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Underage Drinking

 | 
Philippe De Witte
, 
Mack C. Mitchell Jr.

Preface

Philippe De Witte

Texte intégral

  • 1 ERAB was established as an independent Charity in Brussels in 2003 to fund European biomedical and (...)
  • 2 ABMRF is a private non-profit foundation that was established in 1982 to fund alcohol research in (...)
  • 3 DG RELEX, now the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Union’s Diplomatic arm, wa (...)

1In 2010, ERAB: The European Foundation for Alcohol Research (ERAB)1 in partnership with ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research (in North America) (ABMRF)2 answered a call for applications from DG (Directorate General) RELEX (External Relations3) to coordinate a review of underage drinking in Europe and North America. This application was unsuccessful but after careful consideration, the view was that ERAB and ABMRF were ideally placed to deliver such a project. A modified version of the original application was proposed and started in 2011. ERAB and ABMRF were keen to undertake this project to have the opportunity to generate strategy options in order to assist authorities in Europe and North America address this important public health issue

  • 4 Both foundations have developed a unique partnership between academia and the brewing industry tha (...)

2The project marked a new direction for ERAB which, prior to this, had only funded applications for scientific grants with the awards being based on the quality of the science as judged by peer review. This special project on underage drinking is no less independent than its usual work, but constitutes a review of the evidence-base in a particular area rather than initiating new research. It has been undertaken by experts in the field, for an honorarium, and has been subjected to peer review. Funding for ERAB and ABMRF4 is provided at arms-length by the brewing sector. It must be stressed that the providers of the funding have NO influence over any aspect of this project, nor any of the research funded by either organisation.

3The project has involved a group of experts in the EU and North America who have produced a review of the research on underage drinking, drawn comparisons between both Continents and made recommendations on effective interventions in different situations based on the evidence reviewed.

Notes

1 ERAB was established as an independent Charity in Brussels in 2003 to fund European biomedical and psychosocial research into the effects of beer and alcohol. It is funded by the brewing sector in Europe and its independence is guaranteed by a Board of Directors made up of a majority of public members along the lines of the ABMRF/ The Foundation for Alcohol Research – see below. In the past 9 years it has funded 55 European research projects from 12 countries.

2 ABMRF is a private non-profit foundation that was established in 1982 to fund alcohol research in North America. ABMRF is supported at arms-length by contributions from the brewing industry and private individuals in the United States and Canada.

3 DG RELEX, now the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Union’s Diplomatic arm, was the Unit within the European Commission with responsibility for External Relations with other countries of the world including the US and Canada.

4 Both foundations have developed a unique partnership between academia and the brewing industry that, whilst maintaining a clear separation and the independence of the two parties, grew out of a shared concern over the importance of improving the understanding of the effects of alcohol consumption on health and behaviour. Scientists in Europe, Canada and the U.S. submit investigator-initiated proposals to each foundation for review by independent scientists in social and behavioural as well as biomedical research to determine which applications to fund. Decisions are made independently of any direction from industry. Grantees publish their results in peer-reviewed journals without prior review by the foundations. In total, more than 500 investigators have been funded by ERAB or ABMRF. Both foundations meet regularly at an annual conference, the International Medical Advisory Group Conference (IMAG). These scientific conferences provide a forum for scientists in all areas of alcohol research to exchange information on the very latest research on the biomedical and psychosocial aspects of alcohol, and to discuss future research projects.

Auteur

Ph.D., Professor
Chairman of ERAB: the European Foundation for Alcohol Research
Biologie du Comportement
Université Catholique de Louvain
Croix du Sud 1 – box L7.04.03
BE – 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
dewitte@uclouvain.be

© Presses universitaires de Louvain, 2012

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