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Medical research in the European Union

One of the objectives of the European Union is to improve the health of European citizens and boost the competitiveness of health-related industries and businesses, while addressing global health issues.

Therefore the EU fosters medical research at the European level. The main EU tools for funding research are framework programmes for research and technological development (FPs). They fund research at a transnational level and are designed to structure and integrate European-wide research, as well as build a ‘critical mass’ of expertise and excellence.

In the field of medical research the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7; 2007-2013) supports the following areas:

The FP7 promotes translational research, or the so-called ‘from bench-to-bedside’ approach, that leads from laboratory experiments through clinical research to applications in the clinic, that have practical benefits and improve the quality of life.
Special focus is on child health, health of the ageing population and gender-related health.
As the translation of basic discoveries into clinical applications is one of the main objectives, clinical research, including clinical trials, is expected to be a major tool used in the funded projects.

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