Ex-post evaluation of the Health theme in FP7 - Case studies

Evaluation implemented by PPMI for DG RTD, 2017


What was the problem?

Ageing populations and healthcare provision are the most pressing societal and economic challenges in 21st-century Europe. It is predicted that by 2025, more than 20% of Europeans will be 65 or older, with a particularly rapid increase in the share of those over 80. Current medical treatments based on the “average patient” and a “one-size-fits-all” approach are frequently ineffective and may even be harmful among this older population. New tools are emerging that are considered game-changing in the way healthcare is provided. Medical technologies and personalised medicine promise improvements in the safety and efficacy of treatments. In addition, tailoring treatments to the specific needs of each individual could markedly reduce healthcare expenditure. To foster research in these areas, improve health of European citizens, and increase the competitiveness of European health-related industries, the European Commission funded research projects in the areas of personalised medicine and medical technologies. The funding was allocated through the Commission’s largest research funding programme, Framework Programme 7 (FP7).


What did PPMI do?

PPMI carried out in-depth analysis of all projects within the two target areas funded under the Health theme of FP7, and evaluated their outcomes. The research team used a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods: content analysis of the project reports; social network analysis of research project consortia; bibliometric analysis of projects’ publications; cluster analysis; and interviews with project beneficiaries and key stakeholders of the programme at the EU level. PPMI's evaluation team developed a specific topic model tailored to the two themes of the project, which helped to assess the timeliness of the funded research. Another key achievement of the project was our patent analysis, which assessed the valorisation and commercial exploitation of the results of research projects.


How did it contribute to solving the problem?

The results of this project informed the adjustment and development of future framework programmes. The project assessed efficiency in the use of public resources in health research funding, and the European added value provided by collaborative research. As a result, PPMI presented the impact and the achievements of projects relating to personalised medicine and medical technologies funded under the Health Theme in FP7 against the EU’s strategic objectives of the Framework programme. The research carried out throughout this project has also facilitated greater understanding of the extent to which research projects have attained their planned objectives, and how well funding was converted into results and impacts within the target study areas. 

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