- This memorandum of understanding is a significant step towards creating a collaborative innovation ecosystem that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation in healthcare, benefiting patients and society.
- EIT Health and IHI will leverage their unique strengths, networks, and expertise to support entrepreneurs, researchers, and healthcare professionals across Europe.
EIT Health and the Innovative Health Initiative Joint Undertaking (IHI JU) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalise their collaboration. The MoU signing marks a significant milestone in both the IHI JU and EIT Health’s commitment to supporting ground-breaking research and innovation that will improve healthcare and make Europe’s health ecosystem globally more competitive.
EIT Health is one of nine Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. EIT Health is also an Institutionalised Partnership under Horizon Europe’s Pillar III – Innovative Europe. EIT Health’s mission is to drive healthcare innovation and create positive societal impact in Europe.
The Innovative Health Initiative is a unique public-private partnership between the European Union and Europe’s life science industries, namely the pharmaceutical, medical technology, biotechnology, digital health and vaccine industries. Its core goals are to translate health research and innovation into tangible benefits for patients and society.
Both organisations receive EU funding under Horizon Europe, and the MoU is in line with a wider drive to encourage EU programmes to build synergies with one another where relevant. Concretely, the MoU between EIT Health and IHI focuses on the identification of areas of mutual interest and means of collaboration. Here, the two organisations have already joined forces during the recent Matchmaking Info Session organised by the EIT Health for the Member State-driven initiative Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on health. The objective was to consider how EU initiatives - such as EIT Health and IHI - can be complementary to the IPCEI on health, for instance, by supporting SMEs and academia which may contribute to addressing the market failure identified by the IPCEI but cannot benefit from its funding.
Another priority in the MoU is the identification of ways to leverage the EIT Health’s Accelerator or Access to Finance programmes; these could be used to support the further development of outputs from projects supported by IHI or its predecessor, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). Finally, under the MoU the two organisations promise to communicate effectively with one another and share information and data as appropriate.
“The MoU marks the start of a new strategic relationship between our organisations and paves the way for exploring joint actions on shared objectives. I look forward to the potential opportunities this new collaboration will generate for our partners and the possibility of leveraging the societal impact we are responsible for.” Jean-Marc Bourez, CEO of EIT Health.
"It’s clear that IHI and EIT Health have a lot in common. This MoU underscores our joint commitment to working together, so that we can benefit from each other’s strengths and exploit synergies wherever possible. This collaboration will benefit our projects and ensure that Europe remains at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary, sustainable, patient-centric health research,” said Dr Hugh Laverty, Executive Director ad interim of IHI JU.
The MoU between EIT Health and IHI is a significant step towards contributing meaningfully to EU priorities by creating a collaborative innovation ecosystem that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation in healthcare. By leveraging their unique strengths and resources, the two organisations aim to create a platform that supports healthcare entrepreneurs, researchers, and healthcare professionals across Europe.
Notes to editors
The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) aims to translate health research and innovation into real benefits for patients and society, and ensure that Europe remains at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary, sustainable, patient-centric health research. Health research and care increasingly involve diverse sectors. By supporting projects that bring these sectors together, IHI will pave the way for a more integrated approach to health care, covering prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and disease management.
IHI is a partnership between the European Union and European industry associations representing the pharmaceutical, medical technology, biotechnology, digital health and vaccine industries, namely COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio, MedTech Europe and Vaccines Europe. IHI’s total budget is EUR 2.4 billion. Half of this comes from Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme. The IHI industry partners have committed EUR 1 billion to IHI, and a further EUR 200 million can be committed by other organisations that decide to become Contributing Partners.
IHI builds on the successes of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), and the IHI Programme Office continues to manage the IMI project portfolio.
About EIT Health
EIT Health is a network of best-in-class health innovators with approximately 150 partners and is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. We collaborate across borders to deliver new solutions that can enable European citizens to live longer, healthier lives.
As Europeans tackle the challenge of increasing chronic diseases and multi-morbidity and seek to realise the opportunities that technology offers to move beyond conventional approaches to treatment, prevention and healthy lifestyles, we need thought leaders, innovators and efficient ways to bring innovative healthcare solutions to market.
EIT Health addresses these needs. We connect all relevant healthcare players across European borders – making sure to include all sides of the “knowledge triangle”, so that innovation can happen at the intersection of research, education and business for the benefit of citizens.
EIT Health: Together for healthy lives in Europe.