Public-Private Partnerships

The research partnership principles listed below and publicly unveiled on June 16, 2015 provide a framework to establish and operate public-private partnerships for food and nutrition research.The principles resulted from a December 2014 working meeting that focused on public-private partnerships for research and reflect the consensus of participants, acting as individuals, who brought the widespread perspectives of a range of government agencies, professional societies, research organizations, industry, and academia.

These principles are focused on collaborative relationships involving partners from government, industry, and academia all coming together to address food and nutrition-related research challenges that will ultimately benefit the public health.The principles help organizations understand when it is appropriate to use a research public-private partnership, since public-private partnerships are not always the best approach to address certain areas of food and nutrition research.The principles also outline conditions needed to operate agreements among the parties interested in conducting and sponsoring such research.

The principles have been approved by the American Society for Nutrition, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Gastroenterological Association, Institute of Food Technologists, International Association for Food Protection, and International Life Sciences Institute North America, collectively representing approximately 113,000 professionals.

The research partnership principles are publicly available for all interested parties to reference and use.The intention is to promote these principles as a common way to spur development of credible and transparent public-private partnerships for the public good.

12 Principles for Research Public-Private Partnerships

Prerequisite principle

1. Have a clearly defined and achievable goal to benefit the public.

Governance principles

2. Articulate a governance structure including a clear statement of work, rules, and partner roles, responsibilities, and accountability, to build in trust, transparency, and mutual respect as core operating principles—acknowledging there may be “deal breakers” precluding the formation of an effective partnership in the first place.

3. Ensure that objectives will meet stakeholder partners’ public and private needs, with a clearly defined baseline to monitor progress and measure success.

Operational principles

4. Considering the importance of balance, ensure that all members possess appropriate levels of bargaining power.

5. Minimize conflict of interest by recruiting a sufficient number of partners to mitigate influence by any single member and to broaden private-sector perspectives and expertise.

6. Engage partners who agree on specific and fundable (or supportable through obtainable resources) research questions to be addressed by the partnership.

7. Enlist partners who are committed to the long term as well as to the sharing of funding and research data.

8. Along with government and the private sector, include academics and other members of civil society (e.g., foundations, NGOs, consumers) as partners.

9. Select objective measurements capable of providing common ground for both public and private-sector research goals.

10. Adopt research questions and methodologies established by partners with transparency on all competitive interests, ideally in the precompetitive space.

11. Be flexible in implementing the PPP process.

12. Ensure ongoing transparent communications both among partners and between the PPP and the public.


“Achieving a Transparent Actionable Framework for Public-Private Partnerships for Food and Nutrition Research”

December 2014 Meeting Roster


Additional Articles

“Transparent, Actionable Framework for Food and Nutrition Research Public-Private Partnerships”

“A Framework for Public-Private Partnerships in Food and Nutrition Research: Implications for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics”

“In Brief: Achieving a Transparent, Actionable Framework for Public-Private Partnerships for Food and Nutrition Research” (JAND)

In Brief: Achieving a Transparent, Actionable Framework for Public-Private Partnerships for Food and Nutrition Research” (Nutrition Today)

Value of Public-Private Partnerships to Health


Managing Conflicts of Interest and Promoting Successful Public-Private Partnerships in food and Agricultural Research, Dr. Catherine Woteki, US Department of Agriculture

The Centrality of Public-Private Partnerships, Dr. J. Michael McGinnis, National Academy of Medicine

Public/Private Partnerships: A Framework for Moving Ahead, Sylvia Rowe, SR Strategy

Presentation Videos

Sylvia Rowe
Catherine Woteki
Michael McGinnis

Photo Gallery