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Horizon 2020 funding: research and innovation for pandemic diseases

This brief provides an overview of health-related capabilities across the EU27 Member States and the UK in the immediate pre-COVID-19 period, in order to potentially inform future funding and policy priorities in relation to health and pandemics.
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Abstract

An analysis of health spending under Horizon 2020 prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 shows that funding has been directed almost overwhelmingly towards curative care, diagnosis and therapy, rather than disease prevention and vaccination.The concentration of H2020 pandemic-related funds is slightly greater than that of the overall spatial distribution of H2020 funding allocation. Regions in central and northern Europe are the strongest in both cases. However, a Mediterranean belt of contiguous regions displaying strong relative specialisation in disease-related R&I and running from Southern Spain to North Central Italy can also be determined. Research organisations and higher education establishments are the most numerous participants in pandemic-related research collaborations. Private sector partner collaborations are comparatively few in number. About 1 in 4 H2020 pandemic-related projects incorporate non-EU partner organisations. Extra-EU collaboration is dominated by organisations from Switzerland, Israel, the USA and Norway.