Government calls for companies to develop multi-country health projects

9 Sep 2021

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The call is encouraging SMEs in particular to help contribute to ‘key societal goals of strategic autonomy and health resilience’.

The Government has issued a call for businesses and research bodies working in biopharma and medtech to submit proposals that could fit within the scope of an upcoming health initiative.

In an announcement made today (9 September) by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, TD, and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, TD, it said it is looking for organisations to express interest in being included in the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on Health.

IPCEIs are large-scale, multi-country projects that aim to address market or systemic failures within the EU. Favourable state aid rules apply to these projects and they are eligible for public sector funding.

The aim of these projects is to boost industry activity within the EU while addressing “key societal goals of strategic autonomy and health resilience,” according to the Government.

“Over the last 18 months, Covid-19 has taught us the high cost that novel infectious diseases can inflict on the health and wellbeing of our societies. We are working closely with our EU partners on a range of initiatives to better protect the health of our citizens and to prepare for future pandemics,” said Donnelly.

“This call offers the opportunity for Irish businesses and researchers to join counterparts across the EU to address some of the biggest challenges we face. Beyond improved crisis preparedness, projects may also focus on developing the enormous potential of innovation in new therapeutics and personalised medicine.”

Project submissions will be under four themes. These are the modernisation of production processes, innovative products in new therapeutic areas, personalised medicine and medtech, and health crisis preparedness.

The Government is particularly encouraging SMEs to apply as well as consortia from biopharmaceuticals and medtech. Proposals for health projects must be made through a template and submitted by noon on 8 October.

Varadkar said that as well as highlighting the need to accelerate medical research and boost production capacity, the pandemic showed the importance of pushing “for better coordination between countries”.

“Ireland is a global leader for medical device products, with over 300 medtech companies based here, and we have a significant track record of clinical and academic research excellence in biopharma. We are well placed to play an active role in this IPCEI,” he added.

“This call is a great opportunity for cross-country collaboration, for research and development into new therapeutics and personalised treatments and, of course, to look at new ways to help us prepare for future health crises, including vaccine development and research into fighting emerging infectious diseases. Successful projects will bring investment and create jobs.”

Sam Cox is a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news

editorial@siliconrepublic.com