An international consortium comprising 14 organisations and led by the BSO has been successful in an application under the ‘Societal Challenges’ pillar of the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding programme. The project, which is entitled Mobile Assistance for Groups and Individuals in the Community (MAGIC), will receive a European Commission grant of €3.6m (£2.7m) for the development of solutions for post-stroke care. The terms of the grant require that solutions are developed and tested through pre-commercial procurement.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation funding programme ever, with almost €80bn available over 7 years (2014 – 20). With an emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges, its goal is to ensure that Europe produces world-class science, that barriers to innovation are removed and that it is easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
One of the areas of challenge funded under the Societal Challenges pillar of the programme is Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing, for which there is an overall indicative budget of €7.4bn. The focus of the 2014/15 funding round in respect of this challenge was on personalising health and care, within which one topic – Self management of health and disease and patient empowerment supported by ICT – was specifically directed at pre-commercial procurement projects. It was under this strand of the funding call that the MAGIC project bid was submitted.
Pre-commercial procurement can be used by procurers when no near-to-market solutions are available to meet requirements. It enables the procurement of R&D to develop and test potential solutions, and involves different suppliers competing through different phases of development.