Become a contributing partner

Contributing partners support IHI in a specific area of research and help to shape new projects.

If your organisation wants to support IHI in a specific area of research, why not become a contributing partner? Contributing partners help to shape new IHI projects (particularly in the case of two-stage calls for proposals), and benefit from being part of a vibrant, collaborative health innovation ecosystem. What’s more, your contribution to IHI may be matched by EU funding.


What are contributing partners?

The ‘contributing partner’ category was created with the goal of opening up IHI to a wide range of health stakeholders who may want to invest in IHI without becoming full members. As the name suggests, contributing partners invest their own resources (which can be researchers’ time, laboratories, data) or cash in a specific IHI project or projects. Their contributions work in a similar way to contributions by industry partners.

The contributing partner category builds on the associated partner status created under the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI2) programme, the fore-runner to IHI. By the end of the IMI2 programme, there were over 30 IMI2 associated partners from around the world including philanthropic organisations, patient groups, and companies. They are contributing to IMI2 projects in diverse fields such as diabetes, infectious diseases (including tuberculosis and Ebola), digital health, autism, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and more.


Who can become a contributing partner?

Any country, international organisation or legal entity that wants to contribute to the IHI objectives can apply to become an IHI contributing partner, as long as it is not a member or affiliate of one of the IHI industry partners (i.e. COCIR, EFPIA including Vaccines Europe, EuropaBio, and MedTech Europe).


What are the benefits of being an IHI contributing partner?

Leverage funding: In many cases, contributions from contributing partners can be matched by EU contributions. In total, the EU can match up to EUR 200 million from contributing partners. Becoming an IHI contributing partner is an excellent way to make your resources stretch further while sharing risks.

Influence research: As an investor in a project, you will be able to influence it from the earliest stages.

Networking: As an IHI contributing partner, you will be part of the wider collaborative health innovation ecosystem that we are creating. In your project(s), you will work in a neutral, pre-competitive space alongside experts from industry, universities, patient groups, regulators and others, giving you unprecedented opportunities to learn from them (and vice-versa).

Benefits of scale: IHI expects to launch ambitious, large-scale, cross-sector projects addressing major challenges in health research. Working at scale in this way increases the likelihood of the projects having a real impact.


How can we become a contributing partner?

If you want to become a contributing partner, you should do the following:

1. Check that your organisation is not affiliated to an IHI private member, that is COCIR, EFPIA (including Vaccines Europe), EuropaBio and MedTech Europe. IHI private members, their constituent and affiliated entities may not apply to become IHI contributing partners. The websites of our private members include the lists of their corporate members, national associations and other entities which are the constituent and affiliated entities of the private members. Please check these lists carefully before moving on to the next steps.

2. Check that your planned contribution to IHI is eligible. Contributions to IHI projects must meet the eligibility criteria set out in Article 6.1 of the model Grant Agreement. Among other things, the costs of contributions must be actual; be identifiable and verifiable; be recorded in the contributing partner’s accounting system; and be incurred during the project’s lifetime. Ineligible contributions will not be recognised by IHI and so will not count towards the project’s total costs. This matters because under IHI rules, at least 45% of a project’s total costs must come from IHI private members and/or contributing partners. If your contributions as a contributing partner are judged to be ineligible, this might mean that your consortium does not meet the 45% threshold and hence the entire proposal will fail. Some types of contributions are automatically ineligible. For more details see our guide for contributing partners.

3. Read our guide for contributing partners which describes the application process in detail, and sets out how the contributing partner system works in practice in terms of things like contractual obligations and reporting requirements. The guide also contains information on the deadlines for applying to be a contributing partner for both single-stage and two-stage calls.

4. Prepare a draft letter of application based on the information in the guide and using the templates below. The letter should outline the scope of the proposed partnership with IHI, and in particular detail the proposed contribution to the topic in terms of activities, resources and funding to be allocated over the lifetime of the project. The information in the letter should also match the information provided in the proposal submitted by your consortium. Use of the templates is compulsory, and failure to provide the information requested may result in your application being rejected. For single-stage calls, we have prepared a checklist to help you ensure that your letter contains all the information needed to assess your application. Do not delete any sections of the template; if a section is not applicable to you, you should state this clearly.

Avoid these common mistakes when preparing your draft letter:

  • Proposed contributions not eligible for recognition by IHI.
  • Your organisation is in fact affiliated to an IHI private member.
  • Mismatch between the contributing partner’s application letter and the information on the contributing partner’s role as provided in the proposal.
  • Information on the value of any non-EU contribution missing. If the figure is zero, please state this clearly.
  • Letter template not followed and key information missing.
  • Letter not signed by someone who is legally authorised to sign on behalf of the organisation.

5. Send your draft letter in Word format to the IHI Programme Office infodesk e-mail address. We will review it to ensure it contains the information that the Governing Board needs to assess your application. Make sure you send us your letter well ahead of the submission deadline.

6. Finalise the letter of application, taking into account the feedback of the IHI Programme Office. Sign it and save it as a pdf.

7. By the deadlines set out in the guide, e-mail the signed, pdf version of your letter of application to the Governing Board via the Infodesk e-mail address, and send the signed original by post to IHI JU, TO 56, 1049 Brussels, Belgium.

Data protection

Read our privacy statement on the processing and protection of personal data relating to contributing partners.