In order to strengthen the public health system, the Ministry of Health concluded that a strong knowledge infrastructure on public health was a prerequisite, linking practitioners, policy makers, researchers and the education sector. This gave rise to the two stage Academic Collaborative Centres Public Health programme, aiming at bringing the worlds of the academia and health care practice closer together, and thus fostering evidence-based working.
An Academic Collaborative Centre for Public Health is a long-term partnership between one or more community health services (municipal public health departments) and a university. The main purpose of the academic collaborative centre is to improve knowledge transfer between practitioners, policymakers, researchers and the education sector.
Given the positive experiences of the first stage of the Academic Collaborative Centres programme, the concept of the academic collaborative centres was broadened to other healthcare domains. Currently, a number of other programmes have adopted this concept. Academic Collaborative Centres are established in these domains: