Innovative Health Initiative

On 23 February 2021, the European Commission published a proposal for a Single Basic Act establishing a number of joint undertakings under Horizon Europe, including the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI). The European Commission’s proposal is now being discussed by the Council, in consultation with the European Parliament.

This page summarises the most significant elements of IHI. The information provided is based on the proposal for a Council regulation as adopted by the European Commission, and it will be updated as the legislative process moves forward.

All information on IHI is indicative and the details are subject to change during the legislative process, until the regulation has been formally adopted by the Council.

The Innovative Health Initiative in a nutshell

IHI will build on the successes of, and lessons learnt from, IMI. The goal of IHI is to help create an EU-wide health research and innovation ecosystem that facilitates the translation of scientific knowledge into tangible innovations. These innovations should be safe, effective, people-centred and cost-effective, and cover prevention, diagnostics, treatment and disease management. IHI will contribute to a number of European policies, most notably Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, the new Industrial Strategy for Europe and the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe.

Like IMI, IHI will work by bringing together diverse stakeholders (universities, companies large and small, and other health stakeholders) in collaborative projects that address disease areas where there is a high burden on patients and/or society. However, in IHI there will be a much greater focus on cross-sectoral projects involving the biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology sectors, including companies active in the digital area.

On governance, it is currently planned that IHI will have a Governing Board (made up of equal numbers of representatives from the European Commission and industry partners) as well as two advisory bodies: the States Representatives Group (SRG) and the Innovation Panel. The SRG will include representatives of the EU Member States and the countries associated to Horizon Europe. The Innovation Panel will tentatively comprise representatives of the European Commission, the industry partners, the SRG, the scientific community, other health stakeholders, and the IHI programme office.

Members

As is the case in IMI, the ‘public’ partner in the partnership will be the European Union, represented by the European Commission.

The IHI industry partners will be COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio, MedTech Europe and Vaccines Europe.

In addition, organisations that want to support specific areas of research without becoming full members of IHI can apply to become ‘contributing partners’ (similar to the Associated Partners in IMI).

Budget

The total budget proposed for IHI is EUR 2.4 billion.

  • The European Union will contribute up to EUR 1.2 billion to IHI, to match the contributions of the industry partners and contributing partners. The EU funds will come from Horizon Europe, the new European framework programme for research and innovation.
  • The industry partners will contribute at least EUR 1 billion to IHI.
  • Contributing partners’ contributions can be matched by the EU up to EUR 200 million

Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda

The IHI industry partners ran a public consultation on the draft Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) in autumn 2019. Since then, the European Commission and industry partners have continued to work on the document, and a further public consultation will take place later in 2021.

Useful links

Launch of the Single Basic Act legislative proposal (23/02/2021)

Legislative process

  • European Parliament: Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP (EPP, Portugal) appointed rapporteur for the European partnerships (Press release, 08/02/2021)

General links

  • European Commission web page and infographic on European Partnerships in Horizon Europe
  • The European Commission web page on IHI
  • Industry partners’ website on IHI (includes information on the SRIA as well as case studies on cross-sectoral collaboration)