The EU Joint Programme - Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) is one of 10 research programmes being launched to address major social challenges facing Europe.
Jesper Simonsen (Photo: Sverre Chr. Jarild)
“The JPND programme is a example of the pioneering kinds of joint programme initiatives that are emerging, and that are designed to help us cope with challenges that cannot be solved within the activities of national research programmes on their own,” explains Jesper Simonsen, Executive Director of the Division for Society and Health at the Research Council of Norway.
“Research on neurodegenerative diseases has been conducted in Norway for a long time, with very promising results. Also, there are a number of Norwegian world-class research environments in the fields of brain research and neuroscience. Norwegian researchers will be assuming an active role in the European cooperation.”
The goal of JPND is to promote research that leads to improved health and wellbeing of patients with neurodegenerative diseases as well as their families and care-givers.
“JPND will deliver economic and societal benefit throughout Europe,” emphasises Mr Simonsen. “The rapidly growing number of people with dementias is a serious matter for all our countries, and we must coordinate expertise and activities across national borders.”
National initiative as well
In addition to participation in the joint European programme, the Research Council has recommended a substantial increase in national research activities in this field.
The Research Council’s budget input for 2013 proposes an increase of NOK 140 million for the new priority area “Healthy and active for many years”, where a key focus is on health conditions that are strongly linked with age.
“The initiative will promote research and innovation that puts us in a better position to manage a society with an ageing population,” continues Mr Simonsen. “In addition to medical research, there will be an emphasis on welfare technology and high-quality, efficient services. Research activities will also encompass issues related to ensuring high workforce participation across all age groups in order to secure an adequate economic basis to deal with the major demographic changes.”
It may be appropriate to direct funding from the “Healthy and active for many years” initiative to international cooperation such as the new JPND programme.
|EU Joint Progammes (JPI)
Countries taking part in the JPI initiatives voluntarily enter into binding agreements on research cooperation.
Each country finances its own participation in the cooperation using funds from existing national research programmes. In this way, national funding is applied to international collaboration.
JPI programme activities cover a number of fields ranging from fresh water supply and urbanisation to Alzheimer’s/neurodegenerative diseases, climate and food production.
Read more about EU's Joint Programming.
Norway heads the secretariat for activities under the collaborative effort Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans)