A new vision for Food, Nutrition and Health research

30th Mar 2015

BBSRC, MRC and ESRC have published a vision for joint working in Food, Nutrition and Health research.

The vision recognises that collaboration between Councils is crucial in this interdisciplinary research area. It complements BBSRC’s strategic framework for investment in Food, Nutrition and Health research over the next five years, also published today.

The document has been developed by a joint expert steering group. It recognises that where research problems are influenced by a variety of interacting biological, medical and social factors, approaches which consider these interdependencies will provide a more effective basis for new health policies, therapies, products and interventions.

The vision outlines the Councils’ intent to jointly foster multidisciplinary and integrative research and researchers in Food, Nutrition and Health across the biological (basic and medical) and social sciences. It aims to clearly articulate the added value of a joint strategic approach, running alongside Council-specific activities, and highlight emerging opportunities for integrative research across Council remits.

In the spirit of the joint Research Council Food, Nutrition and Health vision, BBSRC and MRC will partner to encourage co-ordinated effort in mechanistic nutritional research through Responsive Mode later in 2015.

To complement this vision, BBSRC has published a Strategic Framework for its investment in Food, Nutrition and Health research. The Framework aims to provide the academic and wider stakeholder communities with a clear roadmap for BBSRC’s strategic support for the area over the next five years.

The Strategic Framework has been developed with input from an expert working group, stakeholder consultation and public dialogue event. It is one of several topic-specific documents which expand upon BBSRC’s refreshed Strategic Plan, and sits within the Bioscience for Health Strategic priority. BBSRC’s overall framework for research in Bioscience for Health, published yesterday, identifies Food, Nutrition and Health – alongside Lifelong Health, One Health and Biotechnology for Health – as a key area for development.

The document outlines BBSRC’s vision to support world-class research which will make use of emerging techniques and technologies to advance understanding of the interactions between food, nutrition and physiological systems. Alongside key research goals and challenges, it lays out how this research can underpin a stronger and more coherent evidence base to inform nutritional policy decisions and develop new or reformulated foods which will enhance health.

The Strategic Framework is supported by BBSRC’s new Responsive Mode priority in Food, Nutrition and Health, which brings together human nutrition with research challenges in food safety and nutritional enhancement for health.

Both documents, 'A Cross-Council vision for Food, Nutrition and Health research' and 'BBSRC Research in Food, Nutrition and Health – Strategic Framework: 2015 – 2020' are available in the downloads section at www.bbsrc.ac.uk/research/bioscience-health/.

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