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Bridging the divide in European health research and innovation

Specific challenge: The research and innovation potential of the Member States remain very different, with large gaps between “innovation leaders” and “modest innovators”. This divide is equally present in Europen health research and innovation.

Two major European instruments – the Research Framework Programme and the Structural Funds – attempt to address this issue, albeit from distinct perspectives, but with the same strategic goals of serving the Europe2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, new approaches specific to health research and innovation are needed that take into account the individual differences of the less performing RDI regions and provide tailor-made recommendations.

Scope: To tackle successfully the divide in European health research, both evidence based analysis and remedial actions are needed. Proposals may address either analysis or remedial actions, or both.

Proposals should examine the current health research activities in the less performing RDI regions/countries, looking into determinants influencing the health R&I performance. Strategies of these regions (RIS3 – Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation) can be studied, and specific indicators can be identified to measure development. Proposals should reveal the factors underlying the divide; identify common patterns and individual differences within these regions. Outcomes should include suggested European and local actions to alleviate differences in health R&I.

For remedial actions, proposals should develop new approaches to unlock excellence in those regions.

Proposals should create a networking platform where companies, research organisations, universities, national authorities and managers of H2020 and structural funds can talk to each other to identify the needs, obstacles, best practice, opportunities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 500.000 would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Within the health R&I domain, the action(s) should contribute to three important Horizon 2020 goals:

  • Widening participation
  • Bridging the innovation divide
  • Synergies between H2020 and Structural Funds

Type of action: Coordination and support actions