September 26, 2019

EU Health Coalition calls for a balanced Horizon Europe

IPOPI is a member of the EU Health Coalition and fully supports its recent call for a balanced Horizon Europe framework programme, pointing out that health research and innovation should be prioritised and not  scattered among different pillars and clusters.

The EU Health Coalition acknowledged the underlying challenges that must be tackled to ensure citizens are healthier, wealthier and live in a fair, climate-neutral, green and inclusive Europe. For EU Health Coalition, Horizon Europe, accompanied by other EU instruments, should play a vital role in converting the 5 policy priorities (Protective Europe; Competitive Europe; Fair Europe; Sustainable Europe; and Influential Europe) into cross-cutting solutions and ensure that they tackle the needs and expectations of EU patients and citizens.

In light of the open consultation on the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan, the EU Health Coalition welcomed the European Commission’s outline, setting out policy priorities for the upcoming research & innovation programme and commend the European Commission’s work to put together a strategic plan with the aim to leverage Horizon Europe’s impact to create and boost innovative solutions for European patients and citizens.

However, the EU Health Coalition believes that health research & innovation should be a strategic element of Horizon Europe. The programme should streamline synergies from curiosity-driven research to commercially-driven innovation spanning areas from frontier research, translational and multidisciplinary research to clinical practice.

Health Research is complex and it needs deeper and longer-term collaborative and transnational initiatives that address the current gaps in the innovation cycle. It is important that, in the implementation process of Horizon Europe, health research is not scattered among different pillars and clusters.  Strong coordination between all health-related initiatives (including partnerships and the mission on cancer) will converge them into concrete solutions for patients and citizens.

The call states: «We believe that a right balance between health research and innovation throughout Horizon Europe and cross-fertilisation and coordination across all relevant disciplines and the framework programme’s pillars are essential to be able to provide safer, efficient and cost-effective tools, technologies and solutions for better outcomes and well-being for patients and citizens.»

Background information:

Within the EU Health Coalition, a dedicated Research and Innovation policy group has proposed recommendations with the aim to enhance the health research landscape in Europe. The proposed recommendations call for an increased EU budget for health research, setting-up a cross-sectorial health research Public-Private Partnership and better coordination and support for health research.

The EU Health Coalition was created after the 1st EU Health Summit, which took place in November 2018, to ensure continued cooperation between stakeholders in the field of health. The EU Health Summit addressed emerging and persisting challenges such as the burden of chronic diseases and the consequences of an ageing population for the health sector. Simultaneously, participants discussed new innovations and technologies that show huge potential in transforming healthcare and enhancing sustainable health systems. The EU Health Coalition is composed of patient organisations, EU research-oriented medical societies, industry representatives and other relevant stakeholders that share a common vision for health.