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Amazing things can happen when sectors collide

On 24-26 September, Brussels is hosting the European Research and Innovation Days, a gathering of Europe’s best and brightest researchers, scientists, innovators and policy makers. Over three days, world leaders from industry, academia, regulatory, scientific community and industry gather to debate and shape the future research and innovation landscape. 
 
This inaugural annual event is a great opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of how important research and innovation are in addressing not only the most compelling societal challenges, but also in building a strong European economy.
 
EFPIA represents a vibrant research and innovation ecosystem: We employ 115,000 R&D staff in Europe alone and 750,000 in total in the EU; we invested more than €35 billion in R&D across the region in 2017 and we plan to sustain these R&D investment levels in Europe over the next 5 years.
 
A thriving environment that enables research, innovation and deployment is essential for highly research-intensive health sectors, and for economic growth in Europe.  For this reason, we welcome Horizon Europe, and its health research cluster and mission, which will contribute to creating the ecosystem that health research intensive sectors need. The health research programme proposed by the Commission and supported by the Council and the Parliament offers a broad range of complementary themes that place patients and health systems at the centre.  
 
Horizon Europe offers us the opportunity to create a unique platform that does not exist anywhere else: A multi-sector Partnership for health innovation to break the silos between different industries and their respective stakeholders.  We should not forget that Europe is leading in the field of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and can remain a global research hub if we ensure that health is a priority.
 
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and the Joint Undertakings demonstrated that some of the most difficult questions related to safety, efficacy or effectiveness and value and unlocking or derisking new research pathways can only be addressed when public and private sectors, the regulated and the regulators, share their assets and collective intelligence on an institutional platform. And we achieved significantly more when IMI was part of global networks and  able to capture in-kind resources from other geographies.
 
Having successfully tested the concept of “radical collaboration”, as heralded by Commissioner Moedas at the IMI’s 10th anniversary, and pushed the boundaries of precompetitive research in one sector in IMI, we are ready to push it into new and completely uncharted territory where different sectors will join forces with research and healthcare communities and maintain Europe at the forefront of medical and health systems innovation.  
 
We are excited about the level of engagement to date with our industry partners from other sectors, to build a truly integrated approach to addressing unmet patient and societal health needs. 

Magda Chlebus

Magda Chlebus, Executive Director of Science Policy & Regulatory Affairs at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical...
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