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Public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI) for building the resilience of health care systems in the context of recovery

Public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI) can boost the wider market uptake of high impact innovations in health care systems, while building the capacity of providers and increasing resilience and preparedness in the context of cross-border public health emergencies. This can support the economic recovery of the EU by providing incentives to the EU health and technology industry (especially spin-offs, start-ups and SMEs) to innovate and by providing business opportunities to commercialise innovative products or services at a larger scale than they would normally have. By acting as early adopters of such innovative solutions, procurers can open up new growth markets for the EU industry, thereby contributing to EU growth, employment and competitiveness. At the same time, joint/collaborative demand-side initiatives can help create economies of scale and scale up the wider adoption of innovations by the health sector. Advances in this area can help EU health care systems build resilience and respond to public health threats better than if they would act individually.

The actions supported will target critical-scale deployment of relevant health care solutions across different regions in Europe by engaging public and/or private procurers from each participating country (at national, regional or local level) that have deployment responsibilities and budget control in the relevant area of care or supply of services. Procurers will specify, purchase and deploy solutions addressing their relevant, shared unmet needs, while engaging together in a supply and demand side dialogue, in order for the deployed solutions to deliver sustainable, new or improved health care services and outcomes, always taking into account patient feedback. Specific guidance on PPI actions and minimum eligibility requirements can be found in General Annex Hof the Horizon Europe work programme.

Proposals should therefore be based on clearly identified user needs and well-structured work plans, explaining how the procurement of the innovative solutions will contribute to the expected outcomes. In addition, proposals should clearly state the benefits of the solutions that will be developed during the course of the project. In this context, applicants should consider aspects of accessibility and affordability of the solution, efficiency of the technology when implemented in the relevant contexts and how it contributes to health systems resilience.

This topic prioritises areas of health care such as health promotion, preparedness, prevention, surveillance and rapid response to cross-border health threats. Promoting coordination, cooperation and common standards in the procurement of innovation in health care (including emergency procurement) should be at the heart of any proposal submitted as well as facilitating the digital and green transition of EU health systems.

Activities covered should include cooperation with policymakers to reinforce the national policy frameworks and mobilise substantial additional national budgets for the PPI, searching support and collaborating with respective coordination and networking projects. Likewise, awareness raising, technical assistance and/or capacity building beyond the project to mainstream PPI implementation and removing obstacles for introducing the innovative solutions to be procured into the market could be included.

A wide variety of settings are potentially relevant for the implementation of such innovative solutions, for example primary health care settings, hospitals, specialised centres, and long-term health care facilities. The involvement of end-users and the use of cross-sectorial approaches are necessary in the area of health. They can lead to more impactful proposals, especially if combined with cost-effectiveness analyses in comparison with the status quo.

Within this topic, it is possible to foresee the transfer and adaptation of solutions and/or interventions from other sectors to health care. It is open both to proposals requiring improvements mainly based on one specific solution/technology field, as well as to proposals requiring end-to-end solutions that need combinations of different types of innovation.

Synergies with the Technical Support Instrument[[Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 May 2020 on the establishment of the Technical Support Instrument, COM(2020) 409 final.]] and the European Structural and Investment Fund are encouraged.