It is ZonMw’s goal to ensure that healthy people stay that way for as long as possible, that people who are ill recover as quickly and completely as possible and that those who require care and nursing receive the highest standard of services. To achieve this, we need to focus on prevention, to stop people from becoming ill, and we need good health care for those who nevertheless fall ill.
ZonMw funds health research in the Netherlands and promotes the practical application of the knowledge that this research produces. While mainly focused on research projects within the country, it also has an international focus through its participation in various European initiatives, including Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs), ERA-NETs, and the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). ZonMw also participates in Heads of International Research Organisations (HIROs) to discuss important, international health care themes.
The results of our COVID-19 projects have already led to many policy changes and guidelines, such as those related to source and contact tracing, treatment protocols, and social distancing measures. Furthermore, we organise networking meetings for related projects that have resulted in more collaboration between researchers.
Suzanne Verver, ZonMw COVID-19 Programme Manager
Nationally, ZonMw runs a large programme to combat COVID-19. The programme has three key objectives:
The programme has three focus areas:
In the meantime we have funded around 150 large and 150 smaller projects, in different subjects depending on the phase of the pandemic. Many of the larger projects are still running in 2022. Currently, we are developing a programme on pandemic preparedness.
ZonMw also runs a programme on infectious disease control, including non-alimentary zoonoses. Emerging infectious disease research is an important part of this programme. The programme currently funds around 40 large research projects, including projects on HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, STIs, pneumonia, vaccine preventable diseases, infection control, arboviruses, Lyme disease, campylobacter, rabies, Zika, tick-borne diseases, psittacosis and clostridium difficile.
In addition, ZonMw runs a national research programme on antibacterial resistance (ABR) and is a partner in the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) Strategic Research Agenda, which also collaborates with GloPID-R. ZonMw finances many national projects studying ABR such as alternative ways to reduce antibiotic use in animals and human-animal ABR transmission.
ZonMw manages separate programmes for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and other aspects of infectious diseases. The aim of these programmes is to cover the entire spectrum of research from science to policy, with a One Health approach.
ZonMw has invested in various projects to improve the reusability of resources that are generated in COVID-19 projects (i.e., databases, biobanks, recordings, software, protocols, etc.), guided by FAIR principles:
Within GloPID-R, we are an active member of the Data-sharing Working Group. We focus on FAIR data and M4M (Metadata for Machines) and collaborate on the continuing development of the UKCDR-GloPID-R COVID-19 Research Project Tracker.
ZonMw is member of several JPI’s/ERANET (e.g. JPI AMR), and of at least 6 new European partnerships, such as the partnership on pandemic preparedness, and the partnership on OneHealth/AMR.
In addition, we have other bilateral partnerships, for example with Belgium and Canada (CIHR).
The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.