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MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Improving noise reduction

The Silentwood project has developed sophisticated noise-reducing wall panels and doors. In addition to spurring growth and jobs in the doors/panels application sector, Silentwood will provide direct economic and health benefits to the EU.
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EuResist - Enhancing HIV treatment with more precise patient modeling

HIV is not curable but it is treatable, states Dr Francesca Incardona, CEO of EuResist Network GEIE and research area manager at Informa Srl, the SME responsible for coordinating the EuResist project.
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SILCO - Doing away with bacteria in water systems

The SILCO project has developed an innovative monitoring device that senses the elimination process of complex bacterial communities known as biofilm and unsafe bacteria from drinking water systems. The prototype successfully killed legionella bacteria at a natural source spa in Slovakia
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FIRELI - New hose equipment to increase safety of firemen

Every year, fires affect large areas of forest in Europe - mostly in the Mediterranean countries, where an average of around 500,000 hectares are destroyed annually. That is the equivalent of 50 times the land area of Paris. The economic cost is estimated at between €600 and €800 million per year.
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Smart irrigation technology set to reduce costs and save water

Due in large part to inefficient water irrigation systems, the agriculture industry wastes 60% of the water it uses each year, or 70% of the world's freshwater. WaterBee has developed a smart irrigation system to reduce this wastage, thereby saving money and increasing both crop quality and yield.
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NANORAY - A portable x-ray machine

X-ray technology has existed for more than 100 years, but in spite of repeated efforts no one has found a way of solving the problems involved in making X-ray machines portable. Now, thanks to an innovative European Union (EU) funded multinational research project, that breakthrough has at last been achieved.
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CleanHatch - New high-tech solution to clean fish hatcheries

Due to increased market pressure to produce high quality and low cost fish, the aquaculture industry has been forced to develop technologies that reduce the level of risk to investors yet maintain reliable production output.
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Let there be sight

Transplanting the human cornea (1) can enable a blind person to see. But it requires the perfect human donor match and there are no guarantees of success. A group of EU-funded SMEs and researchers, however, has developed an artificial cornea that offers failed transplant patients a potentially life-changing alternative.
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Health

Research SMEs are the main economic drivers of healthcare, biotechnology and medical technologies. Their innovative potential has been recognized and their participation in EU-supported research is being actively sought. The involvement of high tech SMEs in the health and biotechnology sectors gained momentum during FP6 and they are now set to play an even more prominent role in FP7. SMEs that provide a service, for example management or intellectual property expertise, are also able to participate.

EUR 6 billion are dedicated to the Health theme in the Seventh Framework Programme, of which at least 15%, 900 million is expected to go to SMEs.

A priority of the Health theme is the inclusion of ‘high-tech’ SMEs in most projects throughout the work programme.

SME input in research and innovation is particularly encouraged in certain specific topics for Collaborative Projects (small or medium-scale focused research projects) targeted to SMEs. The expected results of these projects should clearly be of interest and potential benefit to SMEs. The relevant consortia should have at least 40% of the requested EC contribution going to SMEs (those projects should not necessarily be coordinated by the participating SMEs).

Objectives

The objective of this theme is to improve the health of Europe’s citizens and increase the competitiveness of companies active in the European health sector. At the same time, it seeks to address major health issues, such as emerging epidemics. The emphasis will be on translational research (translating research results into clinical applications), the development and validation of new therapies, methods of health promotion and disease prevention, diagnostic tools and technologies, as well as sustainable and efficient health care systems.
A special focus will be put on child health, the ageing population, gender issues, international cooperation, patient groups and SME participation.

Areas of Health Research covered in FP7

The three pillars of activities that European-funded health research will focus on include:

  • biotechnology, generic tools and medical technologies for human health;
  • translating research for human health;
  • optimising the delivery of healthcare to European citizens.

This ambitious programme of research will help the EU understand how to:

  • promote good health, to prevent and treat major diseases and to deliver health care;
  • integrate the vast amount of genomics data to generate knowledge and applications;
  • foster translational health research;
  • allow Europe to contribute more effectively to international efforts combating diseases of global importance;
  • reinforce policy-driven health research at the European level and especially the comparisons of the models, systems and data of national databases;
  • support a European Technology Platform on innovative medicine;
  • contribute to the development of norms and standards for new advanced therapies (e.g. regenerative medicine) needed to help EU industry face worldwide competition;
  • consider and integrate gender aspects in research;
  • address the two strategic issues of child health and the health of the ageing population.

Scope of Health Research and Opportunities in other Thematic Areas

The scope for health research is extremely broad with opportunities for health research funding arising under other themes. These include Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology; Information and Communication Technologies; Nanosciences.

Opportunities for SMEs

Detection, diagnosis and monitoring research such as imaging and analytical tools should involve SMEs and the participation of SMEs in immunotherapy is also strongly encouraged. SMEs should play a significant role in regenerative medicine. Research into anti-microbial drug resistance will involve SMEs significantly. The involvement of SMEs in fighting emerging epidemics is paramount for a number of topics in this field, as well as with neglected infectious diseases.

Collaborative projects: Joint Technology Initiatives
“Innovative medicines for the citizens of Europe”

European Medicines Agency
The European Medicines Agency is a decentralised body of the European Union with headquarters in London. Its main responsibility is the protection and promotion of public and animal health, through the evaluation and supervision of medicines for human and veterinary use.

For more information on the Health theme see pages on CORDIS.