Minister of state Martin Heydon has welcomed the EU call for research proposals focused on tackling the rising threat of antibiotic resistance.

The call, supported by the European Commission, includes 30 funding organisations from 21 member countries, including commitments from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – under its support for research – a total estimated call budget of €24.9 million.

On drawing attention to this new call, the minister commented that “this call will lead to innovative interventions to control the development and transmission of antibiotic resistance in and/or between One Health settings”.

In order to successfully address AMR [antimicrobial resistance] the primary goal of the agri-food sector must be to reduce antibiotic usage through maintaining the highest possible standards in animal health.

The call invites eligible research performing organisations to submit collaborative research proposals directed at addressing the issue.

The minister added that the knowledge, technologies and innovations that will emerge from this call will “provide valuable evidence for policy development and useful tools to help us meet the targets set out in the European Green Deal”.

The EU call is made as part of its international research programme (termed ERA-NET JPIAMR-ACTION).

Further research calls

Last month, the minister launched a call for research proposals under his department’s updated competitive research funding programme.

This is the first call under a restructured approach to research funding, seeking projects across key areas including climate and biodiversity; sustainable animal and plant health and production; agri-digitalisation and the bioeconomy; and safe, healthy food production and processing.

On launching this new call, the minister commented: “Research and innovation is absolutely critical if the agriculture sector is to prosper and respond effectively to the overarching challenges of our time.”

The deadline for proposal applications is February 28, 2021, at 1:00pm. Applicants are required to apply online through the department’s research online portal.