The EU4Health programme is a financing instrument to strengthen the cooperation between EU countries and support EU activities in the health sector. The programme for the period 2021-2027 will invest €5.1 billion into projects that promote innovation in health and increase the sustainability of health systems in the EU. The goal is to protect citizens from cross-border health threats. This is done by complementing, supporting, and adding value to health policies to improve the health of EU citizens and reduce health inequalities. The EU4Health programme has three main objectives:

  • Make health systems more resilient to deal with cross-border health threats like COVID-19 and improve crisis management capacity;
  • Make the European Health Union a reality by investing in cancer care, better pandemic preparedness, availability of medicines and innovation; and
  • Boost digital health and disease prevention.

In the first years of the programme, there will be a clear focus on recovery and resilience, in particular pandemic preparedness and response.

Additionally, the Commission’s work on urgent health priorities will be boosted and expanded, such as:

  • Successful initiatives like the European Reference Networks for rare diseases;
  • The fight against cancer;
  • Reducing the number of antimicrobial-resistant infections; and
  • Pursuing international cooperation on global health threats and challenges.

General Criteria

Although criteria are specific in the annual work programmes, and they will vary per call, we know that critera follow some general rules:

  • On average, projects applying for these schemes comprise large, international consortia with both academic and non-academic partners.
  • Co-financing: Additional financial resources (by third parties or the own institution) must be available.
  • Non-profit: The grant may not have the purpose or effect of generating profit.
  • Nonretroactivity: Co-funding can only be received for costs incurred after the starting date as noted in the grant agreement.
  • Noncumulative: Each action may give rise to the award of only one grant to any one beneficiary.
  • The project should provide high added value at EU level.
  • The project is relevant to the objectives and priorities defined in the current annual work programme.
  • The project is innovative.

Open calls

The EU opened new calls; the deadline for submission for all these calls is 17 October 2023.

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Do you need help deciding which funding instrument is most suited to your specific research project? We are happy to assist you in finding the instrument that is most appropriate for your specific research project, and provide honest and informed insights. Contact us today to inquire about the possibilities.


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This fact sheet aims to provide a quick overview of the objectives, structure, and conditions of this subsidy scheme. No conclusions can be drawn from this information. Moreover, this document has no legal status.

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