The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI)
The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) is a public-private partnership between the EU and the European pharmaceutical industry. The IHI program has been launched in 2021 and will run until 2027 aiming to build on the results and ongoing initiatives of the previous programme. Together with the industry members IHI aims to enable cross-sectoral integration of technologies, know-how, products, services and workflows for people-centered healthcare.
The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) aims to:
- Contribute towards a better understanding of the determinants of health and priority disease areas.
- Integrate fragmented health research and innovation by efforts bringing together health industry sectors and other stakeholders, focusing on unmet public health needs, to enable the development of tools, data, platforms, technologies and processes for improved prediction, prevention, interception, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases, meeting the needs of end-users.
- Demonstrate the feasibility of people-centred, integrated healthcare solutions.
- Exploit the full potential of digitalisation and data exchange in healthcare.
- Enable the development of new and improved evaluation methodologies and models for a comprehensive assessment of the added value of innovative and integrated healthcare solutions.
In line with both EU policies and IHIs vision: From disease care to health care, the program is aiming for an increased involvement of patients and citizens in health innovation and improving skills for cross-sectoral health innovation. The funding programme strives to lay the ground for safer and more effective health care products or solutions that can be implemented into healthcare systems.
The IHI Strategic Research Agenda gives a more detailed overview about the programme aims and the European Health Priorities it aims to address.
IHI budget and funding structure
IHI is a public-private partnership (PPP) programme that has a €2.4 billion budget for a period the period 2021-2027, of which €1.2 billion comes from Horizon Europe the EU's framework programme for research and innovation. Additional €1 billion come from the IHI industry partners. About €200 million are planned to come from contributing partners (e.g., other life science industries or associations).
Building a consortium
The consortium must consist of at least 3 independent legal entities established in a different Member State or Associated Country. One legal entity should be established in a Member State!
An IHI project may involve: research/higher or secondary education organisations (private or public), small & medium enterprises (SMEs) and larger companies (for-profit legal entities), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), healthcare professional organisations / healthcare providers, patient / citizen organisations, regulatory bodies, notified bodies, health technology assessment bodies (HTAs), healthcare payers, charities and foundations, public authorities. (IHI Guide for Applicants)
The IHI program has two types of calls which impacts the building of the consortium
For single-stage calls: Open consortium building with public and private partner.
For two-stage calls: The pre-identified industry consortium, together with the first ranked applicant consortium from stage 1, will be invited to prepare and submit a full proposal for the stage 2 evaluation. The pre-identified industry consortium is involved in the topic definition and not eligible for funding.
Find the detailed eligibility criteria in the IHI Guide for Applicants.
Industry members and Contributing partner
Similar to IMI, 50% of the funding for IHI will be provided by the EU and 50% from the industry partners. The (industry) partners are categorized in:
- The industry members COCIR, EFPIA (including Vaccines Europe), EuropaBio and MedTech Europe
- The contributing members (similar to the Associated Partners in IMI2), which includes organisations that want to support a specific area of research without becoming a full member of IHI.
At least 45% of each project’s budget must come from industry partner / contributing partner contributions.
Application and Evaluation process
Types of calls and eligibility criteria for receiving funding
For single-stage calls any legal entity regardless of its profit/non-profit status or annual turnover, which is established in an EU Member State, associated country, or low to middle income non-associated third country, may receive funding from IHI JU.
For two-stage calls, legal entities described above can receive funding, except large for-profit legal entities (who are larger than SMEs/mid-sized for-profit legal entities) who cannot receive funding. To be considered eligible for funding, such for-profit legal entities must have an annual turnover of less than EUR 500 million and must not form part of a larger group with an annual turnover of less than EUR 500 million (downstream or upstream).
Information on the outcome of the evaluation: Maximum 5 months from the submission deadline at the single stage.
Indicative date for the signing of grant agreement: Maximum 8 months from the submission deadline.
For the two-stage Calls, the applicants will be informed of the results of the first stage at the latest 6 weeks before the deadline for the second stage submission (Full proposal submission).
Single stage application: The template for the single stage proposal can be downloaded under each call in the Funding and Tenders portal. The page limit is 50 pages. The applicant consortium must submit a full proposal which includes one or several private members, their constituent or affiliated entities and/or contributing partners.
Two-stage application: The template for the stage 1 application (short proposal) can be downloaded under each call in the Funding and Tenders portal. The page limit is 20 pages for the short proposal and 50 pages for the full proposal. The industry consortium is pre-defined and involved in the topic definition. The pre-defined industry consortium will form a full consortium at stage two with the invited first ranked applicant consortium.
All proposals undergo an admissibility and eligibility check before they are moved to the evaluation process. Proposals are evaluated by at least three experts (in many cases, five or more).
The evaluation process has three phases:
- Phase 1 — individual evaluation
- Phase 2 — consensus group
- Phase 3 — panel review
Proposals are evaluated and scored against selection and award criteria - excellence, impact, and quality and efficiency of implementation. The evaluation form that experts use to evaluate proposals are available on the IHI website and in the Funding and Tenders portal for each call.
IHI topics and calls for proposals
- IHI call 3 (single stage call)
- Topic 1: Screening platform and biomarkers for prediction and prevention of diseases of unmet public health need
- Topic 2: Patient generated evidence to improve outcomes, support decision making, and accelerate innovation
- Topic 3: Combining hospital interventional approaches to improve patient outcomes and increase hospital efficiencies
- Topic 4: Strengthening the European ecosystem for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) and other innovative therapeutic modalities for rare diseases
- Topic 5: Digital health technologies for the prevention and personalised management of mental disorders and their long-term health consequences
- IHI call 4 (two stage call)
- Topic 1: Expanding translational knowledge in minipigs: a path to reduce and replace non-human primates in non-clinical drug safety assessment
- Topic 2: Patient-centric blood sample collection to enable decentralised clinical trials and improve access to healthcare
To stay up to date with upcoming IHI calls, subscribe to their newsletter.
There are different ways to join an IHI consortium. The most efficient way is using and expanding your network and participating at different events. Another way to find partner and / or building your consortium is the Partner Search tool on the Funding and Tenders Portal and make use of the Crowdhelix network. KI is both a member and the leader of one of the topic-focused communities -“Helixes”, the COVID 19 helix. All KI employees can set up an account.
Support from Grants Office
For more information regarding IHI, and support with your application, please contact email@example.com.