iKNOW ERA Toolkit

Applications of Wild Cards and Weak Signals to the Grand Challenges & Thematic Priorities of the European Research Area

Funded by Directorate-General for Research and Innovation Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities 


Display Wild Cards & Weak Signals

Health is a major theme of FP7, with a total budget of € 6.1 billion. The objective of health research under FP7 is to improve the health of European citizens and boost the competitiveness of health-related industries and businesses, while addressing global health issues.

European-funded health research focuses on three pillars:

1. Biotechnology, generic tools and medical technologies for human health

  • High-throughput research
  • Detection, diagnosis and monitoring
  • Prediction of suitability, safety and efficacy of therapies
  • Innovative therapeutic approaches and interventions

2. Translating research for human health

  • Integration of biological data and processes
  • Research on the brain and related diseases, human development and ageing
  • Research on infectious diseases
  • Research on major diseases: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes/obesity, rare diseases, other chronic diseases

3. Optimising the delivery of health care to European citizens

  • Translation of clinical outcome into clinical practice, including better use of medicines
  • Quality, efficiency and solidarity of health care systems
  • Enhanced health promotion and disease prevention

4. Other actions across the Theme include

  • Support for health research
  • Responding to EU policy needs

Emerging themes and issues

Health is known to be one of the main determinants of quality of life, and huge efforts are invested into attempts to deal with major threats to health, and improve treatment of and recovery from ill-health.  Technological breakthroughs have been common, and there are prospects for many more, some of considerable impact.  At the same time, health systems are under strain and there are great needs for service innovation.  New threats – or old threats in new forms – may reappear: epidemiologists are anxious about future flu pandemics, and AIDS and BSE demonstrate nature’s capacity to surprise us with new infectious diseases.

Click on the Display Wild Cards / Weak Signals button above to see selected issues associated to this theme.