Several European programmes are implementing EU’s political priorities in the health area. With the new EU multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 and COVID-19 pandemic, budget and programmes focusing on Health have evolved significantly. Four main programmes can be identified in the area of Health: Horizon Europe, the Innovative Health Initiative and the new post-COVID EU4Health programme and Digital Europe. Here we present the main funding opportunities and upcoming calls in health sector.
Horizon Europe to tackle the key challenges in healthcare
The aim of the ongoing Horizon Europe (HEU) framework programme (2021-2027) is to strengthen the connection between scientific and technological innovation, as well as tackle the key societal challenges, like equal opportunities for healthcare across the Europe, demographic changes, ageing, shift from treating illnesses into maintaining wellness and predictive healthcare, relationship with changing environments and diseases, chronic diseases, pandemic preparedness. Horizon Europe framework program is to improve and protect the health and wellbeing of citizens of all ages by generating new knowledge and developing innovative solutions to prevent, diagnose, monitor, treat and cure diseases. The aim is also to support and enable patients' participation and self-management.
Health related HEU funding calls
The funding calls for 2022 focus on different aspects of health such as health throughout the life course, noncommunicable and rare diseases, innovative tools, technologies and digital solutions for health and care, including personalised medicine, environmental and social health determinants, infectious diseases, including poverty related and neglected diseases, health care systems. Apart from this, cluster 4 (Digital, Industry and Space) and cluster 6 (Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment) also offer opportunities to integrate life sciences, medicine, and health-tech.
Eligibility and funding model under Horizon Europe
All European legal entities are eligible to apply for research and innovation Action (RIA), innovation action (IA) and coordination and support actions (CSAs). Minimum of three partners from member states of the EU should be present in the consortium. The funding rates are beneficial for participants, ranging from 70% to 100% depending on the maturity of the innovation and on the type of the participant.
Innovative Health Initiative (IHI)
The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the European Union and the five European industry association representing a wide area of companies in the fields of pharmaceuticals (EFPIA), medical technology (MedTech Europe), medical imaging (COCIR), vaccine industry (Vaccines Europe) and biotechnology (EuropaBio). IHI is building on the success of its predecessor Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), with expertise of 14 years and almost 200 projects.
What will be funded in 2022 in IHI?
IHI encourages the development of tools, data, platforms, technologies, and processes that will in turn facilitate the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases, especially in areas where there is an unmet public health need.
The first single-stage calls opening in the end of June 2022 focuses on nneurological diseases, oncology, and other diseases with unmet needs such as:
EU4Health programme is ambitiously designed to support the health policy goals of the European union and to address the resilience of European healthcare systems. It provides funding to national authorities, health organisations and other bodies through grants and public procurement, contributing to a healthier Europe. It is the fourth and largest of the EU’s health programmes with a budget of 5.3 B€.
Eu4Health is one of the EU's responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a total funding of 5.3 B€ over the next seven years, EU4Health represents an unprecedented level of financial commitment to improve and foster health in Europe. EU4Health will go beyond the COVID-19 crisis, supporting actions on disease prevention, reducing inequalities, the digital transformation of health systems, the reinforcement of the health system and the healthcare workforce. It will pave the way to a strong European Health Union that will improve and safeguard the health of all EU citizens.
The specific objectives of EU4Health are:
Funding model for EU4Health
The EU4Health programme co-funds the eligible costs of the selected actions at the level of 60% (normal co-funding rate) or 80%, in case of exceptional utility. The criteria for exceptional utility are fulfilled if: a) at least 30 % of the budget of the proposed action is allocated to Member States whose GNI per inhabitant is less than 90 % of the Union average; and b) bodies from at least 14 participating Member States participate in the action, of which at least four are Member States whose GNI per inhabitant is less than 90 % of the Union average.
In-Kind contributions: Applicants are expected to provide their own funding, including through the contribution of staff employed by the beneficiaries included in the budget. e.g. staff already on the payroll of universities or hospitals can be assigned to the project and their work time spent on the project will be funded up to 60% co-financing rate (80% in case of “exceptional utility” projects). The remainder (40% or 20%) must be covered by the beneficiaries.
Digital Europe is the first EU programme that aims to accelerate the recovery and drive the digital transformation of Europe. Worth 7.6 B€ this programme provides funding for projects in five crucial areas: supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and ensuring the wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society. Several of the applications of these five crucial areas will be in healthcare sector.
Digital Europe is fine-tuned to fill the gap between the research of digital technologies and their deployment, and to bring the results of research to the market - for the benefit of Europe's citizens and businesses, and in particular SMEs. Investments under the Digital Europe programme supports the Union’s twin objectives of a green transition and digital transformation and strengthens the Union’s resilience and strategic autonomy.
What will the Digital Europe Programme fund?
The Digital Europe Programme will provide strategic funding to several challenges, supporting projects in five key capacity areas: in supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and ensuring a wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society, including through Digital Innovation Hubs. With a planned overall budget it aims to accelerate the economic recovery and shape the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy, bringing benefits to everyone, but in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Digital Europe Programme will complement the funding available through other EU programmes, such as the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation and the Connecting Europe Facility for digital infrastructure, the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the Structural funds, to name a few. It is a part of the ongoing long-term EU budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.
Article courtesy of EAIC Member Spinverse