The Business Platform for Nutrition Research (BPNR) is an initiative that brings together multiple sectors with a common interest in nutrition research.
It uses the research abilities of businesses across the globe to define, fund and extend new research to help improve nutrition for people in low and middle-income countries.
The BPNR, launched at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2013, is co-funded by the Government of Canada and hosted by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).
BPNR aims to improve the availability, affordability, and desirability of nutritious and safe foods by closing the gap between the public and private sectors, and connecting businesses, academic institutions, donors and civil society organisations.
Its research focuses on addressing fundamental scientific questions on nutrition – without a direct commercial interest – to help partners make better investments and drive innovation in nutritious products, food safety, delivery channels and approaches to behaviour change.
BPNR research is carried out under the guiding principles of:
- Responding directly to evidence and knowledge gaps identified by industry partners.
- Aiming to be relevant to public health/nutrition in low and middle-income countries.
- Complementing ongoing efforts to address evidence and knowledge gaps through academic and other public sector groups.
- Promoting transparency in identifying and prioritising evidence, knowledge gaps and research contracting processes.
- Ensuring rigor in research.
- Publishing all research results externally.
BPNR focuses on three areas:
- Food safety: supporting efforts to reduce human exposure to aflatoxins. It backs research related to post-harvest detection of aflatoxins; removal of contaminated products from food supply; and risk mitigation during food processing.
- Behaviour change: improving understanding of what makes behaviour change interventions successful; providing data collection on consumer insights; introducing successful interventions and ways that would work across several countries on a large scale.
- Dietary intake and bioavailability: this area focuses on biomarker and health diagnostic tools for sub-optimal intake and deficiencies of essential nutrients and functional outcomes, such as markers of growth and development and provides data on diet and deficiencies of key nutrients and also less known dietary factors that influence micronutrient bioavailability.
The Business Platform for Nutrition Research (BPNR) finalised research projects in June 2019. A new strategic plan, based on its learning and experiences, will be available later in 2019.