On 29 July, the European Commission issued a draft document revealing its plan for integration of health technology capabilities across the EU. Five pharmaceutical and medical technology associations have praised the plan and signed a joint statement welcoming the proposal.
The Partnership for Health Innovation seeks to create an EU-wide health research and innovation ecosystem to promote safe, people-centred, and cost-effective health innovations. It will be partially congruent with, but also broader than the Innovative Medicines Initiative-2 Joint Undertaking under Horizon 2020.
Limited cross-sector collaboration is named in the proposal as a main barrier to achieving innovative health interventions in the EU. Although the EU is a strong global force in health research, its ability to translate research results into tangible health products is said to be relatively weak. This could pose a threat to the EU’s competitiveness and make it dependent on other countries for innovative health care solutions. So far, collaboration between academia and industry has been limited, as well as collaboration across different industry sectors. Also, market barriers have slowed down innovation and collaborations.
The proposal suggests several measures to achieve improved cooperation in the field of health care. Participants should achieve better understanding of the determinants of health, and currently fragmented health research and innovation areas are planned to be tied closer together across sectors and technologies. The new solutions are expected to be people-centred and integrated, and digital health tool and data exchange should be used to their fullest extent. Also, regulatory assessments should use new and improved methodologies and models to estimate the increased value of the new innovative solutions to health care. Furthermore, a pre-competitive space is planned to be established where firms can bring together knowledge and technology in fields like AI, genomics, robotics and nanotechnologies. The partnership is expected to contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the EU’s health industry and thus serve as a tool for increasing technological sovereignty.
Read the whole draft proposal here