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The United States is a leader in top-class science, technology but also in innovation, providing innovation-friendly framework conditions and an investment climate that makes it an attractive place to commercialize innovative products, services and solutions. In addition, the US has one of the world’s strongest legal systems for the protection of intellectual property rights.
Therefore, the U.S has established a global network of scientific cooperation and is also a privileged partner country for the many EU Member States in science, technology or innovation cooperation.
As stated in the Roadmap EU – USA S&T cooperation (2018), reporting the statements of the EU and US leaders following the EU-US Summit in March 2014, a committee of the parties “to expand cooperation in research, innovation and new emerging technologies, and protection of intellectual property rights as strong drivers for increased trade and future economic growth” has been confirmed.
Most cooperation with the US is via the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) but also with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and outside government such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The EU as well as the NIH mutually opened the respective health research programmes to US and European scientists.
Focus on the USA in Horizon Europe
The US is the EU’s main partner when it comes to health research either in terms of numbers of US participation in the Framework Programme (both FP7 & Horizon 2020) projects.
Participation in Horizon Europe is open to any legal entity, regardless of their place of work, including legal entities from third countries not associated with the Program or international organizations, except for any different provision set out in the Work Program or in specific Calls. However, only legal entities established in a Member State or an Associated Country can be financed.
Even if the US is a Third Country not yet associated with the Horizon Europe Programme, eligibility for EU funding is granted for US participants only under the Cluster “Health” (Pillar 2) of Horizon Europe. Within the Work Programme Health in fact (page 8), this EU-US agreement is mentioned as follows:
In recognition of the opening of the US National Institutes of Health’s programmes to European researchers, any legal entity established in the United States of America is eligible to receive Union funding to support its participation in projects funded under the Health cluster.
Funding Programmes in the US supporting International Cooperation in the field Digital Health for AHA
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the cabinet-level health department of the US Federal Government and encompasses major federal agencies such as the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and many more.
The HHS serves as the key funding agency for healthcare services and research and has developed several programmes, initiatives, and funding opportunities to support the digital health ecosystem
A part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH – National Institute of Health is the largest biomedical research agency in the world and, with its National Institute of Aging is a key-agencies for cooperation programmes in Digital Health for AHA.
NIH | NIA – National Institute of Aging
NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behaviour of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centres, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. Among these, the NIA – National Institute on Aging leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of ageing and to extend the healthy, active years of life. In particular, NIA is the primary Federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer’s disease research. NIA aims can be summarized as follows:
- Understanding the interpersonal and societal factors of ageing
- Creating effective interventions for age-related diseases, disorders, and disabilities
- Addressing Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as caregiver burden
NIA pursues its mission by funding extramural research at universities and medical centres across the United States and around the world; maintaining active communication and outreach programs; and conducting a vibrant intramural research program at NIA laboratories in Baltimore and Bethesda, Maryland.
AGING WELL IN THE 21ST CENTURY: STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS FOR RESEARCH ON AGING | The document, most recently updated in 2016, is NIA’s “road map” for progress in ageing research and outlines its goals and vision. It provides a point of reference for setting priorities and a framework for systematically analysing the Institute’s scientific portfolio and assessing progress. In particular, the Goals set by this strategy are:
Understanding the Dynamics of the Aging Process
- Goal A: Better understand the biology of ageing and its impact on the prevention, progression, and prognosis of disease and disability.
- Goal B: Better understand the effects of personal, interpersonal, and societal factors on ageing, including the mechanisms through which these factors exert their effects.
Improving the Health, Well-Being, and Independence of Adults as They Age
- Goal C: Develop effective interventions to maintain health, well-being, and function and prevent or reduce the burden of age-related diseases, disorders, and disabilities.
- Goal D: Improve our understanding of the ageing brain, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Develop interventions to address Alzheimer’s and other age-related neurological conditions.
- Goal E: Improve our understanding of the consequences of an ageing society to inform intervention development and policy decisions.
- Goal F: Understand health differences and develop strategies to improve the health status of older adults in diverse populations.
Supporting the Research Enterprise
- Goal G: Support the infrastructure and resources needed to promote high-quality research.
- Goal H: Disseminate information to the public, medical and scientific communities, and policymakers about research and interventions.
Latest about EU-US cooperation
On 29 September 2021 the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) met for the first time in Pittsburgh. The TTC has been created at the June 2021 EU-US Summit as a joint initiative aimed to coordinate approaches to key global technology, economic, and trade issues and to deepen transatlantic trade and economic relations.
Both countries aspire to drive digital transformation and are interested in mutual cooperation on the development and deployment of new technologies in respect of universal human rights and the environment.
The joint statement released in Pittsburgh also makes a brief nod to two global initiatives: the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), launched in 2020 under French and Canadian leadership, and incorporating 19 member states including the UK, India, South Korea and Australia, as well as the US and EU and the OECD Principles on AI, adopted in May 2019 by OECD member countries and Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Malta, Peru, Romania and Ukraine.
Finally, on October 18, following their first meeting in Pittsburgh last, representatives of the European Union and the United States agreed on the importance of and commitment to consulting closely with diverse stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic on their coordinated approaches to key global technology, economic, and trade issues. Therefore, the Commission launched an online consultation platform on the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), allowing stakeholders to share their views and provide common proposals on the work ahead. This is part of the EC Futurium Platform.