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Innovative Health Initiative launches wide-ranging new funding round

The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) has launched two new calls for proposals, IHI calls 6 and 7, addressing a wide range of challenges in health research and innovation.

16 January 2024
'Grant Funding' written in chalk on a little blackboard. Image by Dmitry Demidovich via Shutterstock.
Image by Dmitry Demidovich via Shutterstock.

Close on EUR 120 million in funding from IHI is available through IHI calls 6 and 7; these funds come from Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme. IHI’s industry partners and (where relevant) contributing partners are expected to contribute an equivalent amount.

IHI Governing Board Chair Irene Norstedt of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation said: “The next round of IHI calls represent not only great funding opportunities to deliver health innovations that truly serve citizens, but also demonstrate our joint commitment in addressing unmet medical needs through public-private partnership. I am confident that this partnership will continue reaching its objectives to turn health research and innovation into real benefits for patients and society while ensuring that Europe remains at the cutting edge of medical R&I. I also welcome Nathalie Virag as the new Vice-Chair of the Governing Board, looking forward to working closely together.”

IHI Governing Board Vice-Chair Nathalie Virag of Medtronic Global Technology and Innovation and MedTech Europe said: “The healthcare industries are excited to continue their participation in the IHI programme with IHI calls 6 and 7. These calls address various topics along the whole continuum of care, such as chronic disease management. Digital health is another important topic, where the different healthcare industry sectors will join forces together with public partners. As the new vice-chair of IHI Governing Board representing industry, I’m very motivated to scale up the IHI programme for greater benefit to the patients and improvement of our healthcare systems.”

The topics that will be launched under the new calls are:

Better management of heart disease

Heart disease affects millions of people in Europe alone, and numbers are rising due to people’s lifestyle and the ageing population. Today, there is no comprehensive approach to the detection, diagnosis and care of heart disease, and this has an impact on patients’ health and wellbeing. The aim of this topic is to ease the burden of heart disease by developing integrated solutions to improve all aspects of heart disease care, from early detection and diagnosis to treatment. Healthcare professionals will benefit from improved diagnostic procedures and clinical workflows, and this in turn will ensure that patients receive care that is tailored to their needs.

Towards the validation of biomarkers for clinical use

A lot of research focuses on identifying biological markers (biomarkers) that could offer clues to what disease a patient has, how the disease is progressing, and how well any treatments are working. However, very few biomarkers undergo the rigorous tests that would validate them for use in clinical settings. Furthermore, for some biomarkers, the technology that is needed to deploy them in the clinic is still in development. The aim of this topic is to advance towards clinical validation the development of promising candidate biomarkers and any innovative technologies needed for their use in the clinic.

Assistance for healthcare workers in hospitals

Healthcare workers in hospitals across Europe are facing increasing workloads and pressures, resulting in growing levels of stress and sick leave. Technologies could help to reduce the workload, but need to provide genuine added value and take healthcare workers’ needs into account. The aim of this topic is to develop innovative technologies that will support and assist the healthcare workforce in fields such as diagnostics, management and organisation, planning, or the delivery of complex interventions. Solutions should be data-driven and meet the needs of both healthcare workers and patients and their families.

Helping patients stick with their medication

Thanks to medical research, many chronic diseases can now be treated with medication. However, studies show that around half of all people living with a chronic disease do not take their prescribed medication for more than a year. The reasons for this are diverse, however this topic focuses specifically on healthcare-related barriers, such as poor communication between different stakeholders and a lack of patient support, as well as social barriers such as the stigma associated with certain illnesses and financial barriers. The aim of the topic is to develop new insights and models that will help to improve the proportion of patients sticking to their medication, with a particular focus on cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

Practical guidance on the use of real-world data and evidence

Real-world data and evidence (RWD/RWE) are already widely used to support decision-making around medicines safety. However, while there is high-level guidance on using RWD/RWE in areas like regulatory and health technology assessment (HTA) submissions, practical implementation is left up to study sponsors and requires significant effort and expertise. The aim of this topic is to deliver structured, practical guidance and recommendations for industry, sponsors and others on the use of RWD/RWE to support decision-making by developers, regulators, HTA bodies and payers. The guidance should apply to drugs and medical devices as well as drug-device combinations.

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Notes to editors

More information on the new calls can be found on the IHI website.

IHI call 6 (two-stage call)

IHI call 7 (single-stage call)

Press contact

Catherine Brett – External Relations Manager

Tel: +32 2 541 8214 | E-mail:

About IHI

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.