IHI launches new funding round

Posted on 13.12.2022

The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) has launched its third call for proposals, featuring topics covering rare diseases and mental health, and addressing challenges such as disease prevention, hospital care, and patient-generated evidence.

IHI will contribute up to EUR 138 million to the projects funded under this call for proposals. When preparing their proposals, applicants will have to ensure that around half (i.e. at least 45%) of their project’s total costs are met by IHI private partners and / or IHI contributing partners.

‘This call for proposals, with topics addressing mental health and rare diseases, underscores IHI’s focus on unmet public health needs. The topics also exemplify IHI’s commitment to addressing the whole healthcare spectrum, starting with disease prevention. I am optimistic that the cross-sector, public-private collaborations resulting from this call will be well placed to ultimately make a difference to patients’ lives and health systems alike.’

  • Dr Hugh Laverty, IHI Executive Director ad interim

There are five topics in the call launched today:

Screening platform & biomarkers for disease prediction & prevention

Patients and healthcare systems alike would benefit hugely from the ability to prevent diseases, yet for many health conditions, we lack a good understanding of the factors that raise a person’s risk of falling ill. Projects under this topic should identify a disease of unmet medical need, and specify biological markers (such as genetics, digital / imaging markers, environmental aspects, etc.) relating to the disease. They should then develop an open screening platform to identify people at risk of developing the disease under study.

Patient-generated evidence for better outcomes

People increasingly generate large amounts of health data, including patient-reported outcome and experience measures (PROMs and PREMs) and patient preference information (PPI). However this information is often scattered across different systems, limiting its usefulness to patients and healthcare systems. Projects under this topic should develop a framework to integrate patient-generated data and input for use in health-related decision-making, and demonstrate its usefulness via several use cases.

Improving outcomes in hospitals

Many patients admitted to hospital undergo procedures with a significant recovery and rehabilitation period. New treatment approaches, such as minimally invasive surgeries, novel imaging and diagnostic techniques, and robotics, could result in reduced complications and a faster recovery time, however, their combined use has not been fully studied. Projects under this topic should explore how hospital interventions, treatment approaches and technologies could be optimally combined to improve both patient outcomes and hospital efficiency.

Advanced therapies for rare diseases

Some 30 million people in Europe alone have a rare disease, but only 10 % of them receive any treatment at all and just 1 % have a treatment approved specifically for their disease. Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) such as gene and cell therapies could improve these statistics, but developing ATMPs is highly challenging. The aim of this topic is to optimise and streamline the development of ATMPs by strengthening the ATMP translational research ecosystem in Europe and bringing down the scientific, technological and regulatory barriers that hamper effective ATMP development.

Digital technologies and mental health

Mental health disorders are an area of severe unmet public health need; treatment options are often limited, and those affected are also at greater risk of certain physical illnesses. Digital health technologies such as wearable sensors and smartphones have already shown potential in the management of other chronic conditions. The aim of projects under this topic would be to investigate how digital health technologies could improve the lives of people with mental health disorders by better prevention and prediction of relapses; better disease management; and addressing the physical illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are more common among people with mental health disorders.

See the full call for content under downloads below.