21 / 02 / 2023

EARTO Inputs on Healthcare Research and Innovation for the next Strategic Plan of Horizon Europe (2025-2027)

In view of the preparation of the Horizon Europe next Strategic Plan 2025-2027, the EARTO Working Group Healthcare would like to point out 5 recommendations to further boost current EU Healthcare Programmes.  Those recommendations are based on the analysis by our healthcare experts of the limitations and gaps experienced through their active participation in those EU Programmes.

  1. Reintegrate Advanced Enabling Technologies for Healthcare in Horizon Europe: The structure of Horizon Europe, based on an all-inclusive Pillar 2, sub-divided in application-driven clusters, is not adapted to health technology innovation that is transversal to many industries. A new pipeline of transversal technologies that will feed innovative solutions in healthcare is urgently needed. Advanced Enabling Technologies for Healthcare are Advanced Biomaterials, Biosensors, Biomedical computational modelling. They are the roots of Bioconvergence, a coherent R&D process involving biotech, medtech and technology expertise together, to answer to the current and future challenges in healthcare.
  2. Create a Bridging instrument for Short, Fast and Innovation Kick-starting Projects with SMEs:  There are clear discontinuities between existing funding instruments for health research programmes that hinder SMEs and start-ups to engage with RTOs in Europe.SMEs expect lean, focused, rapid projects to de-risk or generate concrete added-valued data in a short time frame.
  3. Increase the impact of EIC Transition in Healthcare: EARTO WG Healthcare members acknowledge the attention paid to medical devices and biotech topics in EIC, but the EIC Transition covers a mandatory step in the healthcare sector and should be better funded. The eligibility criterium to enter the EIC Transition linked to using previous EU funded RD&I is also too limiting today.
  4. Better integrate Healthcare challenges in Pillar 2 – Cluster 4 – Digital, Industry and Space Programme: The Key Strategic Objective D of Horizon Europe (Creating a more resilient, inclusive and democratic European society, prepared and responsive to threats and disasters, addressing inequalities and providing high-quality healthcare, and empowering all citizens to act in the green and digital transitions) in realityis not translated in topics addressing the stakeholders and providers of “High quality healthcare”. Cluster 4 does not reach the healthcare sector and does not effectively target EU industrial leadership in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechs.
  5. Improve Coordination between Horizon Europe, Digital Europe and EU4Health Programmes: There is today a high risk for discontinuities, overlaps and gaps between these three programmes. EARTO WG Healthcare recommends to better liaise the different components of the various EU healthcare programmes following the public health priorities already identified.
  • Our detailed recommendations can be found in our full reaction here.

To complete our answer to the EC Consultation with further elaborated feedback on specific issues, please also see: