Welcome to the Health Research website
Few of us realise the scope of resources invested and efforts mobilised to protect us from sickness or to nurture us back to good health. Whilst it is true that our health is often taken for granted, we always realise how precious it is whenever it is compromised or threatened. Governments and health authorities worldwide have the responsibility to safeguard people, as the health of a nation's population underpins its social, cultural and economic prosperity. It is the key to progress.
Investments in research are vital if Europe is to maintain its position as a health care provider and as one of the global leaders in medical research. By pursuing excellence in education, research, and innovation, Europe is creating new knowledge and ensuring the long-term well-being of citizens. The application of medical knowledge will no doubt strengthen Europe's competitiveness in the global marketplace.
The EU's commitment to health research has translated into the allocation of over EUR 6 billion to this area under the 'Cooperation' theme of the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7), established for the period 2007 to 2013. This represents a significant contribution into European science and technology for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and control of disease. It is designed to boost the capacity for innovation of health research in Europe. This investment will support a range of research activities and initiatives during FP7, with a particular focus on health biotechnology, translational research and the optimisation of health care delivery to citizens, as well as supporting EU policy needs.
Compared to earlier framework programmes, health research under FP7 is characterised by greater emphasis on translating basic knowledge into clinical applications, including the rigorous scientific validation of results, prerequisite to regulatory approval of new products. Besides the disease-oriented priority areas, some overarching issues, such as child health, the health of the ageing population and gender-related medical aspects have also been identified as strategic targets for European research.
EU-funded research projects typically include many scientists from different European and associated countries. They work in universities, research centres, hospitals, companies and associations, collaborating together with ambitious objectives that would be impossible to achieve by a single group or a single country. In recognition of the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises in the European research landscape, tailor-made measures have been put in place to facilitate their participation in the projects. Moreover, as global health challenges require actions at the level of the global research community, the scope for international cooperation has also been extended. With the help of leading international experts, all activities are shaped by an explicit commitment to ethics and to excellence, which is reflected in the strict evaluation processes applied in order to select only the best research projects.
Six websites cover activities in the fields of: Large scale data gathering & Systems Biology, Medical research, Infectious diseases and epidemics, public health, Biotechnology, Tools and Technologies and the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). There are also dedicated focus pages which explore the overarching issues applicable across the theme.
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