Published 21 July 2021

Health Innovation Plan 2030: a budgetary effort, but a risk of increased complexity in the organization of research

Plateforme de Communication Rapide de l’Académie

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Health Innovation Plan 2030: a budgetary effort, but a risk of increased complexity in the organization of research

Press release of the French National Academy of Medicine (*)

July 21, 2021

In relation with the work of the Strategic Council for Health Industries (CSIS), the President of the Republic announced on June 29, 2021 the launching of a five-year investment plan of several billion euros of public and private funds to support health research and innovation by 2030. The French National Academy of Medicine welcomes the awareness by the government of the pressing budgetary needs of research in biology and health.

The Academy has quantified the dramatic decline in research funding in this field1, and has also underlined the urgent need to simplify research organization and governance2. The budgetary action programmed in the Plan will have to be perpetuated. It will not be sufficient to provide France with a strong research in biology and health, to reposition our country in the international competition, to attract talented people and investors needed to strengthen our innovation capacities. In the absence of a global reorganization of the national system, the landscape of research in biology and health will only become more complex with the creation of agencies with scopes often redundant.

To put in a relevant innovation policy, the Academy emphasizes the importance:

-to simplify the current organization of  health-biology research; to coordinate the policy of the various ministries covering research and the strategy of the multiple agencies and national organizations in health-biology; to identify a limited number of university hospital research centers, heads of regional networks with an international visibility in research; to integrate the university component of research, innovation and training into the governance of university hospitals, as done in neighboring countries ;

– to support upstream, so-called fundamental research, often at the source of disruptive innovations ; to restore the continuity from fundamental research to  clinical research and to better integrate university hospital research into innovation clusters; to reinvest in infrastructure and mid-weight equipment dedicated to biology and health; to ensure the freedom of researchers to explore innovative research avenues, outside of the evergoing administrative straitjacket  ; to invest in scientific fields that, although not media-friendly, are essential to prevention strategies, without which improving the quality of life in aging will be out of reach; to reform the mechanisms for allocating clinical research resources by the Ministry of Solidarity and Health;

– to promote public-private links by facilitating collaborations between public research and health companies and clarifying the scope of intervention offices between the local and the national levels.

(*) Press release of the Academy’s Rapid Communication Platform validated by the members of the Board of Directors on July 21, 2021.