Are you a representative of a large company in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic, IT or imaging field? If you are not already participating in IMI, you may want to consider joining our growing international research community.
IMI projects are at the cutting edge of medical research in areas ranging from dementia and diabetes to cancer and infectious disease. Our project portfolio also covers big data and knowledge management as well as digital health and diagnostics. Even though most of the companies in our projects come from the pharmaceutical sector, we also welcome and encourage the participation of companies from other sectors, such as biomedical imaging, medical information technology, and diagnostic and animal health industries.
By bringing together a range of different stakeholders in our projects, including diverse industrial sectors, we create fertile ground to help researchers tackle some of EU’s biggest health challenges.
The benefits of participation
More than 70 companies in our projects come from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). EFPIA companies tell us that they benefit from participation in IMI in many ways, including:
- Addressing bottlenecks in drug discovery. Outputs of IMI projects are already being used by the pharmaceutical industry to speed up the drug development process. For example, tools and resources generated by IMI projects are:
- Working together in a pre-competitive space. IMI provides a 'safe harbour' with defined rules that allows otherwise competing companies to join forces – often for the first time – in tackling complex research problems.
- Sharing knowledge and skills. By joining forces with other companies, but also academia, patients and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industry partners are gaining access to knowledge and skills which they wouldn’t have otherwise. This helps them to be more effective and efficient when answering today’s complex and challenging research questions that cannot be addressed by a single company.
- Data pooling. In our consortia, partners are sharing data with each other in unprecedented ways. For example, our projects are generating large databases which have great potential for advancing future research.
- Building consensus. Companies and academic researchers collaborate to develop standards and protocols, often with the very valuable input of regulators. Examples include research protocols, education and training standards, clinical trial standards and the validation of models using the same protocols by multiple companies. Given the reach of our projects, these standards and protocols attract a broad consensus, making them more likely to be subsequently adopted.
- Access to new and enhanced knowledge. Thanks to a wide range of participants and topics in IMI projects, pharmaceutical companies are gaining valuable knowledge in new research areas such as digital health, imaging and diagnostics. They are also benefiting from new insights into the causes and mechanisms of various diseases.
How companies can participate
If you are not a member of EFPIA, and are interested in joining our Calls for proposals, you have two options. You can:
Under IMI2, any legal entity can become an IMI Associated Partner. The Associated Partner category was created with the goal of opening up IMI’s activities to a wider range of industry sectors and stakeholders.
EFPIA members (including corporate members, members of national EFPIA associations, and EFPIA Partners in Research) are entitled to contribute to IMI projects and see that contribution matched by EU funding. As EFPIA members, they are also fully represented on the IMI Governing Board, and can contribute to EFPIA’s broader research policies. For information on how to join EFPIA, please contact them directly.
Getting to grips with intellectual property
Intellectual property (IP) represents a challenging area for collaboration involving so many diverse stakeholders. IMI’s IP policy has proven effective at protecting project partners’ interest while encouraging the sharing and exploitation of knowledge. The IP policy’s strength lies in its flexibility; this allows it to be readily adapted to the needs of each project. Thanks to the IP policy, project partners are sharing compounds, data and knowledge with one another in an unprecedented way.
EFPIA companies and Associated Partners do not receive EU funding. However, under the IMI2 programme, in addition to small businesses, mid-sized companies are also eligible for funding. To receive funding mid-sized companies must:
- have an annual turnover of €500 million or less
- not be affiliated entities of companies with an annual turnover of more than €500 million
- be established in the EU or countries associated to the Horizon 2020 programme
Think you may qualify for funding? Visit our SME page.