The Nordic countries and Japan face similar demographic challenges. Age-related health challenges in their increasingly elderly populations are among the greatest concerns of future health care and will demand steadily rising costs for both the health care system and society. Increased knowledge leading to more healthy years for individuals could in the long run prevent these rising costs as well as improve citizens’ quality of life.
The Nordic countries and Japan are high-performing with regard to health data research such as biobanks and epidemiological studies, as well as improving the health of individuals by utilising novel technology. The Nordic countries, with a population of 27 million, hold a rather unique position in this context. They share similar health care systems and have access to register data collected for decades, providing an exceptional data resource. Japan has excellent track records in regenerative and genomic medicine and technological innovations in medicine and health.
Joining forces provides a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of personalised medicine for healthy longevity. Strategies for frontier research that emphasise knowledge development, patient centricity and digital application development have great potential to contribute to healthy ageing for the individual.
Under this call, Japan-Nordic collaborations will create possibilities for novel research projects that go beyond what the countries can achieve alone through national activities, and will provide outcomes and impacts of greater value for the countries’ citizens. Examples of such added value could be building critical mass, networking, comparing data, cooperation on infrastructures and resources, and enhancing scientific excellence as well as creating societal impact and contributing to research-based policymaking.
Based on this background, a joint call entitled “Japan-Nordic Frontier Research Projects for Healthy Longevity” for proposals seeking funding for Japan-Nordic collaboration is now announced as a collaborative effort between the Academy of Finland, Research Council of Norway, Swedish Research Council, Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), and NordForsk.
Aim of the call and thematic framework
The aim of the call is to generate new knowledge on healthy ageing and longevity through Japan-Nordic research collaboration. The thematic framework includes fundamental, translational/basic clinical and epidemiological research on populations in the Nordic countries and Japan.