Leaked draft work programs for Horizon Europe, the EU’s research program, for 2023-2024 include a strong focus on pandemic preparedness for the program’s health cluster.
The program includes calls for proposals related to the new European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), including medical devices, protective equipment, diagnostics devices, understanding vaccine induced-immunity, and viruses with epidemic potential.
The five themes for the health cluster include:
- Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society (includes topics on aging, non-communicable diseases, mental health, and children and adolescent health);
- Living and working in a health-promoting environment (includes the impact of climate change and environmental pollution);
- Tackling disease and reducing disease burden (includes non-communicable diseases, pandemic preparedness, rare diseases, and antimicrobial resistance, as well as HERA-specific topics);
- Ensuring access to innovative, sustainable, and high-quality health care (includes access to care, health care workforce, environmentally sustainable health care systems); and
- Unlocking the full potential of new tools, technologies, and digital solutions for a healthy society (includes data, modeling and simulations, bio-printing, and digital health technologies).
The work program includes an action to provide a grant awarded without a call for proposals to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative (CEPI) although it does not mention the award amount.
Another action will allow the mobilization of research funds to respond in the event of a public health emergency. The grants will be awarded without a call for proposals should circumstances call for it.