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Horizon Europe: €8.3 billion available for Health research and innovation

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If you work in health research and innovation, there are plenty of European funding opportunities coming up. The EU is just launching Horizon Europe, its latest research and innovation programme, which will run until 2027 with a budget of at least €95.5 billion.

All types of UK organisations - including academia, industry, the NHS, and charities - can apply for funding on the same terms as EU-based applicants, as the UK will ‘associate’ to Horizon Europe.

People in health and care scenarios.
Image © European Commission

Many of the research and innovation funding opportunities for Health are from Horizon Europe’s ‘Health Cluster’ which has at least €8.3 billion of funding available over the programme and a range of opportunities to access new knowledge, develop partnerships, and/or access new markets. The UK has had great success in the past, with UK organisations taking part in projects over 16,000 times (including 2,800 times by UK SMEs) in the previous programme, Horizon 2020.

What will the ‘Health Cluster’ fund?

The Health Cluster has a range of funding opportunities broadly falling within six sub-areas, known as ‘destinations’:

  • Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society
  • Living and working in a health-promoting environment
  • Tackling diseases and reducing disease burden
  • Ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care
  • Unlocking the full potential of new tools, technologies and digital solutions for a healthy society
  • Maintaining an innovative, sustainable and globally competitive health-related industry.
Woman blowing into a hand held breathing device.
Image @IMSPEX Diagnostics Limited.

Welsh company IMSPEX Diagnostics Limited secured €1.5 million of EU funds to lead a Horizon 2020 project aiming to revolutionise the way respiratory illnesses are diagnosed. They led a project involving partners in Germany, the Republic of Ireland, and the UK.

How do I find out more?

Every two years the European Commission publishes ‘Work Programmes’, which detail each call topic. The 2021-2022 Health Work Programme will fund around 215 new projects.  It was published this week and is available here to check for opportunities.

At least €1.75 billion of funding is available for Health proposals submitted in 2021 and 2022, so hopefully some topics might be of interest to you. If not, there might be a topic when the 2023-2024 Health Work Programme is launched or in other parts of Horizon Europe (including some funding open to all research and innovation areas).

Blue question mark background with a yellow lightbulb.
Image: ©Getty Images

We are here to help you

As the UK National Contact Points (free helpdesks) for Horizon Europe Health,  we’re part of a team of about 20 National Contact Points (NCPs), who have been appointed by the UK government to help you. We can answer questions about any aspect of Horizon Europe funding, including:

  • Navigating funding opportunities and choosing where to apply
  • Finding partners (for most Horizon Europe Health projects you would apply as part of an international consortium of organisations from at least 3 different countries)
  • Proposal preparation and the application process
  • Admin and finance questions

To stay up to date with European health funding and policy, please sign up to our newsletter by emailing

If you are new to European funding, our introductory webinar on Horizon Europe Health Funding, and/or our overview of the whole of Horizon Europe are available on the KTN website and may be useful.  You can also watch the recording of our recent presentation with tips on finding partners and building a consortium.

Money/coins shown against a background chart indicating growth.
Image: ©Getty Images

Other Horizon Europe funding opportunities

There are also numerous funding opportunities for Health research and innovation beyond the Health Cluster Work Programme:

  • Partnerships: Partnerships also hold funding calls:
    • Innovative Health Initiative: successor to the Innovative Medicines Initiative, with a broader scope including prevention, diagnostics, treatment and disease management incl. Pharma, Biotech, MedTech, Vaccines, Radiological, Electromedical and the Healthcare IT Industry.
    • EU-Africa Global Health Partnership (EDCTP3) which aims to reduce the burden of infectious diseases and strengthen research capacities.

Other partnerships, including the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Research (JPIAMR), also fund projects.

  • Cancer Mission: The European Commission plans to launch a ‘Cancer Mission’, with future funding opportunities for cancer-related research and innovation.
  • Other thematic funding opportunities, including health-related topics in: security; digital/AI; industry/manufacturing/sustainability; space and satellite data; transport; food and agriculture; and environment.
  • The European Innovation Council (EIC) has funding opportunities that might be of interest, summarised on page 10 of their 2021 Work Programme, and our NCP colleagues Dora and Genevra would be happy to help.
  • ‘Bottom-up’ opportunities open to all areas of research and innovation, including funding for networking, innovation and training.
Gold coloured Euro symbols against a blue background.
Image: ©Getty Images

Past UK success

UK organisations won €7.41 billion of funding from the previous EU research and innovation funding programme. This included €791 million from the Health Challenge/Cluster, where there were 400 participations from UK companies.

For example, P1vital was one of the first companies to be awarded an SME grant in the previous EU programme, receiving €4 million to validate a new medical device to improve the treatment of depression. Because of visibility from this grant, P1vital were able to integrate their technology in a bigger, multi-partner Innovative Medicines Initiative project led by Lilly using global datasets to improve treatment for patients.

So, if you would like a share of future funding, to access new knowledge, develop partnerships, and/or access to markets then please do get in touch to find out more.

Blogs in the Horizon Europe series:

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