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Opportunities ahead: Call topics from the EU’s Cancer Mission in 2024

19th March 2024 at 3:06 pm

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and strikes regardless of age, social status, or gender, claiming millions of lives annually. In 2019 alone, it accounted for an estimated 10 million deaths globally (1 in 6 deaths), leaving a trail of physical, emotional, and financial strain on individuals, families, communities and health systems. Clearly, more research and innovation is required to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this group of diseases.

Along these lines, and to deepen our understanding of the complexity of cancer, the European Commission launched the EU Cancer Mission, one of five missions included in Horizon Europe’s research and innovation programme for 2021-2027. The EU’s mission is to improve the lives of more than 3 million people through prevention, cure and for those affected by cancer including their families, to live longer and better. By harnessing the power of research, innovation, and collaboration, the EU aims to deliver tangible changes by 2030.

Work programmes under Horizon Europe cover a wide range of research and innovation ideas, are released annually or bi-annually and are updated and reviewed throughout the funding period. They outline various types of funding opportunities, including Collaborative Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), Innovation Actions (IA), Coordination and Support Actions (CSA), European Research Council (ERC) grants for individual researchers, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) for researchers’ mobility and training and European Innovation Council (EIC) funding for innovative startups and SMEs.

Are there relevant call topics for your research interests?

The Cancer Mission offers an opportunity for all scientists and companies involved in cancer-related research at a time when the Cluster 1 Health work programme 2023/24 is coming to an end, without many open call topics. The draft Horizon Europe Cancer Mission work programme includes six call topics which are expected to be opened and published on the EU Funding and Tenders Portal on 9 April 2024 with a submission deadline on 18 September 2024.

Health research funding under Horizon Europe: In 2024, the Cancer Mission provides 119 million EUR, while Cluster 1 provides 509 million EUR. The Cancer Mission funded 13 projects under 4 call topics in 2023. In 2024, there are 6 call topics and it is expected that 13 projects will be funded.
All numbers are based on the draft work programme 2024 for the Cancer Mission.

Is there funding for your follow-up projects?

Have you been involved in a H2020 or Horizon Europe funded cancer research project that is coming to an end or still ongoing and you are thinking about preparing a follow-up project? As we have been looking into this for our current cancer projects MyPath, ThermoBreast and GLIOMATCH, we would like to share our initial analysis of the forthcoming call topics.

Call TopicType of actionBudget
Expected funded projectsClusterSpecific details
HORIZON-MISS-2024-CANCER-01-01: Use cases for the UNCAN.eu research data platformRIA30 million1Understanding’ clusterPage limit: 70 pages
HORIZON-MISS-2024-CANCER-01-02: Support dialogue towards the development of national cancer data nodesCSA3 million1‘Understanding’ and ‘Quality of Life’
HORIZON-MISS-2024-CANCER-01-03: Accessible and affordable tests to advance early detection of heritable cancers in European regionsIA35 million3‘Prevention and Early Detection’TRL 5-7 by the end of the project
HORIZON-MISS-2024-CANCER-01-04: Support a pragmatic clinical trial programme by cancer charitiesCSA3 million1‘Diagnostics and Treatment’
HORIZON-MISS-2024-CANCER-01-05: Improving the understanding and management of late-effects in adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancerRIA36 million6‘Quality of Life’
HORIZON-MISS-2024-CANCER-01-06: An information portal for the European Cancer Patient Digital CentreIA12 million1‘Quality of Life’TRL 5-7 by the end of the project
Overall indicative budget (euro)119 million

Is there anything specific about Cancer Mission proposals and projects?

Based on our experience with the two Cancer Mission funded projects ThermoBreast and GLIOMATCH, there are several points to consider in the proposal and during the project implementation. For example, consortia are required to collaborate with other funded projects/consortia as part of the Cancer Mission Clusters (there are several). To reflect this collaboration, the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) which manages all health-related Horizon Europe projects, including Cancer Mission projects, requests several Cluster-specific deliverables to be achieved in the projects. These are typically included in the communication and dissemination work package and can be one or all of the following deliverables:

There might be additional deliverables or Cluster-related activities required. When preparing our second Cancer Mission proposal, namely GLIOMATCH, we were able to address the Cancer Mission specifics already at the proposal stage, which helped us a lot in the grant preparation process and the launch of the project and we believe helped us repeat our score (15 out of 15) obtained with ThermoBreast.

Applying for the Cancer Mission with accelopment

If you are planning a Cancer Mission proposal and are interested in getting external support or are looking for an experienced project management, communication and support partner, we would love to hear from you. We at accelopment have been involved in other successful Horizon Europe Health projects, such as COVend, GENEGUT, EDiHTA and EU PAL-COPD. These are in addition to our ongoing Horizon Europe projects and even more Horizon 2020 Health initiatives, such as AI-Mind, ENVISION, EURO SHOCK, EXIMIOUS and VANGUARD. We are experienced and ready to support you every step of the way, including during the preparation of the clinical study document.

Dr. Eva Avilla Royo
Research & Innovation Project Manager