Transforming health research & innovation in Europe

A Joint Statement on the European Partnership for Health Innovation Proposal

Brussels, 23 February 2021. Health industry stakeholders representing pharmaceutical and medical technology companies (COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio, MedTech Europe and Vaccines Europe) welcome the Commission’s proposal for a European Partnership for Health Innovation under Horizon Europe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of an environment that supports health research, development and innovation in Europe and that public private partnerships can deliver results to tackle public health threats. It has, at the same time, exposed the underlying fragility of many health systems within the EU.

Bringing together public and private knowledge, resources and experts, this Partnership aims to strengthen Europe’s position at the forefront of medical innovation, and to address current and future health challenges. In this unique cross-sectorial initiative, the partners will pioneer the patient-centred integration of knowledge, technology and products covering each and every aspect of care to improve lives of patients across Europe and beyond.

Active engagement by public and private partners is necessary to achieve the ambitious impact expected from this Partnership, aligned with the European Union ambition for a thriving research and innovation ecosystem. We support the Commission’s approach to providing a
harmonised set of rules for institutionalised partnerships while, at the same time, ensuring efficient processes and flexibility for cross-sectorial collaboration specifically in health research and innovation. A fit for purpose framework needs to include:

Transparent, open, and efficient processes that engage all relevant stakeholders in
setting scientific priorities and in developing call topics.
A solid IP framework that allows global companies and SMEs to contribute to, and engage in and secure long-term perspectives in R&D as well as an industrial footprint in Europe.
Suitable conditions that allow industry to contribute valuable (also scientific) assets to the Partnership that would otherwise not be accessible to the research community.
Possibility to enable global collaboration by bringing expertise and assets into EU projects from third countries and research hubs abroad.

This crisis has reminded us of the crucial importance of health and wellbeing for our societies and economies, that health threats know no borders and that these challenges can only be faced effectively if we work together, across sectors. Therefore, we call for a swift conclusion to the legislative negotiations, welcome dialogue with EU institutions and stakeholders and look forward to establishing this partnership and strengthening Europe as an innovation hub capable of addressing the unmet health needs and challenges of the 21st century.


Curious to know more? Visit to learn more about the new Partnership, including the draft Strategic Research Agenda and examples developed by the private partners, illustrating how the partnership could solve challenges in different healthcare areas.



COCIR is the European Trade Association representing the medical imaging, radiotherapy, health ICT and electromedical industries. Founded in 1959, COCIR is a non-profit association headquartered in Brussels (Belgium) with a China Desk based in Beijing since 2007. COCIR focuses on opening markets for COCIR members in Europe and beyond.


The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) represents the biopharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 36 national associations, 39 leading pharmaceutical companies and a growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), EFPIA’s mission is to create a collaborative environment that enables our members to innovate, discover, develop and deliver new therapies and vaccines for people across Europe, as well as contribute to the European economy.

About EuropaBio

EuropaBio represents 47 corporate and associate members and bio regions, and 13 national biotechnology associations. Two main segments of Biotechnology are represented through sectoral councils: Healthcare (Red Biotech) and Industrial (White Biotech). Experts from member companies actively participate in working groups and taskforces which cover a wide range of issues and concerns particular to their industry.

About MedTech Europe

MedTech Europe is the European trade association for the medical technology industry including diagnostics, medical devices and digital health. MedTech Europe members are national, European and multinational companies as well as a network of national medical technology associations who research, develop, manufacture, distribute and supply health-related technologies, services and solutions.

About Vaccines Europe

Vaccines Europe was created in 1991 to provide a voice for the vaccine industry in Europe. The group represents vaccine companies of all sizes operating in Europe, and currently includes all the major global innovative and research-based vaccine companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises. The mission of Vaccines Europe is to support broad access to immunisation, enabling better protection of the health of individuals and the wider community throughout life, with both existing vaccines and those in development.