Round-up of Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 1 event

Research and Innovation Development Office

Category: Research news

15 November 2017

I attended an Information Day event last week around a new raft of Horizon 2020 calls heading our way over the next couple of years.

The day was structured around Societal Challenge 1 (Health, Demographic Change, and Wellbeing) of Pillar 3, and was hosted by the Welsh Government and Innovate UK.

As is the norm with these sorts of meetings, most of the content was delivered as text-heavy slides. Not all of that information will be included in this post, but I hope to be able to share all the slides with you in due course! Much, much more information in included in the Work Programme - the guiding document for all these calls up until 2020. It's well worth reading this if you want to apply.

There are three calls (with several sub-calls) in this Challenge:

  1. Better health and care, economic growth and sustainable health systems
  2. Digital transformation in health and care
  3. Trusted digital solutions and cybersecurity in health and care

As you can tell, these three themes actually include a huge swathe of health-related research areas. Call 1's remit stretches from the heavily biological end of the health spectrum right through to the social aspects. There are calls around personalised medicine, innovation with industry, infectious diseases and global health, innovative health and care systems (eg incorporating care into health systems), and the role of the environment in health (including climate change. There are strictly defined opportunities under each of those topics too, so be prepared to spend some time reading before applying!

Call 2 has a more focussed remit and fewer calls. It is concerned with data in large part, so there are calls relating to big data, digital health and care, smart living and working environments, and implementation of digital innovation, among others. This overarching call comes from the concept of the Digital Single Market, and echoes the goals of that project within a health and care focus. It's all about data-driven innovation, so likely consortia will include data experts as well as health experts. Another three pillars have been loosely defined to scope this set of calls: citizens' access to electronic health records, personalised medicine, and citizen empowerment.

Call 3 is smaller than call 2, and is about technology and solutions for health and care, with the focus on cybersecurity. Security can be considered in terms of physcial, technical solutions for things like access to hospitals, and in terms of protection against cyber attack. Computer scientists will team up with clinicians and health/care system experts in these calls.

I also received some great general guidance, useful to any Horizon 2020 applicant.

  • Always frame your bid to say that the project is more-or-less only possible with EU funding.
  • The UK is by far the 'biggest winner' in previous rounds of SC1.
  • The current Work Programme is the biggest, longest, and has the most money.
  • Research the policy context for any EU bid in SC1. Understand why the Commission wants to fund this topic.
  • Outcomes should be measurable, appropriate and clearly described.
  • Organisations like Enterprise Europe Network can help you find partners, as can RIDO.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about SC1, and if you are thinking of applying!

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