The European Regions Network for Health Research & Innovation (RegHealth-RI) was a 2-year project funded by EU under the Horizon 2020 framework aimed at analysing, discussing and improving the performance of health research & innovation (R&I)across the different EU regions and countries.

As shown in the Regional Innovation Scoreboard, the performance of the European regions varies from the most advanced regions or “innovation leaders” to the least ones or “modest innovators”. The new Research Framework Program ‘Horizon 2020’ (H2020) and Structural Funds (SF) are believed to be a trigger to diminish the gaps among the EU regions.

In addition to these tools, some alternative and specific strategies can be addressed with the similar aim of balancing these marked differences and providing solutions to achieve a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of the regions as well as a better effectiveness of their R&I policies. The RegHealth-RI project sought for new measures and actions to reduce the differences in the R&I performance of the EU less-performing regions by focusing on the field of health, which is not only a value in itself but rather a driver for growth.

The project developed a multidisciplinary network, Regions for Health and Innovation Growth (RHInG-Net), formed by representatives of academic and R&D organisations, national and regional authorities, Horizon 2020 National Contact Points (NCPs) in health, industry and companies, etc., to deal with the main problems hindering health R&I in EU less-performing regions. Most of these organisation representatives were involved as active members of the network.

The final goal of the RegHealth-RI project was to contribute in a significant way to three key Horizon 2020 goals, namely, (1) reducing the gaps in health R&I across the EU regions, (2) widening the participation in H2020 and (3) facilitating synergies between H2020 and Structural Funds by proposing new initiatives and concrete approaches to EU, national and regional policy- and decision-makers.

Other concrete objectives of the project were:

  • Determining the State of the Art of the health R&I activities in EU regions to identify key factors, specific differences and common patterns that could explain the differences among EU regions.
  • Designing and elaborating indicators to measure the degree of development of the health R&I across the EU regions.
  • Developing networking activities and promoting the dialogue between different actors involved in health R&I in Europe, such as academic and R&D organisations, RIS3 and other national and regional authorities, EC and other EU organizations, industry, health/biotech clusters, S&T parks, Horizon 2020 NCPs, etc., in order to promote the exchange of knowledge and expertise.
  • Discussing on the divide in European health R&I to propose and bring possible remedial actions.
  • Disseminating the project results, via policy briefs, workshop reports and presentations, scientific articles, newsletters, etc., to the appropriate stakeholders, with a special focus to EC and regional decision-makers.

The project consortium was coordinated by Innovatec and consisted of two additional prestigious and relevant organisations in order to assure the quality and pertinence of actions conducted.

INNOVATEC is an independent Spanish firm, established in 1999, specialized in science, technology and innovation. The company provides qualified and tailor-made consultancy services to public authorities, companies and research organizations in the field of R&I and has a wide expertise in participating and coordinating EU funded research and innovation projects from FP7 (EVAL-Health, EULAC Health) and H2020 (InRoad, HEIRRI, Columbus) programmes. As coordinator of the ‘RegHealth-RI project’, INNOVATEC was in charge of managing the research actions conducted as well as supporting the consortium in any research and administrative task.

EUREGHA is a network of 13 European Regional and Local Health Authorities focused on public health, which was created in 2006. Today, it is a legally established organization with a permanent Secretariat in Brussels and has become a privileged interlocutor for the EU institutions and other stakeholders. EUREGHA is the network of reference for regional and local authorities in health related issues and offers a wide range of services and opportunities of cooperation. EUREGHA aims to create synergies between regional and local authorities and EU stakeholders in the field of health issues with a very simple but important focus: working together for more sustainable and efficient health care systems.

Founded in 1924, the University of Trieste is a medium-sized university with a student population of approximately 20,000. It offers a wide range of degree programmes at bachelor, master and doctoral level as well as short vocational masters, advanced masters and specialisation programmes, most of which are in the medical area. Some degree programmes are taught in English. The university is involved in various student and staff exchange programmes with universities in the EU and collaborates with several universities from Eastern Europe and other non-EU countries. It also participates in many research projects at national and international level.

A more in-depth description of the project including main objectives, work to be done, relevant outputs and results, etc., may be found through the different documents below:

  • Kick-off meeting presentation by project coordinator [link]
  • State of the art of health research and innovation (R&I) in EU regions [link]
  • Policy Briefs of the RegHealth-RI Workshops in Madrid, Trieste and Zagreb [link]
  • Policy Brief of the RegHealth-RI Final Conference in Brussels [link]
  • Main results obtained by RegHealth-RI project (presentation)  [link]
  • European Regions’ Network for Health Research and Innovation (Flyer)  [link]
  • Newsletter No.1 of ‘RegHealth-RI’ project [link]
  • Newsletter No.2 of ‘RegHealth-RI’ project [link]
  • Newsletter No.3 of ‘RegHealth-RI’ project [link]
  • Newsletter No.4 of ‘RegHealth-RI’ project [link]