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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Building Public-Private Partnerships to Promote Nutrition Science Research for Human Health Project Number: 0204-41510-001-55
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2013
End Date: Sep 14, 2016

Objective:
To facilitate an open and candid dialog among the public and private sectors involved with issues related to foods and health. Specifically, this agreement will foster the following goals: 1) Identification of priority precompetitive research topics involved with the broad, complex challenges facing agriculture, food, nutrition and health through discussions involving government, academia and the food/supplement industries. 2) Promotion of areas of potential collaboration and cooperation, especially those related to scientific investigation that would have the greatest public health impact including creating nutritional databases, identifying critical environmental and genetic factors influencing eating behaviors, understanding the interactions between diet and the human microbiome, and the identification of biomarkers for healthy living. 3) Identifying and utilizing appropriate mechanisms for providing research for fostering collaboration on priority areas of research.

Approach:
Domestic and international food security, natural resources conservation, food safety, prevention of obesity and chronic diseases as well as the promotion of lifelong health are among the broad, complex and inter-related challenges facing humanity There is increasing public recognition that science will provide answers to provide for the sustainable intensification of agriculture and the identification and adoption of agricultural practices and dietary patterns conducive to the delay of onset of chronic diseases of aging. At an escalating pace, scientific discovery reveals multiple approaches with the potential for eventual application to benefit society. Undeniably there is a need to prioritize these challenges due to limitations in personnel, natural resources and research support. Organizations in the private and public sectors often view the same public health problems through different lenses, and have expertise and resources that are unique to each sector. It is critical to create a dynamic working partnership to identify pre-competitive research that is of interest to government, academia and the food/supplement industry. Public/private research partnerships have been found to be effective in marshalling the strength and diversity of expertise across sectors, and to effectively allocate resources towards research that requires fundamental insights as well as development and delivery of commercial products. To date this approach has been inadequately pursued as it relates to nutrition and health. ARS will compile the names of individuals with nutrition expertise to evaluate existing and future tripartite research involving the government, academia and industry. Research will include how to enhance the working effectiveness to generate and share pre-competitive research information across various laboratories. Creation of a decision tree roadmap to meet pre-competitive research needs to evaluate foods/supplements and health serves as the underpinning for this undertaking. This information will be used to develop new capabilities to optimally identify future needs, collect, analyze, and disseminate data.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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