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European Funding MH - Key enabling technologies

This page provides information to researchers at The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences about European research funding opportunities.

Looking for something else? Visit our topic page about Research Funding at DMF or H2020. For any questions about European funding, contact our EU advisors Boukje Ehlen or Emma Walton.  

Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT): #

LEIT is a programme to support innovation, increase market uptake and to boost job creation in ICT, nanotechnologies, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing, and space.

The technologies addressed in this Work Programme make use of the concept of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), which are indicated in the call texts. 

  • TRL 1 – basic principles observed 
  • TRL 2 – technology concept formulated
  • TRL 3 – experimental proof of concept 
  • TRL 4 – technology validated in lab  
  • TRL 5 – technology validated in relevant environment (industrial environment in the case of KETs)  
  • TRL 6 – technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrial environment in the case of KETs)
  • TRL 7 – system prototype demonstration in operational environment
  • TRL 8 – system complete and qualified 
  • TRL 9 – Actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of KETs; or in space) 

On these intranet pages, only call topics with direct relevance to the Faculty of Medicine are described. More information on this topic can be found here.

Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials for more effective Healthcare  #

NMP 8 – 2014: Scale-up of nanopharmaceuticals production #

Deadline: Single stage 6 May 2012

Specific challenge: In nanomedicine the scale-up of nanopharmaceuticals production from pre-clinical laboratory scale to the quantity and GMP quality needed for clinical testing is severely hindered by a lack of pilot manufacturing capacity and supply infrastructure. The quantities required for clinical testing studies are modest (e.g. in the order of ten to hundred grams), but such pilot processes do not fit easily into existing manufacturing plants. The lack of a pilot manufacturing supply chain is especially problematic for SMEs and other organisations that do not have the necessary resources to develop the processes in-house. 

Scope: Projects shall develop one or more pilot lines and processes for the scaling-up of the production of innovative nanopharmaceuticals to the quantities needed for clinical testing, taking into account the medical regulatory requirements. The pilot lines shall be developed with the appropriate characterisation and quality control processes. Relevant medical regulatory requirements must be taken into account. Projects shall address industrial sustainablity from an economic, environmental and social point of view. The nanopharmaceuticals selected for scaling-up shall be translatable and in an advanced stage of pre-clinical development, with positives perspectives to proceed to clinical testing. Clinical testing itself is not part of the project. Scaling-up of nanopharmaceuticals production intended primarily for the therapy of cancer is excluded from the scope of this topic as it is addressed in topic NMP 11.

For this topic, proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans. Wherever possible, proposers could actively seek synergies, including possibilities for cumulative funding, with relevant national / regional research and innovation programmes and/or European Structural and Investment Funds in connection with smart specialisation strategies. Exploitation plans, outline financial arrangements and any follow-up should be  developed during the project.

The implementation of this proposal is intended to start at TRL 4-5 and target TRL 6-7. Implemented as cross-KET activities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 5 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. 

Expected impact:

  • Improve GMP nanopharmaceuticals supply for enabling clinical trials, further validating and demonstrating the effectiveness of nanopharmaceuticals for medical therapies;
  • Leveraging of existing investments in successful pre-clinical nanomedicine research;
  • Increase of the attractiveness of Europe as a location-of-choice to carry out advanced medical research and product development, due to improved nanopharmaceuticals supply capacity.

Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions 

NMP 9 – 2014: Networking of SMEs in the nano-biomedical sector #

Deadline: Single stage 6 May 2012

Specific challenge: Many innovative nano-biomedical developments are initiated by small companies. However, they often miss the necessary knowledge of the regulatory requirements for translation of their ideas, of the market and of the financial aspects of funding the developments and the business. The development and supply chain also show shortcomings.

SMEs are often fragmented, dispersed and rarely organised in representative associations to address these problems with the result of missed opportunities for innovation. This is especially true in nanomedicine, covering diagnostics, therapeutics and regenerative medicine. 

Scope: In order to alleviate this problem, the ETP Nanomedicine developed the concept of a 'Translation Hub'. This Coordination and Support Action shall provide advice and follow-up at all stages of the research and development and provide examples of best practice to European R&D teams in nano-bio-medicine. It shall provide SMEs and other organisations with a technological and business oriented assessment of their technologies and provide business advice before engaging further resources and efforts for preclinical and clinical tests. 

The Coordination and Support Action shall network SMEs, aiming to improve their knowledge of translation in a sustainable way; to build bridges with academia and hospitals; and to link them with large companies and investors. It shall provide education and training in translation and entrepreneurship to academia and SMEs and help the showcasing of preclinical or early clinical proofs of concepts to large companies and investors. It will assist nanomedicine research projects in better anticipating the requirements of the translation process, in order to improve the probability of the developments to reach the market. It will also seek synergies with other relevant SME support networks.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. No more than one proposal will be funded. 

Expected impact:

  • Reinforce support to European SMEs and academia as drivers of innovations in nanomedicine, by assisting them in the development of their bottom-up ideas, going from pre-clinical proof of concept to late clinical trials.
  • Improve the innovation capacity of the European nano-bio-medical sector – especially at the level of SMEs - through catalysing a more effective translation process from research into industrial marketable products.
  • Improve the knowledge in the research community of the translation, regulatory and business aspects of new nano-biomedical developments, leading to more efficient use of resources and research.
  • Improve the capacities of SME networks regarding technologies and facilities that are required to facilitate the transfer of scientific knowledge to market or to facilitate clinical studies.

Type of action: Coordination and Support Action 

NMP 10 – 2014: Biomaterials for the treatment of diabetes mellitus #

Deadline: First stage 6 May 2012

Specific challenge: Diabetes mellitus and its associated pathologies have become a major public health problem. They cause significant physical and psychological morbidity, disability and premature mortality among those affected and imposes a heavy financial burden on health services.9 The ultimate goal for all curative diabetes research is an effective long-lasting blood glucose normalisation and stabilisation for both type I and type II diabetic patients, at levels comparable to those achieved by intensive insulin therapy in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT). Despite improvements in insulin pharmaceutical efficacy and delivery methods, this approach still has major limitations, significantly impacting on patients’ quality of life.

Scope: Proposals should develop one or more functional biomaterials for the long-term clinical efficacy of transplanted pancreatic islets, and the safe and reliable harvesting of cells from identified source(s), which facilitate highly sensitive identification/screening and sorting of isolated cells; allow for easy handling and safe storage of isolated cells and/or tissue engineering constructs; provide immunoprotection and facilitate construct grafting in target anatomical areas; as well as clinically-reflective in vitro models useful as indicators of longterm in vivo behaviour. A realistic endpoint of the project should be described and justified.

Proposals should generate comprehensive pre-clinical data and after completion of the project, the material should be in an optimal position for entering clinical trials or, in case of innovative diagnostic tools, for the validation stage. Preclinical regulatory matters, including the investigational medicinal product dossier (IMPD), should be completed or taken to an advanced stage. Experimental protocols should be planned in accordance with the provisions of the Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) Regulation. Also, the standardisation and manufacturing process can be addressed including up-scaling and good manufacturing practice (GMP).

Activities expected to focus on Technology Readiness Level 5.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

  • Improvement of the quality of life of both Type I and Type II patients with diabetes mellitus;
  • Reduced direct and indirect costs linked to the disease and its treatment, and wide availability of treatments;
  • Implementation of relevant objectives of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (COM (2012)83).

Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions 

NMP 11 – 2015: Nanomedicine therapy for cancer #

Deadline: in 2015

Specific challenge: Promising pre-clinical nano-medicine proof-of-concepts have been developed for the therapy of cancer, but their translation into clinical therapies remains a major challenge. An important bottleneck is up-scaling under Good Manufacturing Practice  (GMP) conditions for the production of the nanomedicines from the pre-clinical laboratory scale to the quantity needed for clinical testing.

Scope: The aim is to translate promising novel nano-technology enabled therapies for cancer with pre-clinical proof-of-concept, from a pre-clinical lab stage up to Phase I clinical testing. The project shall start from an established pre-clinical proof-of-concept, with relevant efficacy and toxicity data. The project shall be focused on the translation process, so that ultimately new effective therapies can be introduced to the European healthcare market. An important aspect is the development of a pilot line for scaling-up the production of the nanomedicines and the quality control, taking into account GMP and medical regulatory requirements. Projects may include the later stages of pre-clinical testing and Phase 1 clinical testing, but the latter is not a requirement. Nanopharmaceuticals may be manufactured with either a top-down or a bottom-up approach, using for example self-assembling technology.

Applicants must describe, according to industrial criteria, how the various barriers for advancing their new therapy to clinical application will be overcome, including technical,

IPR, competitive, commercial and regulatory criteria, with efficacy and toxicity. Attention must be paid to clinical trial design and the foreseen research and commercial path to market introduction has to be well outlined.

The research is to be implemented from TRL 4/5 and target TRL 6/7. Implemented as cross-KET activities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 9 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

  • Potential major improvement in clinical cancer therapy, thereby providing enhanced quality of life for patients (taking gender and other diversities into account).
  • Potential reduced direct and indirect healthcare costs linked to the disease and its treatment.
  • Accelerated introduction of new nanotechnology enabled cancer therapy, through robust manufacturing and quality control procedures for new nanotechnology enabled drugs.

Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions 

NMP 12 – 2015: Biomaterials for treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease #

Deadline: in 2015

Specific challenge: An estimated 7.3 million Europeans between 30 and 99 years of age suffered from different types of dementias in the EU27 in 2006 (14.6 per 1 000 inhabitants), most of these being of the Alzheimer’s variety. Innovative approaches based on biomaterials can improve the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Scope: Proposals should develop new multifunctional biomaterials, as part of eventual Medical Devices and Advanced Therapies, which aim to create, optimise, enhance, substitute or support preventive and therapeutic interventions in Alzheimer’s disease. They can include: biocompatible and biodegradable biomaterials as part of minimally invasive treatments, theragnostic materials, and biocompatible materials that are easily degraded/cleared after completing their roles. The development of new drug candidates for Alzheimer’s and clinical trials are excluded.

The development of new integrated experimental and computational approaches aimed to describe interface processes and their determinants should be considered as the key step for the design of safe and performing materials. Experimental protocols should be planned taking due account of current good laboratory practice (GLP) and ISO guidelines. Standardisation and manufacturing processes can be addressed, including upscaling, good manufacturing practice (GMP), process analytical technology (PAT), and regulatory work in respect of relevant regulations as appropriate. 

Activities expected to focus on Technology Readiness Level 5.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

  • Improved quality of life due to minimally invasive action;
  • Reduced direct and indirect costs linked to the disease and its treatment;
  • Implementation of relevant objectives of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (COM (2012) 83).

Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions

Contact #

On all topics of European funding, you can contact our EU-advisor Boukje Ehlen

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