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Research and innovation

Health research and innovation

Why the EU supports health research and innovation

Europe is facing serious healthcare challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of coordinating health research and innovation among European countries.

These challenges must be met to grant everybody a long and healthy life. Ageing and the increase in chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and brain conditions that require diverse types of treatment are increasing costs to potentially unsustainable levels, with the risk of unequal access to care for people across the European Union

External environmental factors, including climate change, as well as the risk to lose our ability to protect ourselves against infectious diseases, for instance due to anti-microbial resistance, are also exposing us to new risks and threats.

The European Union is investing in research, technology and innovation to develop solutions to overcome those challenges.

Under Horizon Europe, the EU's current research and innovation funding programme, the main areas of intervention are

  • health throughout the life course
  • environmental and social health determinants 
  • non-communicable and rare diseases 
  • infectious diseases including poverty-related and neglected diseases
  • tools, technologies and digital solutions for health and care including personalised medicine
  • health care systems

The aim is to find new ways to keep people healthy, prevent diseases, develop better diagnostics and more effective therapies, use personalised medicine approaches to improve healthcare and wellbeing, and take up  innovative  health technologies, such as digital ones.

Finally, European research and innovation in health is about working together across borders, sharing each other's knowledge and resources and improving our health and care systems together.

Health Horizon 2020 research projects from last call

Horizon Europe Cluster 1: Health

Funding opportunities

Funding for health under the research and innovation framework programme, Horizon Europe.

Joint undertaking between the EU and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations aiming to speed up the up the development of better and safer medicines.

EU4Health, with a budget of €5.3 billion, is the fourth and largest of the EU health programmes since their launch in 2003.

Resource for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which provides a database of researchers and SMEs in the life-sciences sector and provides advice on all aspects related to EU-funded research projects

Projects and results

Platform where framework programme funding recipients present their results to search, contact their owners and form partnerships.

Success stories

Researchers are exploring links between microorganisms in the human gut and neurodevelopmental disorders in the hope of accelerating diagnosis and treatment.

Project locations
Italy, Netherlands

Collaboration and jobs

Look for project partners and view profiles of all organisations that have received funding via the funding and tender opportunities portal.

Candidates and approved partnerships in the health area under the research and innovation funding programme, Horizon Europe.

Virtual networks involving healthcare providers across Europe. They aim to facilitate discussion on complex or rare diseases and conditions that require highly specialised treatment.

Details of health joint programming initiatives which aims to help EU countries pool resources to tackle major challenges for society.

Scientific publications, tools and databases

Interactive reporting platform, composed of a set of sheets that allows series of views to discover and filter the EC's funding programmes data.

The Commission's Joint Research Centre compiles databases and develops software and modelling tools. You can access health related ones here.

You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE.

Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions. All data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Publication cover
Presentation10 January 2024
Alternatives to animal testing

Changing the paradigm in safety testing of chemicals and drugs and developing efficient complementary tools for biomedical research.