint Programme Initiative (JPI) that is now being prepared is ‘A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life’. This initiative that we focussed on last Thursday should provide a basis for a scientific research agenda, sup-ported by a common vision and a management structure concerning the global challenges ahead: to shift from a defensive policy combating the global approach promoting health by improving the quality of our diet and nutrition. The JPI has been brought forward by the joined efforts and support of 19 countries and remains open to additional participating countries. The JPI will focus on three broad research themes: lifestyle and social determinants; Within the next months the vision document and a governance structure for this initiative will be further prepared and proposed.