The idea of an international independent research and knowledge centre focusing on intervention and implementation research in low- and middle-income countries was fostered through talks between Denmark and the World Bank during fall 2017 and spring 2018. At a meeting in March 2018, it was decided to pursue the idea further and explore if Denmark could initiate and host such a centre given its long history of working in ‘One Health’. Using the One Heath strategy, Denmark was among the drivers behind the abandoning of use of growth promoters. Furthermore, based on close collaboration between farmers, veterinarians and the authorities, Denmark has achieved a minimum use of antibiotics, while at the same time expanding its animal production.
In July 2018, a two day workshop was held in Copenhagen with representatives from the World Bank, the CGIAR organisation, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark, Statens Serum Institut as well as representatives from Danish ministries. At this meeting the scientific and conceptual foundation of ICARS was laid and in September 2018, the Danish government committed Denmark to initiate ICARS.
In November 2018 the Danish government announced its ambition to establish ICARS and the Danish Ministry of Health and the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CGIAR, thereby initiating collaboration on the development of interdisciplinary solutions to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including the establishment of ICARS.
Since then, in 2019 ICARS has evolved in an inclusive process with key stakeholders. A process that has not only strengthened the concept of ICARS, but also made it clear, that ICARS is indeed needed.
ICARS is now seeking partners willing to take leadership and co-establish ICARS with Denmark.