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Call: Health care innovation procurement network

Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 1 - Destination 4: Ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care"

Calls for proposals under this destination are directed towards the Key Strategic Orientation KSO-D ‘Creating a more resilient, inclusive and democratic European society’ of Horizon Europe’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024. Research and innovation supported under this destination should contribute to the impact areas ‘Good health and high-quality accessible health care’ and ‘A resilient EU prepared for emerging threats’, and in particular to the following expected impact, set out in the Strategic Plan for the health cluster: ‘Health care systems provide equal access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care thanks to the development and uptake of safe, cost-effective and people-centred solutions, with a focus on population health, health systems resilience, as well as improved evidence-based health policies’. In addition, research and innovation supported under this destination could also contribute to the following impact areas: ‘Climate change mitigation and adaptation’, ‘High quality digital services for all’ and ‘A Competitive and secure data economy’.

Health systems are affected by limitations in sustainability and resilience, challenges which have been reinforced by the COVID-19 crisis that has also revealed inequalities in access to high-quality health care services. Our health systems need to become more effective, efficient, accessible, fiscally and environmentally sustainable, and resilient in order to cope with public health emergencies, to adapt to environmental challenges like climate change and to contribute to social justice and cohesion. Therefore, the transformation and modernisation of our health systems will be one of the biggest challenges in the economic recovery-bound future, but it will also be a time of opportunity for generating evidence, taking advantage of digital and data-driven innovation and developing more flexible and equitable health systems.

Under this destination, research and innovation aims at supporting health care systems in their transformation to ensure fair access to sustainable health care services of high quality for all citizens. Funded activities should support the development of innovative, feasible, implementable, financially sound and scalable solutions in the various dimensions of health care systems (e.g. governance, financing, human and physical resources, health service provision, and patient empowerment). Ultimately, these activities should provide decision-makers with new evidence, methods, tools and technologies for uptake into their health care systems and, consequently, allow improving governance of the European health care systems, supporting health care professionals and providers and allocating resources according to citizens’ health needs and preferences, while ensuring fiscal and environmental sustainability to assure those needs can be met on the long-term. Funded activities should adopt a patient-centred approach that empowers patients, promotes a culture of dialogue and openness between citizens, patients, caregivers, health care providers and other relevant stakeholders, and unleashes the potential for social innovation.

In this work programme, destination 4 will focus on the following issues:

  • Modernising health care systems in the EU, especially through a European public-public partnership on transforming health and care systems;
  • Improving the quality of health care along the entire health care continuum and being people-centred;
  • Supporting evidence-based health care decisions both for health care providers and policy-makers, fostering improved foresight and enabling sound planning of health care resources;
  • Enhancing development and uptake of innovative health care services and solutions, including environmentally sustainable ones that contribute to the European Green Deal.

In view of increasing the impact of EU investments under Horizon Europe, the European Commission welcomes and supports cooperation between EU-funded projects to enable cross-fertilisation and other synergies. This could range from networking to joint activities such as the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices, or joint communication activities. Opportunities for potential synergies exist between projects funded under the same topic but also between other projects funded under another topic, cluster or pillar of Horizon Europe (but also with ongoing projects funded under Horizon 2020). In particular, this could involve projects related to European health research infrastructures (under pillar I of Horizon Europe), the EIC strategic challenges on health and EIT-KIC Health (under pillar III of Horizon Europe), or in areas cutting across the health and other clusters (under pillar II of Horizon Europe). For instance, with cluster 2 “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society” such as on health economics and economic models, on cost-effectiveness, fiscal sustainability and accessibility of health care, or on adaptation of public health systems to societal challenges (climate change, environmental degradation, migration, demographic change, emerging epidemics and One Health AMR) thereby contributing to building resilience; with cluster 3 “Civil Security for Society” such as on security of health care infrastructures, incl. digital health infrastructures, health systems preparedness and response to disasters and other emergencies, and quality and safety of medicine (counterfeit and substandard medicine, illicit drugs, One Health AMR); with cluster 4 “Digital, Industry and Space” such as on cybersecurity of (public) health systems, products and infrastructures of digitalised health and care, or on health impact assessment (e.g. related to consumer products, working place innovation).

Expected impacts:

Proposals for topics under this destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care, and more specifically to one or several of the following impacts:

  • Health and social care services and systems have improved governance mechanisms and are more effective, efficient, accessible, resilient, trusted and sustainable, both fiscally and environmentally. Health promotion and disease prevention will be at their heart, by shifting from hospital-centred to community-based, people-centred and integrated health care structures and successfully embedding technological innovations that meet public health needs, while patient safety and quality of services is increased.
  • Health care providers are trained and equipped with the skills and competences suited for the future needs of health care systems that are modernised, digitally transformed and equipped with innovative tools, technologies and digital solutions for health care. They save time and resources by integrating and applying innovative technologies, which better involve patients in their own care, by reorganising workflows and redistributing tasks and responsibilities throughout the health care system, and by monitoring and analysing corresponding health care activities.
  • Citizens are supported to play a key role in managing their own health care, informal carers (including unpaid carers) are fully supported (e.g. by preventing overburdening and economic stress) and specific needs of more vulnerable groups are recognised and addressed. They benefit from improved access to health care services, including financial risk protection, timely access to quality essential health care services, including safe, effective, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines.
  • Health policy and systems adopt a holistic approach (individuals, communities, organisations, society) for the evaluation of health outcomes and value of public health interventions, the organisation of health care, and decision-making.
  • The actions resulting from the calls under this destination will also create strong opportunities for synergies with the EU4Health programme and in particular to contribute to the goals under general objectives 1a “protecting people in the Union from serious cross-border threats to health and strengthening the responsiveness of health systems and coordination among the Member States to cope with those threats” and 3 “strengthening health systems by improving their resilience and resource efficiency, in particular through: i) supporting integrated and coordinated work between Member States; ii) promoting the implementation of best practices on data sharing; iii) reinforcing the healthcare workforce; iv) tackling the implications of demographic challenges; and v) advancing digital transformation”.
Link Link to Programme
Health care innovation procurement network
Description of call
"Health care innovation procurement network"

Expected Outcome

This topic aims at supporting activities that are enabling or contributing to one or several expected impacts of destination 4 “Ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care”. To that end, proposals under this topic should aim for delivering results that are directed, tailored towards and contributing to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Stakeholders involved in the demand side of health and social care innovations (such as procurement agencies, health care providers, payers/health insurers, public authorities, health care professionals, citizens) reach a common understanding that reflects their key clinical, procurement/supply, organisational and coordination priorities.
  • Public/private procurers and decision makers at a local, regional, national and EU level collectively develop and adopt optimal, cost-efficient and flexible innovation procurement strategies, taking into account the ongoing changes in the organisational procedures of health care structures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Procurers and decision makers in procurement organisations mainstream health care-related Innovation Procurement best practices in their respective policy and investment strategies.
  • Health care procurers from participating Member States and associated countries scale up cross-border collaborations in research and deployment of innovative solutions, thereby minimising investment risks.


This call aims to support the creation of a network of public and private procurers that are responsible for deploying health care innovations across the EU, in order to identify potential areas of interest for innovation procurement.

Health care stakeholders on the demand side can address their clinical or organisational challenges through networking and the coordinated use of innovation procurement tools and policies. A network’s scale, internal transfer of knowledge and engagement with external stakeholders in health, research and industry would facilitate the development of a holistic approach in innovation procurement and an increased collective capacity to procure solutions, which improve health outcomes for patients in inclusive, flexible and fiscally sustainable ways.

This network should assemble a critical mass of European procurers with a strong track record, processes and resources for deploying innovative solutions in health and social care, as well as less experienced ones (due, for example, to budget constraints, lack of expertise or language barriers) who are interested to venture into this area. Through collaboration, experience sharing and in particular through twinning activities, the network should offer the opportunity to less experienced procurers in health innovation to build up capacity on innovation procurement. To this aim, beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties. This support can only be given in the form of grants and the maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 60 000. The respective options of the Model Grant Agreement will apply. Beneficiaries should refer to General Annex B of the Work Programme for further information and guidance.

These goals are particularly relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted issues such as the timing, financing and coordination of cross-border/emergency procurement in the EU, supply chain diversity and security, as well as the benefits of digital solutions for patients, health professionals and citizens. The ongoing pandemic has demonstrated that new critical challenges for health care systems may arise in the future, which will need to be addressed properly and swiftly, sometimes with innovative tools and flexible approaches.

The proposals should present a credible plan for a network, which will:

  • Create a sustainable mechanism for decision-makers in the health and social care sector to enable and facilitate the use of Innovation Procurement as a tool to tackle current and future challenges faced by the procurers involved;
  • Develop a holistic innovation procurement action plan for key health care challenges ahead, that is adaptable to the procurement strategies of most public organizations in the health care sector in Europe and covering all stages of Innovation Procurement implementation (from the identification of a need and pre-tender market consultation, until evaluation of the procurement’s impact);
  • Set the ground for mainstreaming (cross-border) Innovation Procurement implementation in Europe’s health sector (EU-funded or not), by engaging, in an appropriate way, other key stakeholders, such as patients, industry (including SMEs/start-ups), policymakers (local, regional and/or national authorities) or investors (e.g. private investors, National Promotional Banks and Economic Development Agencies etc.).

Applicant consortia should be composed primarily of public and/or private procurers, dealing with or interested in the purchase of health care innovations. Consortia may also include health authorities or innovation procurement competence centres, which support these health care procurers in implementing innovation procurement. The composition of the applicant consortia should ensure a broad and balanced geographical representation of Member States and Associated Countries.

Proposals should not promote a silo mentality but should interconnect different types of procurers with their counterparts in other countries across Europe and with the wider healthcare/eHealth ecosystem and an enlarged group of stakeholders critical to the success of Innovation Procurement activities. Applicants should demonstrate that they have the mandate and capacity to procure and can engage key decision-makers from their organisation (e.g. procurement departments, clinical, academic and research departments) who would provide the backbone for such an innovation procurement policy and coordination mechanism to operate effectively (e.g. leverage funds and external expertise, recruit stakeholders, develop/adapt strategies, provide policy recommendations, facilitate emergency procurement procedures).

Proposals should include all of the following aspects:

  • Hold an open market consultation with the industry across Europe on the current state of the art for the shared unmet needs for innovative solutions identified by the procurers, including on technical and service readiness;
  • Develop capacity and cooperation models for implementing Innovation Procurement (in the form of Innovation Partnerships, PCP/PPI or other relevant instruments), which overcome potential differences among the legal public procurement frameworks of the participating procurers in health and social care;
  • Conduct a user analysis of Innovation Procurement, identify barriers and propose solutions to overcome these barriers (e.g.: standardisation, certification, regulatory requirements, intellectual property rights, contracting models, payment/reimbursement models) and facilitate uptake of such solutions;
  • Plan for procurement(s) based on identified common needs;
  • Take measures ensuring the sustainability of outcomes beyond the lifespan of the proposed project and their integration into the procurement strategies of participating organisations, taking into account acceptance with users and professionals as well as health economics considerations.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Community Integration, European Citizenship, Shared Services
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
United States of America
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
United States of America
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 30 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 5.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 5.00 million.
Typ of ActionCoordination and Support Actions (CSA)
Funding rate100%


Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 60,000.00.

Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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