COCIR demands greater support for medical and digital health industry

The European trade association for the medical imaging, radiotherapy, health ICT and electromedical industry, COCIR, called this month for a ‘coherent funding framework’ to support digital health solutions throughout the innovation cycle.


The European Union’s proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 has a strong health dimension, with dedicated funding for health policies as well as for research and innovation, digital market, regional and cohesion funds and other support mechanisms that will increase the impact of health policies.

However, COCIR warns, “the devil is in the detail”, given the proposals recently published by the European Commission for the relevant funding programmes: Horizon Europe, Digital Europe and the Cohesion and Social funds.

“There needs to be a coherent funding framework that supports medical technologies and digital health solutions throughout the innovation cycle, spanning the various funding programmes,” says Nicole Denjoy, COCIR Secretary General.

“COCIR hopes that the European institutions will work together to finalise the legislative processes in time. Any funding gaps that may prevent European citizens from accessing the latest innovative technologies must be avoided.”

“We have proactively developed a mission proposal for digitising healthcare,” she continued. “This has been shared with, and we hope will be supported by, the European Commission and Member States.”

Horizon Europe, the Research & Innovation funding programme, has been allocated €100 billion in the Commission’s proposal.

This is the bare minimum, said COCIR, in a press release earlier this month - and should be increased to meet the needs of the R&I community.

“The lessons of Horizon 2020 need to be learned to address ongoing low success rates,” it commented.

“The Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness pillar will be vital; this is where research is translated into innovation for tackling our health and demographic challenges. Industry’s participation is crucial in bringing innovative health solutions to the market.

"Therefore COCIR welcomes the fact that both digital and health have been allocated specific sections, including a dedicated budget for supporting the digital transformation of health and care.”

The press release also expressed COCIR’s support of the newly created Digital Europe Programme, which backs the deployment of digital technologies.

“Health and care are specifically highlighted as areas of public interest, in line with COCIR’s recommendations earlier this year,” it said.

“The EU needs to go beyond research and innovation, funding the large-scale deployment of complex digital health solutions. This will be vital in supporting and scaling up the digital transformation of health and improving access to digital health technologies.”

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