The European Commission is preparing for the crucial phases of the implementation of Horizon Europe (HE), the next EU research and innovation programme (2021-2027) with a proposed budget of 100 billion. In view of an intensive co-design approach, the Commission has launched an online consultation to collect inputs from across Europe and beyond about the document “Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan implementing the research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe” aimed to inform and stimulate the process to shape the European research and innovation investments in the coming years.
Moreover, from 24 to 26 September, 2019 the Conference “European Research and Innovation Days” took place in Bruxelles and represented a key event of the process for the investments shaping. The strategic plan that will be prepared at the end of the co-design process will contain the work programmes and calls for proposals for the first 4 years of HE (2021-2024).
TEDDY provided its own contribution to the design of the next programme participating to the consultation and drawing attention on the paediatric issues that need stronger investments in order to deliver more benefits to the paediatric population. The paediatric topic is not specifically mentioned in the “Orientations” document and not considered as a global challenge as it is! There is the need to draw up the EC attention on the paediatric specificity especially when the cluster 1 (HEALTH) is addressed. It should be underlined that in lack of a paediatric centred vision children will remain excluded by most of the potential effects of HORIZON EUROPE. On the contrary, for a global new integrated approach and person-centred health care tailored on the specific needs of children it is necessary to expand to the paediatric sector all the opportunities offered by new tools, technologies, and digital solutions that are particularly important in the drug and innovative products developmental process. The paediatric sector should be enabled to respond to the rapid advancements into the drug discovery, covering the whole development process, from the preclinical phase to the clinical studies. Horizon Europe research and innovation investments should address these challenges providing support to foster excellence and innovation in favour of the paediatric population.