EU Cancer Research Opportunities

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EU Funding for Health Research

The Cancer Mission, titled Conquering Cancer: Mission Possible, aims to improve the lives of more than 3 million people, with individuals living longer and better, achieve a thorough understanding of cancer, prevent what is preventable, optimise diagnosis and treatment, support the quality of life of all people exposed to cancer, and ensure equitable access to treatment the above across Europe.  

You can get a full overview of the Cancer Mission and topics in a dedicated newsletter delivered by Irelands National Contact Points for health which was published this month.

Save the date - European Funding for Cancer Research

On 1st March 2022 from 10 -1 pm Ireland’s National Contact Points will be running a cancer specific EU Funding for Cancer Research Information day to give all researchers a deep dive into upcoming funding opportunities across all EU programmes, including EU4Health. Please use the following Eventbrite link to register for the event.  

Cancer Mission

The official 2021 - 2022 work programme for the Cancer Mission launched in January, with three Call Topics currently open to researchers on the EU funding and Tenders Portal focused:

  • Cancer Screening and Early Detection HORIZON-MISS-2021-CANCER-02-01: Develop new methods and technologies for cancer screening and early detection
  • Improving Quality of Life: HORIZON-MISS-2021-CANCER-02-02: Develop and validate a set of quality of life and patient preference measures for cancer patients and survivors
  • Understanding Risk Factors: HORIZON-MISS-2021-CANCER-02-03: Better understanding of the impact of risk factors and health determinants on the development and progression of cancer

Please note the deadline for applications is, 26 April 2022

For any researcher planning to apply as an Irish partner to any of these calls, please do let us know by emailing and we will do our best to support you.  

Innovative Health Initiative (IHI)

The IHI, building on the success of its predecessor the Innovative Medicine Initiative, is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the EU and European life sciences industries with a total budget of €2.4 billion. The aim of the IHI will be to drive forward and fund health research and innovation across Europe to have a tangible and direct benefit for patients and society.

 The first calls for proposals as part of the IHI will be launched in the first half of 2022, with some indicative draft call topics having been made available on the IHI website.

Within the current draft plans for the IHI are a number of cancer-related themes which may be of interest to cancer researchers in Ireland. In particular, two single-stage calls here

  • Next generation imaging and image-guided diagnosis and therapy for cancer
  • Precision oncology: Innovative patient-centric, multi-modal therapies against cancer

For anyone interested in the IHI, and on these indicative call topics, it is recommended you keep a close eye on the IHI website or you can sign-up to the dedicated IHI Irish newsletter for updates here.

EU4Health: €835 million in funding in 2022

The 2022 work programme under EU4Health was published earlier this month, offering a budget of €835 million to support organisations who are working to address urgent health priorities and improve health across the European Union. 

The fight against cancer is a key priority across all four strands of the 2022 programme, with almost €147 million ring-fenced to fund actions that support Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, of which there is substantial support (€105 million) for the prevention of different types of cancer.

Launched last year, EU4Health 2021-27 is the EU’s largest and most ambitious public health funding programme to date. With an overall investment of €5.3 billion, it’s more than 12 times higher than the EU’s previous public health programme. It is also the most diverse health programme ever launched, presenting significant new funding possibilities for a wide range of organisations, from charities and NGOs, to government agencies, healthcare, research institutions and the private sector. 

Funding opportunities in 2022 
EU4Health offers two distinct types of funding opportunities in the form of grants and tenders, both of which will fund specific actions that seek to address cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. 

Upcoming calls due to open over the course of 2022 will be relevant to cancer professionals, and will address:  

  • Cancer and other NCDs prevention, with a focus on health determinants;
  • Innovative approaches to prostrate, lung and gastric cancer screening;
  • Expansion of the inter-speciality cancer training programme.
  • The 2022 programme will also offer six procurement opportunities, totalling over €10 million. These include actions in:
  • Reducing inequalities in cancer care;
  • Understanding the quality of life of cancer survivors; 
  • Cancer risk factors including alcoholic beverages, childhood obesity and tobacco control policy.

For dedicated advice and guidance on all things EU4Health, contact Amanda Daly, National Focal Point (NFP) for EU4Health at the Health Research Board by email to or call +353 85 8620938. To find out more visit the Health Research Board’s dedicated EU4Health information page