EU research on chronic diseases

Chronic conditions and diseases are major causes of disability, ill-health, health-related retirement and premature death, and present considerable social and economic costs. 

In the list of priority diseases quoted in the Priority Medicines for Europe and the World Update Report, 2013, out of 24 diseases, six belong to this area, namely

  • osteoarthritis
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • tobacco-related diseases
  • hearing loss
  • low back pain.

In justifying the selection of these particular diseases as priority targets, WHO pointed out that their a) treatment does not exist or the existing treatment(s) is insufficiently effective, and b) these are diseases where basic research is needed to establish biomarkers.

Horizon 2020  does not specify chronic diseases as an area. This because the disease-centred approach has been abandoned in the work programmes in favour of more strategic, cross-cutting, horizontal and bottom-up calls. Diseases covered by this area attract substantial funding and represent a significant portfolio in the health research.

Funding opportunities

Collaboration and jobs

Projects and results

  • EU-funded projects (CORDIS)

    Projects in the field of chronic diseases on the Commission's primary portal for results of EU-funded research projects.

  • Project success stories

    Stories of particularly successful EU-funded research projects.

  • Horizon Results Platform

    Platform where framework programme funding recipients present their results to search, contact their owners and form partnerships.

  • Health programmes database

    Database that provides information on the nature of health projects and their results. Managed by the Commission's Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency.

Scientific publications, tools and databases

  • Horizon 2020 dashboard

    Interactive reporting platform, composed of a set of sheets that allows series of views to discover and filter Horizon 2020 data.

  • Scientific publications

    Scientific publications produced by the European Commission (JRC)

  • Horizon 2020 dashboard

    Interactive reporting platform, composed of a set of sheets that allows series of views to discover and filter Horizon 2020 data

  • EU Open Data Portal

    Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions. All data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

  • OpenAIRE

    You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE.


  • Research enquiry service

    You can contact the research enquiry service to find out more about research in Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.  

  • National contact points

    The national contact points (NCP) network gives guidance and information on participating in Horizon 2020. NCPs are established in all EU countries and many non-EU countries.

  • European IP Helpdesk

    Service that offers an intellectual property rights helpline, training and online library.

Related Commission departments