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Fierce competition in the last Horizon 2020 COVID-19 and Health calls


29th July 2020 at 9:06 am



June was a rather busy month for Horizon 2020 Health applicants with three submission deadlines and no less than 36 different call topics: 17 Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) , two Innovation Actions (IA), 14 Coordination and Support Actions (CSA, two Pre-commercial Procurements (PCP) and one Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI). In addition to the Horizon 2020 Health calls with initial deadlines in April 2020, the European Commission has also launched the second call for innovative and rapid solutions addressing COVID-19 with the deadline on 11 June 2020, leaving applicants less than a month to prepare competitive proposals.

We have collected the call statistics and estimated the chances of success based on the call budgets, published on the EU`s Funding & Tenders portal.

Coronavirus research: 454 applications competing for about 20 grants

Despite the relatively short notice, the European Commission has received a large number of proposals aiming to fight the COVID pandemic at different fronts. Calls on digital devices (PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2B) and socio-economic impacts (PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2C) have attracted close to 85% of all applications presumably because of their less specific scope compared to the other three calls. Overall, we estimate that most of these calls will have success rates lower than 10%.

As stated in the call update, we can expect the evaluation results to be communicated by the EC in August 2020.

SC1-PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2. Deadline: 11 June 2020. Results expected in August 2020.

Call ID Number proposals submittedCall budget (million)Budget per project (million)Estimated number of proposals fundedEstimated chance of success (%)
PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2ARepurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment (IA)36235-6411.6
PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2BMedical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels (IA)221282-583.6
PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2CBehavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak response (RIA)162204-1031.8
PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2DPan-European COVID-19 cohorts (RIA)212015-2014.8
PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020-2ENetworking of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19 (CSA)1432-318.6

Health calls: Large number of proposals in digital health

The SC1-BHC-06-2020 call on digital diagnostics was largely oversubscribed, representing 37% of all SC1-BHC single-stage applications and potentially resulting in a 2% success rate based on the planned call budget. Other calls on digital health, including SC1-DTH-02-2020, SC1-DTH-04-2020, SC1-DTH-12-2020 and SC1-DTH-06-2020, also attracted a relatively high number of proposals and are likely to have a 4 to 10% chance of success.

Competition in the two-stage calls was less fierce because of the preselection of the best proposals in stage 1, resulting in expected success rates of between 40 and 65% for the second stage.

The procurement calls have received a small number of applications, which leads to significantly higher estimated chances of success. The specific call requirements can be considered as the main reason for the lower number of proposals submitted. European hospitals, representing an integral part of the public procurers, had also limited availability to prepare applications because of their duties related to the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Given that the evaluation process, can take up to five months, we would expect to receive the results by November 2020 at the latest.  

SC1-BHC-2018-2020. Deadline: 4 June 2020. Results expected in October-November 2020.

Call IDNumber proposals submittedCall budget (million)Budget per project (million)Estimated number of proposals fundedEstimated chance of success (%)
SC1-BHC-06-2020Digital diagnostics – developing tools for supporting clinical decisions by integrating various diagnostic data (RIA)158408-1532.2
SC1-BHC-11-2020Advancing the safety assessment of chemicals without the use of animal testing (RIA)236010-20417.4
SC1-BHC-17-2020Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) – Prevention and/or early diagnosis of cancer (RIA)30201-31033.3
SC1-BHC-20A-2020Pre-commercial procurement (PCP) for integrated care solutions7255-6457.1
SC1-BHC-20B-2020Public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI) for diagnostics for infectious diseases23-5150.0
SC1-BHC-33-2020Addressing low vaccine uptake (RIA)2292-3416.4
SC1-BHC-34-2020New approaches for clinical management and prevention of resistant bacterial infections in high prevalence settings (RIA)152510-15213.3
SC1-BHC-35-2020Creation of a European wide sustainable network for harmonised large-scale clinical research studies for infectious diseases (RIA)23025-30150.0
SC1-BHC-36-2020Micro- and nano-plastics in our environment: Understanding exposures and impacts on human health (RIA)51254-659.8
SC1-DTH-12-2020Use of Real-World Data to advance research on the management of complex chronic conditions (RIA)78414-6810.5
SC1-BHC-08-2020, stage 2New interventions for Non-Communicable Diseases (RIA)25804-61664.0
SC1-BHC-24-2020, stage 2Healthcare interventions for the management of the elderly multimorbid patient (RIA)19504-61052.6
SC1-BHC-29-2020, stage 2Innovative actions for improving urban health and wellbeing – addressing environment, climate and socioeconomic factors (RIA)19354-5840.9
SC1-DTH-13-2020, stage 2Implementation research for scaling up and transfer of innovative solutions involving digital tools for people-centred care (RIA)10203-4657.1

SC1-DTH-2018-2020. Deadline: 18 June 2020. Results expected in October-November 2020.

SC1-DTH-02-2020Personalised early risk prediction, prevention and intervention based on Artificial Intelligence and Big Data technologies (RIA)139324-664.6
SC1-DTH-04-2020International cooperation in smart living environments for ageing people (RIA)5582-434.8
SC1-DTH-06-2020Accelerating the uptake of computer simulations for testing medicines and medical devices (RIA)33326-8513.9
SC1-DTH-14-2020Pre-commercial Procurement for Digital Health and Care Solutions (PCP)394-5266.7

We will keep you updated on the final statistics once the results will be published.

Health projects and accelopment

We have been a partner for project administration in many health-related FP7 and H2020 projects. Our main tasks revolve around the coordination and management of projects and supporting the coordinator and partners with finance and reporting activities. We are currently involved in three ongoing Health projects: VANGUARD, EXIMIOUS and EURO SHOCK. More of our successful projects are listed here.

For more information about the evaluation process and inquiries, please contact Marco Cavallaro.

Marco Cavallaro
Research & Innovation Project Manager