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Pre-announcement of upcoming call for proposals: Japan–Nordic Frontier Research Projects for Healthy Longevity

The Nordic countries and Japan face similar demographic challenges. Age-related health challenges of 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 as well as improving the health of individuals by utilising novel technology. By joining forces there is a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of personalised medicine for healthy longevity.

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.

The thematic framework includes fundamental, translational/basic clinical and epidemiological research on populations in the Nordic countries and Japan. Utilisation of existing high-quality health data sources in a Nordic-Japanese context is central to the research to be funded under this call.

Examples of such utilisation include, but are not limited to:

1. Health data being utilised in order to add value to, support or follow up already ongoing research at the Nordic and Japanese level.

2. Data being used to follow up individuals with the aim of improving healthy longevity in terms of e.g. disease outcome, care, rehabilitation, side effects and quality of life.

3. Determination of risk factors for severe medical complications (analysis of epidemiological, clinical, immunological, genetic markers) in the elderly population.

Based on this background, a call for proposals seeking funding of Japan-Nordic collaboration will be 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.

The projects funded under this call should include partners from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Japan. Researchers from other countries may participate in the projects at their own costs.

The call will open in June and close in September. Projects may apply for maximum NOK 10 million (tentatively) and are expected to start in early 2022. Project duration is three years. Please note that the dates for opening and closing of the call, as well as the funding level, are tentative and may be subject to changes.