Our Priorities

Research and Innovation

Research & Innovation (R&I) is the lifeblood of Europe’s medical technology sector. Industry investment in R&I delivers life-enhancing devices, diagnostics, and digital solutions. The European Union’s support for R&I offers valuable opportunities for academia and industry to generate new knowledge and use it to tackle the biggest challenges facing our societies. The quest for tomorrow’s healthcare innovations demands new, broad partnerships. R&I is most impactful when it is based on collaboration. MedTech Europe is committed to working with others in the public and private sectors to find solutions to our challenges.

Research and Innovation

The medical technology sector is characterised by an important level of research and development and close cooperation with users. Europe is an established leader in innovation in the medical technology industry, delivering significant advances in areas including cardiac pacemakers, deep brain stimulation and intravascular ultrasound. By turning scientific ideas into solutions for patients, health professionals and health systems, the industry has contributed to better outcomes and greater efficiency in healthcare. In the process, the European medical technology industry has helped the region become a world leader in a highly competitive sector.  

In the past, the medical technology sector did not actively engage with EU support instruments for research and innovation like other industries. That is changing. Within the framework of Horizon Europe, numerous opportunities for the medical technology industry exist.  

An overview of active initiatives the medical technology companies can join is provided below. 

Horizon Europe: What opportunities for the MedTech sector?

Horizon Europe is the EU’s main funding programme for research and innovation, benefiting from a budget of € 95.5 billion for 2021-2027.​   

Horizon Europe is divided into 3 pillars and 1 transversal pillar:​   

  • Pillar I aims to increase the EU’s global competitiveness by supporting frontier research, funding fellowships and exchanges for researchers, and investing in world-class research infrastructures.​   
  • Pillar II supports research in areas of societal change through 6 thematic clusters including health.​   
  • Pillar III aims to make the EU a leader in market-creating innovation. 
  • The transversal pillar aims to increase support to EU member states in upgrading their national research and innovation potential 

The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) 

The IHI is the biggest public-private partnership dedicated to health research and innovation worldwide. It gathers the European Union and the European life science industries, namely EFPIA, including Vaccines Europe, COCIR, EuropaBio and MedTech Europe. By bringing diverse sectors together, this cross-sectoral partnership is an opportunity to respond better to health needs.  

The medical technology industry can participate in the IHI through collaborative research and innovation projects or by becoming contributing partners.  

Learn more about IHI here.

The Health Cluster 

The Health Cluster is dedicated to developing health technologies, mitigating health risks, and improving the cost-effectiveness of public health systems. It aims to prevent diseases and develop more effective therapies using personalised medicine approaches and digital health technologies.   

The medical technology industries can participate in the Health Cluster through collaborative research and innovation projects, by applying to calls for proposals.   

Key resources 

The Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) 

The MSCA are the EU programme dedicated to doctoral education and postdoctoral training for researchers. It offers five types of funding: the Doctoral Networks, the Postdoctoral Fellowships, the Staff Exchanges, COFUND, and the MSCA and Citizens.  

The MSCA can bring exposure to the medical technology industries, through mobility across borders and foster the gain of new knowledge and skills with training programmes, collaboration, and knowledge transfer.  

Key resources 

The European Innovation Council (EIC) 

The EIC is the EU programme dedicated to identifying, developing, and scaling up breakthrough technologies and innovations. It offers funding opportunities through the EIC Pathfinder, the EIC Transition, and the EIC Accelerator.  

In the health sector, the European Innovation Council supports emerging technologies and helps develop breakthrough solutions to critical societal challenges such as pandemics and population ageing.   

Key resources 

The EU-Africa Global Health Partnership (EDCTP3) 

The EU-Africa Global Health Partnership is the 3rd programme of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP3) established under Horizon Europe.​ It gathers 14 European and 16 African countries and targets ten areas of unmet medical need, like HIV, neglected infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and climate crisis-related infectious diseases​. 

Medical technology industries can participate in the EDCTP3 through collaborative clinical research and fellowships programmes or by becoming contributing partners. 

Key resources 

The EU Mission on Cancer 

The Mission on Cancer aims to improve the quality of life of people affected by cancer, either patients or their families, through prevention and cure.​ 

The Mission is active in five areas: understanding of cancer, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, quality of life, and equitable access.​   

Medical technology industries can participate in the Cancer Mission through collaborative R&I projects. 

Key resources 

Considering applying to EU R&I funding programmes? 

The Research & Innovation Team of MedTech Europe supports members in engaging with EU funding schemes. We can provide you with the following: Webinars and presentations, on-site or remote meetings with your teams, as well as valuable resources and educational materials.

For support and guidance at any time, do not hesitate to contact the Research & Innovation Team of MedTech Europe.

Dive deeper with our blogs


EU Health PPP: a new era for medtech companies

Posted on 21.09.2020

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Closing the innovation loop: how start-ups can show value

Posted on 25.05.2020

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Horizon Europe: 6 priorities for health Research & Innovation

Posted on 07.04.2020


R&I in medtech shaping Europe’s healthcare & economy – Blog Series

Posted on 22.05.2020

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