Horizon 2020: Personalised medicine

The final work programme under Horizon 2020 for the years 2018-2020 is currently being shaped. Recently, the European Commission published 17 scoping papers, which highlight the Commission’s key priorities for each part of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. The largest priority of the ‘Health, demographic change and well-being’ societal challenge 1 will be: Better health and care, economic growth and sustainable health systems. This priority reflects the Union’s aspiration for better health and healthy ageing, but at the same time the need for sustainable and accessible health care.

Paradigm shift in health care

The traditional medical approach of “one-size-fits-all” is slowly being replaced by the concept of personalised medicine, which refers to a medical model that uses individuals’ phenotypes and genotypes (e.g. molecular profiling, medical imaging, lifestyle data) to manage treatment, predisposition or prevention of disease. The overall goal of personalised medicine is to provide tailored health care to individual patients. Personalised medicine has been a recurring research topic in past work programmes and it will make a reappearance in the forthcoming one.

Despite rapid advances in “omics” technologies and our better understanding of the molecular basis of various diseases, the implementation of personalised medicine in health care has been slow. This is in part due to the lack evidence supporting the benefit of personalised medicine for patients and the health care system. The EU wishes to establish Europe as a global leader in personalised medicine research and accelerate translation of new knowledge on disease aetiology and technological innovation into personalised health and care solutions.

Translation into calls

Invited research areas within the sub-priority of personalised medicine will include chronic, rare and transmittable diseases. The ageing population, minorities and high-risk groups are a few examples of targeted populations.

Publication of the 2018-2020 Work Programme is expected in October 2017. If your R&D is directly in line with the ambitions of the EU, we suggest to start early with your preparations. Horizon 2020 is a highly competitive funding programme and to increase your chances of securing funding it is vital to start early with formulating a strategic approach and building a consortium.

If you would need advice on how to prepare yourself for the upcoming Horizon 2020 programme or are looking for information on other challenges, priorities and research lines, you are welcome to get in touch with Evers + Manders for a non-committal talk.

Horizon 2020 Challenge 1: Health, demographic change and well-being

Europe faces emerging and potentially unsustainable healthcare costs, due to the increase in chronic diseases, to an ageing population and to increasing societal demands. If nothing changes, the quality of care and accessibility to care will be in jeopardy, leading to enhanced inequality.

Innovative health and care delivery services

To address this challenge, the European Union is expected to aim for better health and care, economic growth and sustainable health systems. To achieve this the EU formulated priorities and a strategic direction for the period 2018-2020 of the Horizon 2020 grant programme.

Within the priority ‘Innovative health and care delivery services and the integration of care’ is proposed as research line.

It is interesting to know that this research line aims at:

  • Providing for a path to innovation and implementation of integrated care programmes,
  • providing for evidence of benefits to the society,
  • Focussing on the user engagement,
  • Addressing societal needs by high impact disruptive technologies,
  • Strengthening the procurement communities and the links between the demand and supply sides.

This, by promoting the creation, the assessment and scaling-up of demand-driven open innovation health and care eco-systems for more effective approaches on key challenges, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, mental health and multi-morbidities.

Aspects to consider are organisational, financing and business models, workforce training, hospital and telemedicine services, home care, self-care, patient centeredness and patient empowerment.

This research line includes the integration of the care dimension, by the promotion of health literacy, and by better coordinating the primary and community care with the specific needs of the patient.

first Deadlines: end 2017

The work program is now under construction and the first draft is expected to be available in a few months’ time. The first deadlines for calls will be at the end of this year.

If your R&D is directly in line with the ambitions of the EU, we suggest to start early with your preparations. The latest calls show a high competition and to stand a chance it is vital to start early with the strategic approach and the composition of a consortium.

If you would like to have some advice on how to prepare yourself for the upcoming Horizon 2020 programme for the years 2018-2020, or are interested in information on other challenges, priorities and research lines you are welcome to get in touch with us for a non-committal talk.