New JPI HDHL Implementation Plan 2022-2024

The strategic goal of HDHL is to improve dietary patterns in an environmentally-sustainable way, based on insights and developments in food, nutrition and the social and health sciences, and to develop evidence-based recommendations for healthy diets and for innovative formats for food products. In this way, HDHL will continue to work towards achieving its vision, which is that by 2030 all citizens will have the motivation, ability and opportunity to consume a healthy diet from a variety of foods, have healthy levels of physical activity and that the incidence of diet-related diseases will have decreased significantly. While the focus of HDHL is on healthy diets, a holistic food system perspective is taken, and the transition to healthier diets must take place in an environmentally sustainable and fair way.

HDHL focus areas of policy, behaviour, food processing and the food environment align with the Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) partnership and the areas of nutrition, health and chronic disease align with the ERA4Health partnership. HDHL has positioned itself strongly as a bridging initiative which links the areas of health and food (systems) in the partnerships. This enables a systematic approach, moving away from fragmentation, vital to addressing current and future large societal challenges. In this way, HDHL has a unique role in connecting the food/agriculture domain to the nutrition/health domain, and in fostering this interconnectivity HDHL shows its added value for the European Research Agenda. Furthermore, since in principal HDHL has no end date, engagement of HDHL supports the sustainability of the activities of the partnerships beyond the duration of the partnerships. HDHL will stay alert to possibilities for future funding instruments of the EC as potential add-ons to support the implementation of the HDHL Strategic Research agenda as well as to strengthen the HDHL initiative itself.

HDHL formulated in line with this specific aims for the coming period of 3 years:

  • Consolidate and strengthen collaboration and alignment with EC, and other relevant European programmes, platforms or bilateral dialogues.
  • Further develop vision on alignment with Horizon Europe, in particular on how to connect to relevant partnerships (Sustainable Food Systems, ERA4Health and potentially other relevant ones).
  • Actively advocate an overall systemic approach to food, physical activity, nutrition, health and demonstrate the benefits of HDHL and its systemic approach with new Horizon Europe initiatives related to food, nutrition, physical activity and health research.
  • Increase number of funders per country participating in joint funding activities and broaden member state base when opportunities arise.

Therefore will the intended funding actions of HDHL for the coming years have different foci which include:

  • INVEST into 1) competitive research projects that bridge the gap between food, nutrition, physical activity and health and 2) into research projects in HDHL areas which are not included in or addressed by the two HE partnerships.
  • CONNECT different research disciplines and fields, but also science-society and science policy (i.e. more intensive engagement of stakeholders along the whole research chain).
  • SUPPORT capacity building, especially for Early Career Scientists, to increase the impact of research outcomes and strengthen the linkages between the science, policy and practice arenas.

To boost impact and usefulness outcomes, increased engagement with stakeholders is needed for certain joint funding activities. This was already stimulated by making it a mandatory aspect of the PREPHOBES research call. A new communication strategy was created as well with the overarching aim to improve communication and dissemination of outputs for increased impact. The underlying specific aims are the following:

  • Improve communication about project results to policy, science and practice.
  • Increase the translation from research results into practice.
  • Intensify stakeholder engagement along the entire research chain for all projects.