Scientific Panel for Health (SPH)

The European Commission's Scientific Panel for Health (SPH) is a science-led expert group based on the provisions of the Horizon 2020 Specific Programme that has been tasked with helping to achieve better health and wellbeing for all.

The Panel has three main roles:

  • to analyse and propose solutions to bottlenecks that prevent improvements in health,
  • to identify long term trends influencing health through foresight, and will recommend research and innovation priorities to respond to them,
  • to aid in the translation and implementation of research and innovation results into practice.

For more information, read the terms of reference.

Membership of the Panel

The Scientific Panel for Health consists of 27 experts across disciplines and activities, in the fields of research and innovation, in health and wellbeing. The SPH has advisors and liaisons to the community.  The group is chaired by Karin Sipido, Professor of Cardiology at KU Leuven and Past President of the Alliance for Biomedical Research in Europe.

Full list of members and advisors (Updated March 2017).

Biographies of the panel members and advisors.

Vision Paper 'Better Research for Better Health'

In 2015, the SPH set out its vision for the future of health and biomedical research in a working document that describes upcoming challenges and proposes a way forward through intensified cross-border collaboration, an enabling regulatory environment and a comprehensive research policy.

Then based on discussions during the public forum 'Better Research for Better Health', the SPH finalized the vision paper with key recommendations.

The document was submitted to stakeholders for consultation and feedback (summary) - Full version

SPH Plenary Meetings

The SPH publishes reports from its meetings, which are publicly available. Regulators and policy-makers are able to consult the documents and evidence provided and use this expert advice required to make the right decisions to achieve health and wellbeing in the future.

13/01/2015 – Brussels – First plenary meeting.  At this meeting the experts and the European Commission representatives met for the first time. The mandate of the SPH, their framework for action for the coming year, as well as a timetable of events were discussed. Discussions about future working groups focusing on specific research and innovation aspects were undertaken.  Read the executive summary of the meeting.

09/06/2015 – Brussels – Second plenary meeting. At this meeting the overall goals and working procedures were reviewed, and next steps defined.  Read the executive summary of the meeting.

30/10/2015 – Brussels – Third plenary meeting. At this plenary, the final one of the SPH's first year of activity, the internal workings of the SPH were reviewed, the draft of the SPH Vision Paper was discussed and content for the SPH conference on 21 January 2016 was refined. Read the executive summary of the meeting.


14/06/2016 – Brussels – Fourth plenary meeting. At this meeting the discussion focussed on the SPH plans for 2017-2020.

Read the minutes of the meeting.


20/01/2017 – Brussels – Fifth plenary meeting. At this meeting the discussion focussed on the content for the SPH conference on 09/06/2017, and the work plan for 2017.
Read the minutes of the meeting.


SPH Workshops and Events


21/01/2016 – Brussels –  Forum: 'Better research for better health’ A holistic approach to challenges & opportunities - Minutes of the Forum


07/04/2016 – Brussels – Workshop: The SPH, HTA and EUnetHTA


27/09/2016 – Brussels – Workshop: The next generation health research workforce. Read the executive summary of the workshop


28/09/2016 – Brussels – Workshop: Exploring mechanisms for long-term strategy in health research. Read the executive summary of the workshop 


09-11/10/2016– Berlin, World Health Summit; SPH-organised workshop: mechanisms and perspectives on research strategy and agenda setting 

09/06/2017 - Brussels - Forum: 'Health Research in a Connected and Participative Society'

Executive summary of the forum (PDF)
Final report (PDF)

15-17/10/2017 - Berlin, World Health Summit; the SPH organised a workshop on initiatives in health research.  Read the executive summary of the meeting


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