Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC)
The Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC) was first established in 2008 to support pre-competitive research that investigates the link between diet and health. The research has enabled the food and drink industry to develop products that deliver enhanced health benefits for consumers.
DRINC is a partnership between BBSRC, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), and a consortium of leading food and drink companies. Together the partners have committed to investing £22M in the UK research base. The projects have already generated novel underpinning knowledge and improved skills in a research community that provides valuable pre-competitive outputs for UK industry.
The first phase of DRINC had 15 company members, and distributed around £12M, funding 25 projects and 30 studentships at 26 centres. Following an independent evaluation in 2011 the partners initiated a second phase of the Club which is expected to award a further £10M to continue building the UK’s strength in diet and health research.
Three research challenges were identified for the second phase of DRINC through discussions with the food and drink industry. The challenges fit into the overarching theme of improving our understanding of the relationship between diet and health:
- Designing foods to maintain and improve health
- Understanding the relationship between food processing and nutrition
- Understanding food choice and eating behaviour to improve health through diet
DRINC is a cross-council programme and so the challenges reflect BBSRC’s research priorities but also extend to areas of relevance for EPSRC, ESRC and MRC. The challenges build upon the two research themes from the first phase to: ‘improve our understanding of healthier diets’ and: ‘explore the benefits of bioactives in foods’.
DRINC currently has 14 company members who contribute to funding research and help to direct the Club’s activities. DRINC has a total budget of £22M which has been allocated in two phases:
- £2M – company membership subscriptions
- £20M – BBSRC with contributions from EPSRC, ESRC and MRC to support proposals within their remit