The European Commission and the European Investment Bank have announced the creation of HERA Invest, a €100 million top-up to the InvestEU programme, to support research and development (R&D) in the most pressing cross-border health threats, financed by the EU4Health programme.
Currently, European companies find it difficult to access sufficient public and private funding for the development and scaling up of cutting-edge solutions in health and life sciences. Innovation is needed to respond to priority health threats such as pathogens with high pandemic potential or resistance to antibiotics.
HERA Invest, a flagship initiative of the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, will focus on health emergency prevention and preparedness, helping address these challenges by:
- promoting R&D in Europe to strengthen strategic autonomy;
- reducing market failures, where financial resources do not cover the financing needs;
- leveraging public funding to incentivise private investment;
- creating new medical countermeasures to protect against health threats.
How does HERA Invest work?
The HERA Invest funding instrument is geared towards small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) that develop medical countermeasures addressing one of the following health threats:
- pathogens with pandemic or epidemic potential;
- chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats originating from accidental or deliberate release;
- antimicrobial resistance.
Under HERA Invest, the European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide venture loans, covering a maximum of 50% of total project costs. There is a rolling application process. The EIB assesses whether an operation is eligible based on defined criteria and the project’s commercial and scientific viability.