A 30 million euro call for research in neurodegenerative disease was recently announced by the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND). The program will receive an additional 10 million in funding from the Horizon 2020 framework program for research and innovation of the European Union.
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases remain a global challenge for researchers and medical practitioners alike, many of which do not have a cure and are connected with aging populations. It is estimated that various forms of dementia affect more than 7 million people in Europe, and the costs connected to these diseases are 130 billion euros per year. Given the projections for the rise in neurodegenerative diseases, advancements in diagnosis, treatment and care are sorely needed and still remain elusive.
As a funding organization, JPND has worked toward enabling EU Member States to work together since 2009. Currently, it faces the challenge of supporting the critical need of dementia research, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past five years, JPND has made progress in addressing neurodegenerative diseases by increasing coordination, alignment and collaboration between national research projects through the management of human resources, funding, actions and awareness.
AA new initiative, the JPcofuND, is a joint transnational call for proposals, which will begin in January. The goal is to support international research collaborations in three specific areas: Longitudinal Cohorts; Animal and Cell Models; and Risk and Protective Factors. The JPND member countries will provide 30 million euros to the JPcofuND, and the European Commission will provide an additional 10 million.
Philippe Amouyel, from JPND, said in a press release: “this unique co-funded initiative further establishes concrete synergies with Horizon 2020 to address this global threat. This is a significant scale-up of implementation of the JPND research strategy, and a major step forward towards the realisation of a ‘European Research Area’ dedicated to neurodegenerative disease research — an issue central to the joint programming concept.”
Further, Carlos Moedas, from the European Commissioner for Research, added: “The EU Joint Programming approach tackles some of the major challenges we face as a society. Thanks to this new co-funded initiative of JPND and the European Commission, top European researchers will be working together to help the millions of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. By making research more efficient and avoiding the duplication of work, this initiative will increase the prospects of real progress in the prevention and treatment of these diseases, as well as in patient care.”
Further information will be provided in January.