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EU4Health programme opens to direct participation of the business sector

EU4Health work programme 2024

Following the approval last December of the EU4Health work programme 2024, there are important new developments for these European grants aimed at innovative projects in the field of health. For the first time since its launch in 2021, EU4Health will boost the participation of the business sector, together with the healthcare entities which, until now, have been the main beneficiaries of these funds.

One of the main novelties of this edition of the programme is that 485 million euros of the budget for 2024 will be dedicated to supporting the pharmaceutical industry to address several challenges: drug shortages, development of new vaccines, antibiotics and antivirals.

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The total budget for 2024 amounts to 752 million euros, of which 356 million euros will be grants, 318 million euros will be managed through calls for tender and 3 million euros will be for other expenditure under direct management.

EU4Health work programme 2024

The EU4Health work programme for 2024 consists of four main strands:

  • crisis preparedness;
  • health promotion and disease prevention;
  • health systems and the health workforce; and
  • digital.

The cancer area is considered a cross-cutting strand.

The entity managing most of the EU4Health calls is the European Digital and Health Executive Agency (HaDEA). The calls with the largest budgets are detailed below:

  • CP-g-24-10 Call for proposals for the European Hub for vaccine development (HERA): 102 million euros.
  • CP-g-24-11 Call for proposals for next generation respiratory protection (HERA): 20 million euros.
  • CP-g-24-12 Call for proposals to support innovative manufacturing technologies and processes in the Union for medicines production (HERA): 17 million euros.
  • CP-g-24-105 Call for proposals to support the development of novel antivirals (HERA): 10 million euros.
  • CP-p-24-14 Ever-warm facilities (EU FAB) for vaccines production (HERA): 160 million euros.
  • CP-p-24-16 Support innovation, supply capacity and access to critical medicines and antimicrobials (HERA): 50 million euros.
  • CP-p-24-15 Support to speed up the development of access to and/or uptake of medical countermeasures including critical medicines (HERA): 40 million euros.

Public health challenges

EU4Health is implemented through annual work programmes that provide funding to eligible entities, health organisations and NGOs from EU countries or third countries associated to the programme. The programme was endowed with a budget of 5.3 billion euros for the period 2021-2027 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to strengthen emergency crisis preparedness in the EU. The pandemic highlighted the fragility of national health systems, so the programme aims to address long-term challenges by building stronger, more resilient and accessible health systems.

EU4Health was set up to address public health challenges and needs, the objectives of which are to:

  • Improve and promote health: health promotion and disease prevention, in particular cancer; international health initiatives and cooperation;
  • Protect people: prevention, preparedness and response to cross-border health threats; complementing national stockpiles of essential crisis products; establishing a pool of medical, health and support personnel;
  • Access to medicines, health commodities and crisis products: ensuring that these products are accessible, available and affordable
  • Strengthen health systems: strengthening health data, digital tools and services, digital transformation of healthcare; improving access to healthcare; development and implementation of EU health legislation and evidence-based decision-making; and integrated work between national health systems.

Since 2003, EU health programmes have generated knowledge and evidence that have served as a basis for informed policy development and further research. These include best practices, tools and methodologies that directly benefit the public health community and citizens. Most of these initiatives have focused on supporting EU countries in developing national cancer action plans, as well as improving diagnostic tests and patient care.