18 June 2020

Reshoring the health industries in Europe

At its meeting on 18 June 2020, the "health technologies and industries" sector strategic committee (CSF) assessed recovery in this sector, reiterated the measures implemented to overcome the supply problems that emerged during the health crisis and unveiled an action plan for reshoring research projects and manufacturing sites for health products in France and Europe, with creation of a European industrial ecosystem for health in particular.

The health crisis has underscored the need for greater independence in health and industrial terms, regarding supplies of medicines and medical devices alike. With a view to reducing Europe’s and France’s dependence on other countries when it comes to health, the Government has rolled out initiatives bearing on research and support for industrialisation, production and storage of therapeutic products.

Reshoring production of the main active ingredients in paracetamol on national soil is an initial example of this initiative. Work is thus in progress with Seqens, Upsa and Sanofi aimed at equipping France to be able to reproduce, package and distribute paracetamol in the next three years.

Building European resilience to health crises

European tools for funding innovation have been harnessed to support the projects during the crisis. Accordingly, the EIC (European Innovation Council) call for applications in March 2020 is set to provide eight French health projects with funding worth up to EUR 57.4m, including several geared towards tackling Covid-19.

The "health technologies and industries" CSF has called for bolstered European coordination to support the European Union’s response capacity to health crises. The CSF thus commends the plan that the European Commission proposed on 27 May 2020, which makes health a central pillar of Europe’s recovery, with a new dedicated funding programme – EU4Health – and reinforcement of the research and innovation programme, “Horizon Europe”, on this theme.

Announced by the EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, the creation of a European industrial ecosystem for health must make it possible to steer all European efforts towards common goals, which particularly involve strengthening Europe’s strategic independence for health. This common will could be expressed in the design of new Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI).

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5 June 2020

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