The European Commission recently announced the launch of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU). The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) will take part in the programme as a third party linked to the Carlos III Health Institute. The objective of this new initiative, co-funded by Horizon 2020, is to generate knowledge about human exposure to chemicals in Europe and the potential health impacts of such exposure.
Starting on 1 January 2017, the five-year programme, which has been allocated a budget of more than €74 million, will bring together the work of over 100 European institutions in 26 countries. The Barcelona Institute for Global Health, acting as a third party linked to the Carlos III Health Institute, has been tasked with developing a statistical plan and coordinating the analysis of the data collected.
Biomonitoring allows us to identify and eliminate possible sources of exposure, to study the relationships between pollutants and their health effects, to identify population groups vulnerable to specific pollutants and to prioritise the environmental health research agenda. The knowledge generated by this programme is needed to inform the development and implementation of policies that will effectively safeguard the health of the population.
HBM4EU is the second Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) in which ISGlobal is collaborating. Some months ago the institute announced its involvement with the CONCERT European Joint Programme for the Integration of Radiation Protection Research as a third party linked to the Spanish public research body CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas). In that initiative, the ISGlobal Radiation Programme is responsible for two areas: radiation protection and health impacts.
CONCERT is an umbrella structure that provides a framework for European radiation protection research platforms to develop common research priorities and joint lines of work. It also coordinates the relationship between these platforms as well as with strategic allies and society as a whole.
The aim of the European Commission’s JPIs is to bring together the efforts and capacities of member states in strategic areas of research which address the major challenges facing our society. Once a JPI has been set up, it can launch calls for proposals to fund research.