AS our full subscribers know, EU Monitr monitors and reports every week on new funding opportunities in the areas of health/pharma, but knowing what tenders and calls are out is only the first step of a long process. Whereas the EU institutions have tried to simplify the way in which they communicate opportunities, it is often difficult for lay people to navigate their way through the EU funding labyrinth. Hopefully this short guide will give you a better understanding of the basics.

In the area of healthcare, grants are made under the 3rd Health Programme 2014-2020. This is the policy guideline for direct health funding. The Programme is translated into annual work programmes defining actions in priority areas set in the Programme Regulation (EU) No 282/2014. On this basis the Consumer, Health and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) organises every year calls for proposals and calls for tender.

For 2017, the annual work programme was published on 26 January. It sets out the type of projects the Commission is looking to fund.

You can find the call for projects here.

CHAFEA also publishes calls for tender. These are different from calls for proposals in that they ask applicants to perform specific tasks. You can find the current calls for tender here.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. It is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

Research and innovation in health is a significant priority of Horizon 2020. During the first two years of Horizon 2020 (2014/15), the EU will invest some €1 200 million in health and ageing population. The health priorities under Horizon 2020 focus on research and innovation in personalised health and care, and the coordination of activities in areas including neuroscience, cancer, systems medicine. A detailed list of priorities can be found in the Horizon 2020 work programme 2016-17.

Similarly to other funding streams, Horizon 2020 invites applicants to respond to calls for proposals. The list of current calls can be found here.

In March 2014, the European Commission published a guide for ESIF funding of health projects. This document sets out the key objectives for the EU and Member States to invest in during the period 2014-2020. Out of 11 priorities, the following 5 could be relevant for the healthcare sector:

– Strengthening research, technological development and innovation

– Enhancing access to use, quality of information and communication technologies

– Protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency

– Promoting employment and supporting labour mobility

– Investing in education, skills and lifelong learning

Member States, through delegated Managing Authorities, are responsible for the allocation and implementation of ESIF at the national level. This means that you will have to consult the calls for proposals published by the Managing Authority in your own country, and if you find a relevant project you can apply directly with them.

In addition to structural funds, the Commission also makes direct financial contributions in the form of grants in support of projects or organisations which further the interests of the EU or contribute to the implementation of an EU programme or policy.

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