In October 2015, the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) were proud to host a national Horizon 2020 funding event in Leeds, in collaboration with the AHSN network, Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Medical Research Council (MRC), and NHS European Office, to launch the 2016 -17 work programme for Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing as part of Horizon 2020, the EU’s overarching research and innovation funding programme.
The event, aimed at increasing and encouraging collaboration nationally and internationally in health research and innovation, successfully brought over 200 delegates from SMEs and NHS organisations together with the academic community in order to explore funding opportunities and partnerships.
Participants at the event benefited from useful advice on achieving success in the highly competitive Horizon 2020 environment from organisations who had previously successfully bid for funding; gained an overview of the work programme calls for 2016‐2017; and received practical guidance and signposting to a range of organisations with the remit and resources to support ideas and collaborations, including the extensive partnering database and expertise available via the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).
Speakers included Jeremy Bray, Policy Officer, European Commission; Sarah Collen-Godman of NHS European Office; Terry O’Neill, Head of Health, KTN; John Holden, Director Policy, Partnerships & Innovation, NHS England and a video address from George Freeman, Minister for Life Sciences.
Case study experiences from the Yorkshire & Humber region included Steve Roberts from Fripp Design & Research, a Rotherham based SME awarded SME Instrument funding to explore 3D printing in silicone for prosthetics, and Michelle Battye, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, EU Project Coordinator for the TRUST project for training of urology scientists.
Workshop sessions provided detailed information and guidance on a range of subject areas including:
• Support for public procurement of innovation
• Managing ethical, legal and administrative requirements in EU grants
• Funding available for small and medium sized businesses (the SME Instrument)
• Understanding health wellbeing and disease
• Treating and managing diseases
• Active Ageing and Self‐Management of Health
On summarising the day, Philippa Hedley-Takhar, Head of Investments & Partnerships, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said “It has been a pleasure to work in collaboration with our national and international partners to deliver this event. We are delighted with the positive feedback from the delegates and to have been part of such a well-attended and informative event which highlighted the extensive health research and innovation funding opportunities that exist and the practical support networks and infrastructure available to SMEs, NHS organisations and academia to enable successful responses to these opportunities. We look forward to ongoing conversations with the Yorkshire & Humber healthcare communities in relation to European health research, innovation and funding streams.”