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Specific challenge: Antibiotic resistance is a global problem. It is considered by the World Health Organization as one of the three greatest threats to human health for the next decades. In Europe, however, research on the resistance to antibiotics and on how to make sustainable use of antibiotics is fragmented. In addition, few countries have specific programs dedicated to this field of research.
The Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) provides an excellent opportunity for joint research of the EU Member States addressing the emerging problem of antibiotic resistance in human and veterinary medicine. Indeed, the currently funded research projects in national or trans-national programs are usually the result of calls initiated within other research areas rather than from research programmes specifically focusing on AMR. Consequently, the variable and non-permanent resources of trans-national organisations and individual countries are insufficient to provide the long-term funding opportunities that are required to solve the major research questions concerning AMR. In addition, research activities on AMR are not harmonised between countries; which may lead to duplications in the research being performed in different countries.
The 19 participating countries of the AMR JPI aim to accomplish the coordination of European research on AMR in close collaboration with the funding instruments of the EU; specifically Horizon 2020, Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and the ERA-NET Infect-ERA.
This will create the necessary critical mass and develop the most advanced scientific approaches to tackle the problem of AMR, reversing its increasing trend, in the way forward defined by the Strategic Research Agenda which is to be adopted by the JPIAMR in early 2014.
This transnational cooperation will enhance the societal impact that is required in this area, promoting knowledge dissemination among multiple sectors of the society that are implicated – patients, clinical, veterinarians, pharmacists, food producers and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.