We had an excellent consortium meeting in Barcelona! This time, it was hosted by CERCA and GENCAT, bringing together around 40 participants from seven European countries, online and on-site at the Catalan Ministry of Research and Universities. The agenda of the two-day gathering was full, and the workshops and discussions were very productive. Several practical suggestions were discussed regarding the primary prevention of cancer by addressing childhood obesity through the implementation of research.

The partners updated one another on their achievements over the last six months and presented the initial tangible outcomes of their efforts. Each European and pan-European partner outlined their specific activities, and open questions were collaboratively brainstormed in the plenary to find effective solutions.

A significant achievement for PREVENT was the establishment of the Community of Practice (CoP) in Sweden, Greece, and Catalonia. The respective partner took the opportunity to elucidate the creation process, the functioning within the ecosystem, and the future prospects of these CoPs.

Furthermore, the survey of the current intervention policies and the identified gaps were presented to the partners – this allowed the partners to narrow down PREVENT’s objectives on combatting cancer through preventing childhood obesity. Some more concrete examples of school interventions were shown, like at a Swedish school: for instance, one principle might be to establish an automated monitoring system for fruit and vegetable distribution to school children and teenagers and associate them with real-world reporting of dietary habits in- as well as out of school.

The interventions of PREVENT’s Living Labs in the three countries were a crucial focus for the partners as they collaborated on strategies to address childhood and adolescent obesity. The brainstorming sessions revolved around both the effective approaches to tackling the issue and the practical steps needed to actualise these ideas. In discussions about the Living Labs and the CoPs, the PREVENT partners were mindful of their legal and ethical responsibilities. On the second day, the partners engaged in discussions about considerations and potential obstacles related to these matters, offering proposed solutions.

Another highlight of the two-day meeting was the visit to the Biomedical Research Park of Barcelona. The partners were welcomed by the MAR Health Park Management and were given a brief tour of the key facilities: the Hospital del Mar Research Institute, the Biomedical Research Park of Barcelona, and the Mar Hospital.

At the meeting, partners within the PREVENT consortium had the chance to present the project and its objectives. They also acquainted themselves with existing initiatives, projects, and success stories focused on addressing childhood obesity and preventing cancer in specific regions of Catalonia.

Eventually, PREVENT aims to establish a robust framework for continuous assessment and validation of new policies that can be widely adopted and implemented in different places in Europe. The meeting proved to be another fruitful and intellectually engaging session, marked by numerous interesting discussions and exchanges among the partners, bringing PREVENT closer to its objectives. Moving forward, the PREVENT consortium plans to reconvene in June this year to exchange updates and collaboratively brainstorm the next steps. We are eager to continue our endeavours, fostering connections and synergy with other programmes dedicated to combating cancer and preventing childhood obesity.