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The Case for Europe as a Leader in Research and Innovation for Global Health


Europe is well placed to take a lead role in developing global health research and innovation. This paper explores the potential and makes recommendations for Europe’s role in research and innovation to improve global health. It highlights the need for coherence between Horizon 2020 and other key EU policies, including that on the EU’s role in global health, and the potential for global health research to play an instrumental role in achieving Europe 2020 goals of growth, innovation and social inclusion. Recommendations for research mechanisms and strategies to develop Europe’s role in and progress global health research and innovation include: special mechanisms to promote and support research that is cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary, involving both technological and social innovation; special mechanisms to ensure continued fair, equitable and needs-oriented collaboration with LMICs, including joint priority and agenda setting, management, exploitation of results; research that acknowledges the ‘right to health’ and European values in health such as equity, universality and access; innovation stimuli which take into account the special characteristics of health technologies and products, such as long lead times, high intensity of investments, high attrition rates, and the lack market incentives for investing in medicines for poor populations; previous experience has shown the gains to be achieved from global, collaborative health research and that some innovations can only occur on a regional/international level; the large and complex character of many global health challenges makes them particularly suited to a ‘grand challenges’ approach to developing global health, which involves cross-sectoral research conducted by multinational consortia within and beyond the EU.