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Innovative non-animal human-based tools and strategies for biomedical research
Horizon Europe - Cluster 1 - Destination 5: Unlocking the full potential of new tools, technologies and digital solutions for a healthy society
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 4,000,000.00 and € 8,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
This topic aims at supporting activities that are enabling or contributing to one or several expected impacts of destination 5 “Unlocking the full potential of new tools, technologies and digital solutions for a healthy society”.
The proposal(s) should develop and/or use tools and strategies that address critical areas of biomedical research where animal-models are currently used but are of limited translational value for investigation and development of prevention and treatment. Such advanced tools and strategies should aim at a better understanding of the pathogenesis of disorders that feature a high impact on public health and exhibit a high rate of animal use or severe animal suffering, and enable to develop biomedical concepts with increased translational value, thereby ultimately leading to improved disease prediction, prevention and treatment.
The proposals should address all of the following aspects:
- The innovative tools and strategies should include a variety of technologies and methodological approaches such as –omics and other high-throughput procedures, human-derived cell-based material, organoids, micro-physiological systems, and in-silico models.
- The newly proposed tools and strategies should demonstrably advance the state-of-the-art in specific areas of biomedical research.
- Prospects and avenues for dissemination, knowledge sharing, uptake or translation into health policies of the proposed tools and strategies within the EU should be provided.
- Aspects such as harm and cost-benefit assessment as well as ease of production with respect to current practices should also be considered.
- Criteria for model qualification and standardisation should be developed in well-justified use-case contexts to demonstrate their translational values.
Proposals could consider the involvement of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) to provide added-value regarding such aspects as supporting validation of emerging approaches, promotion of research results, and the interfacing with the regulatory community. In this respect, the JRC is open to collaborate with any successful proposal after the selection process has been completed.
Expected effects and impacts
Proposals under this topic should aim for delivering results that are directed towards and contributing to several of the following Expected Outcomes:
- Researchers utilise tools and strategies that are more relevant to the human situation as compared to the currently used animal models.
- Fewer live animals are used in biomedical research.
- Health technology developers will get access to improved human-relevant tools or strategies allowing for a faster pace of innovation.
- Legislators and regulators will benefit from strengthened EU leadership in non-animal based biomedical research that is socially accepted and sustainable.
- Healthcare providers and patients will benefit from innovative tools or strategies opening up novel biomedical concepts enabling improved disease prediction, prevention and treatment.
All projects funded under this topic are strongly encouraged to participate in networking and joint activities. These networking and joint activities could, for example, involve the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices, or joint communication activities. Therefore, proposals are expected to include a budget for the attendance to regular joint meetings and may consider covering the costs of any other potential joint activities without the prerequisite to detail concrete joint activities at this stage. The details of these joint activities will be defined during the grant agreement preparation phase. In this regard, the Commission may take on the role of facilitator for networking and exchanges, including with relevant stakeholders.
This topic requires the effective contribution of social sciences and humanities (SSH) disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.
Applicants invited to the second stage and envisaging to include clinical studies should provide details of their clinical studies in the dedicated annex using the template provided in the submission system. See definition of clinical studies in the introduction to this work programme part.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Applications may be submitted by one or more legal entities, which may be established in a Member State, Associated Country or, in exceptional cases and if provided for in the specific call conditions, in another third country.
In recognition of the opening of the US National Institutes of Health’s programmes to European researchers, any legal entity established in the United States of America is eligible to receive Union funding.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) may participate as member of the consortium selected for funding.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
This call follows a two-stage approach.
This topic is part of the blind evaluation pilot under which first stage proposals will be evaluated blindly. Applicants submitting a proposal under the blind evaluation pilot must not disclose their organisation names, acronyms, logos nor names of personnel in Part B of their first-stage application.
The limit for a first-stage application is 10 pages. The limit for a full application (Part B) is 50 pages.
The award criteria are described in General Annex D. The following exceptions apply:
For the second stage, the thresholds for each criterion will be 4 (Excellence), 4 (Impact) and 3 (Implementation). The cumulative threshold will be 12.
Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.