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Call: Data-driven decision-support tools for better health care delivery and policy-making with a focus on cancer

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Programme
Acronym HORIZON-HLTH-CARE
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 1 - Destination 4: Ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care"

Calls for proposals under this destination are directed towards the Key Strategic Orientation KSO-D ‘Creating a more resilient, inclusive and democratic European society’ of Horizon Europe’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024. Research and innovation supported under this destination should contribute to the impact areas ‘Good health and high-quality accessible health care’ and ‘A resilient EU prepared for emerging threats’, and in particular to the following expected impact, set out in the Strategic Plan for the health cluster: ‘Health care systems provide equal access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care thanks to the development and uptake of safe, cost-effective and people-centred solutions, with a focus on population health, health systems resilience, as well as improved evidence-based health policies’. In addition, research and innovation supported under this destination could also contribute to the following impact areas: ‘Climate change mitigation and adaptation’, ‘High quality digital services for all’ and ‘A Competitive and secure data economy’.

Health systems are affected by limitations in sustainability and resilience, challenges which have been reinforced by the COVID-19 crisis that has also revealed inequalities in access to high-quality health care services. Our health systems need to become more effective, efficient, accessible, fiscally and environmentally sustainable, and resilient in order to cope with public health emergencies, to adapt to environmental challenges like climate change and to contribute to social justice and cohesion. Therefore, the transformation and modernisation of our health systems will be one of the biggest challenges in the economic recovery-bound future, but it will also be a time of opportunity for generating evidence, taking advantage of digital and data-driven innovation and developing more flexible and equitable health systems.

Under this destination, research and innovation aims at supporting health care systems in their transformation to ensure fair access to sustainable health care services of high quality for all citizens. Funded activities should support the development of innovative, feasible, implementable, financially sound and scalable solutions in the various dimensions of health care systems (e.g. governance, financing, human and physical resources, health service provision, and patient empowerment). Ultimately, these activities should provide decision-makers with new evidence, methods, tools and technologies for uptake into their health care systems and, consequently, allow improving governance of the European health care systems, supporting health care professionals and providers and allocating resources according to citizens’ health needs and preferences, while ensuring fiscal and environmental sustainability to assure those needs can be met on the long-term. Funded activities should adopt a patient-centred approach that empowers patients, promotes a culture of dialogue and openness between citizens, patients, caregivers, health care providers and other relevant stakeholders, and unleashes the potential for social innovation.

In this work programme, destination 4 will focus on the following issues:

  • Modernising health care systems in the EU, especially through a European public-public partnership on transforming health and care systems;
  • Improving the quality of health care along the entire health care continuum and being people-centred;
  • Supporting evidence-based health care decisions both for health care providers and policy-makers, fostering improved foresight and enabling sound planning of health care resources;
  • Enhancing development and uptake of innovative health care services and solutions, including environmentally sustainable ones that contribute to the European Green Deal.

In view of increasing the impact of EU investments under Horizon Europe, the European Commission welcomes and supports cooperation between EU-funded projects to enable cross-fertilisation and other synergies. This could range from networking to joint activities such as the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices, or joint communication activities. Opportunities for potential synergies exist between projects funded under the same topic but also between other projects funded under another topic, cluster or pillar of Horizon Europe (but also with ongoing projects funded under Horizon 2020). In particular, this could involve projects related to European health research infrastructures (under pillar I of Horizon Europe), the EIC strategic challenges on health and EIT-KIC Health (under pillar III of Horizon Europe), or in areas cutting across the health and other clusters (under pillar II of Horizon Europe). For instance, with cluster 2 “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society” such as on health economics and economic models, on cost-effectiveness, fiscal sustainability and accessibility of health care, or on adaptation of public health systems to societal challenges (climate change, environmental degradation, migration, demographic change, emerging epidemics and One Health AMR) thereby contributing to building resilience; with cluster 3 “Civil Security for Society” such as on security of health care infrastructures, incl. digital health infrastructures, health systems preparedness and response to disasters and other emergencies, and quality and safety of medicine (counterfeit and substandard medicine, illicit drugs, One Health AMR); with cluster 4 “Digital, Industry and Space” such as on cybersecurity of (public) health systems, products and infrastructures of digitalised health and care, or on health impact assessment (e.g. related to consumer products, working place innovation).

Expected impacts:

Proposals for topics under this destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care, and more specifically to one or several of the following impacts:

  • Health and social care services and systems have improved governance mechanisms and are more effective, efficient, accessible, resilient, trusted and sustainable, both fiscally and environmentally. Health promotion and disease prevention will be at their heart, by shifting from hospital-centred to community-based, people-centred and integrated health care structures and successfully embedding technological innovations that meet public health needs, while patient safety and quality of services is increased.
  • Health care providers are trained and equipped with the skills and competences suited for the future needs of health care systems that are modernised, digitally transformed and equipped with innovative tools, technologies and digital solutions for health care. They save time and resources by integrating and applying innovative technologies, which better involve patients in their own care, by reorganising workflows and redistributing tasks and responsibilities throughout the health care system, and by monitoring and analysing corresponding health care activities.
  • Citizens are supported to play a key role in managing their own health care, informal carers (including unpaid carers) are fully supported (e.g. by preventing overburdening and economic stress) and specific needs of more vulnerable groups are recognised and addressed. They benefit from improved access to health care services, including financial risk protection, timely access to quality essential health care services, including safe, effective, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines.
  • Health policy and systems adopt a holistic approach (individuals, communities, organisations, society) for the evaluation of health outcomes and value of public health interventions, the organisation of health care, and decision-making.
  • The actions resulting from the calls under this destination will also create strong opportunities for synergies with the EU4Health programme and in particular to contribute to the goals under general objectives 1a “protecting people in the Union from serious cross-border threats to health and strengthening the responsiveness of health systems and coordination among the Member States to cope with those threats” and 3 “strengthening health systems by improving their resilience and resource efficiency, in particular through: i) supporting integrated and coordinated work between Member States; ii) promoting the implementation of best practices on data sharing; iii) reinforcing the healthcare workforce; iv) tackling the implications of demographic challenges; and v) advancing digital transformation”.
Link Link to Programme
Call
Data-driven decision-support tools for better health care delivery and policy-making with a focus on cancer
Description of call
"Data-driven decision-support tools for better health care delivery and policy-making with a focus on cancer"

Expected Outcome

This topic aims at supporting activities that are enabling or contributing to one or several expected impacts of destination 4 “Ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care”. To that end, proposals under this topic should aim for delivering results that are directed at, tailored towards and contributing to some of the following expected outcomes:

  • Health care organisations and policymakers adopt robust and transparent modelling (including data collection, storage and analysis), planning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in support of health care decision-making processes;
  • Health care providers, caregivers (formal and informal), citizens, and other relevant stakeholders take better informed decisions about their health or the health of persons they are responsible for and/or about the organisation of the health care service or system they are involved in or in charge of;
  • Health system owners are provided with evidence-based participative decision-making processes that take into consideration all relevant values, needs and perspectives, enabling to deliver health care services to patients in the most suitable and efficient manner;
  • Policymakers access evidence-based, interoperable decision support tools for public health policy-making and health care delivery.

Scope:

This call topic will contribute to Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan activities and other relevant initiatives such as the European Cancer Information System. For this reason, proposals must focus on one or more phases of the cycle of the disease, starting from prevention and early diagnosis to treatment and quality of life of patients and survivors.

An ever-increasing amount of data is at the disposal of decision- and policy-makers, which, if analysed, pooled and used, could lead to novel data-driven approaches in health care delivery and policy-making, thus improving quality of life, health equity and producing better health outcomes. The collection, access, processing, and (primary and secondary) use of data is still very fragmented across national health systems. The availability and use of structured and unstructured health data represents an opportunity for the implementation of data-driven innovation and it provides new opportunities for developing, monitoring and evaluating decisions, and providing feedback into decision-making processes and policy strategies.

In this topic, research and innovation actions should aim at optimising and/or transforming health care delivery decision-making processes, supporting policy-making, and/or empowering citizens and cancer patients. The development of innovations, including tools, processes and services, should be done together with end-users (i.e. citizens, health professionals and policymakers), and represent both a support-base and scientific evidence for data-driven innovation. Design thinking and other relevant design methodologies should be considered.

The proposals should adhere to the FAIR data principles and adopt data quality standards, data integration operating procedures and GDPR-compliant data sharing/access best practices developed by the European research infrastructures, if relevant. In addition, the proposals are encouraged to adopt best practices of international standards used in the development of computational models.

Data-driven algorithms should be explainable, unbiased and inclusive. Caution needs to be paid to systematically control for gender and racial bias and/or discrimination bias, when developing and using data and algorithms. The actions should ensure that the novel ideas are accompanied by frameworks/guidelines for new forms of collaboration and incentivising mechanisms/tools in order to support implementation of the innovations in the public sector. The tools should aim to improve health outcomes and quality of life, not only to lower health care costs.

Actions should pursue a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach to integrate health care research, health services research, innovation, health economics, implementation science, operations management/research, data science and other relevant disciplines (i.e. sociology and anthropology) to ensure more equitable, innovative and sustainable health care systems.

Applicants should propose activities underpinned by health care data in one or more of the following areas:

  • The development of data-driven, interactive policy and visualisation tools (i.e. through creation of digital twins/virtual models) bringing novel insights on populations, systems and services as a whole, to help policymakers make data-driven decisions. These can be foreseen to be used solely for health care decisions or constitute health-relevant inputs for other sectorial approaches, and promote multi-disciplinary knowledge exchange;
  • The development of data-driven solutions (i.e scenario-building tools and models) helping health care organisations take evidence-informed decisions on cancer care delivery processes such as logistics planning and management, capacity, utilisation of health services and allocation of resources and infrastructures (i.e. human resources, health goods, etc.), and availability of and access to health care technologies (i.e. pharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical devices, etc.) and interventions;
  • The development of data-driven solutions empowering citizens' and cancer patients' interaction with the health care systems, including feedback mechanisms, guidance on health care pathways and on managing health care data, supporting patients in making health care decisions and treatment adherence;
  • The development of digital toolkits and indicators to improve the reporting and assessment of outputs from end-user involvements, including those of patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs) and patient-reported experience measures (PREMs), and help gauge the actual impact in health care (including interaction between patients and health care providers).

Applicants are encouraged to establish dynamic relations and synergies with the following areas, where applicable:

  • Decision-making processes and tools, including social innovation;
  • Monitoring and evaluating the budgetary impact of health care interventions (i.e. innovative solutions, digital services and health care models);
  • Health technology assessment and cost-effectiveness analysis;
  • Artificial intelligence/deep learning tools in social medicine to determine causal factors of disease/conditions and develop interventions;
  • Data sharing between different institutions;
  • European Health Data Space (EHDS);
  • Open source and/or common building blocks used in Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) (e.g. eDelivery, eID);
  • Standards and mechanisms to allow for interoperability between primary and secondary use of data;
  • Privacy-preserving protocols for secondary use of data for public health policy-making and research;
  • Federated/distributed access or data processing protocols for data-driven decision-support tools for better health care delivery and policy-making.

Proposals should adopt a patient-centred approach that empowers patients, promotes a culture of dialogue and openness between citizens/patients, caregivers, health care providers and other relevant stakeholders, and unleashes the potential for social innovation.

Whenever the data sources proposed to be used by the applicants include genomics data, the proposals should consider the data standards and legal, ethical and technical interoperability requirements and guidelines agreed under the 1+ Million Genomes Initiative where relevant.

If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Community Integration, European Citizenship, Shared Services
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
United States of America
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
United States of America
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Call opens 22.06.2021
Call closes 21.09.2021
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 10.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 40.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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