The theme ‘patient-centred interprofessional collaboration’ of the EGPRN conference in October 2012, captures in just three words important challenges for European primary care and its research agenda. Challenges for future research are formulated, in three domains: clinical, educational and health services research. Transferability of research, based upon advanced computational infrastructure, will facilitate a rapid learning health care system. In educational research, this includes the use of observational and reflexivity methods. Outcomes should be defined in terms of improvement of functional status and social participation rather than in terms of disease-specific outcomes. Partnership with all stakeholders, patients, GPs and their health care colleagues and students, can help in reducing avoidable waste in the production and reporting of research evidence.