IHI may be new, but feedback from people who participated in projects supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI, the fore-runner of IHI) highlights the multiple benefits of participating in a pan-European public-private partnership on health.
Any organisation established in the EU or a country associated to Horizon Europe is eligible to receive IHI funding. In practice, IHI funding primarily supports the participation in its projects of organisations like universities, research organisations, patient organisations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and mid-sized companies. Depending on the type of call for proposals, larger companies may also be eligible to receive IHI funding. Details of who can receive funding is spelt out in the call texts.
IHI projects bring together top teams from industry, academia, SMEs, patient groups and others from different health-related sectors. Experience from IMI shows that very often, the relationships forged within a project turn into long-lasting collaborations that can be beneficial to all involved in the longer term. In fact, participants in IMI projects often cite the networking aspect as one of the biggest benefits of working in a public-private partnership.
We expect IHI projects to be at the cutting edge of cross-sector health research and innovation, and participants will have early access to project results. In addition, thanks to the open sharing of knowledge and data in projects, project participants may gain access to other resources and infrastructures such as large biobanks, laboratories, clinical centres and databases. More broadly, because the partners in projects are so diverse, there is a huge opportunity to learn from your fellow project participants whose expertise and ways of working may be very different to your own.
By joining an IHI project, you will contribute to delivering exciting research results that will make a difference to the people’s lives. IHI projects are designed to carry out high-quality research which, in the long term, should have an impact on patients and health systems. Furthermore, the sheer scale of IHI projects, involving multiple partners from different sectors and organisations, increases the likelihood of projects having a real impact.
In IMI, a number of projects resulted in spin-out companies, foundations, and new funding opportunities, and we expect this trend to continue under IHI. For SMEs, experience shows that participating in a PPP can enable SMEs to grow in size, attract new customers and expand into new markets.
For organisations like SMEs, IHI projects give you access to the entire value chain of health research and innovation, including organisations in different sectors. Some IHI projects may give you the opportunity to directly develop and improve your technology, products and services. More broadly, the contacts you make in a project could result in opportunities to pitch ideas outside the project in the longer term.
Projects supported under IMI, the fore-runner of IHI, regularly publish research in prominent journals and present their results at international conferences. This allows all participants in a project to build their reputation and visibility on an international level.
For certain stakeholders, PPPs offer an excellent opportunity to influence research. For example, patients can influence research into their disease by giving input on the research questions asked, study design, etc. Elsewhere, regulators, health technology assessment (HTA) bodies and payers can provide early input on a project’s work to ensure that the results are applicable to regulatory, HTA and payer practices.