MI-1 to IMI-2: One step further

Last week, EFPIA announced the launch of the second phase of the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI2). This public-private partnership between the European Commission and EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, will continue to build a stronger, more sustainable healthcare ecosystem.

What is the Innovative Medicine Initiative? It is a unique collaborative research program to bring innovative health care solutions to patients. It is the world’s largest public-private partnership in the life sciences.  Moreover, IMI has proven itself as an efficient, trusted neutral platform fostering collaboration between multiple stakeholders including universities, industry, SMEs, patient groups, regulators and payers.

The first phase of IMI took place from 2008-2013, with a €2 billion budget funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and in-kind contributions from industry. The primary goals were to speed the delivery of new medicines to patients and attract and improve pharmaceutical investment in Europe. 

IMI2 aims to develop the next generation vaccines, medicines, and treatments by building on the successes of IMI. The initiative will continue to tackle Europe’s health challenges and improve the competitive situation for pharmaceutical research in Europe. The second phase of IMI is nearly double the size of the first, with a €3.3 billion budget for 2014-2024. The EU financial contribution comes from the research and innovation framework programme, Horizon 2020.  Large pharmaceutical companies like Lilly do not receive funding, but contribute to projects with dedicated resources, such as their researchers’ time or access to equipment and materials.

Take a look at this video about the first IMI initiative to learn more about how the public-private partnership works.


During the first phase of IMI, Lilly demonstrated our commitment to the partnership through participation in over 22 projects (3 more are set to launch later this year). The projects focused on key research areas including diabetes, neuroscience, and oncology. Additionally, we took part in projects aiming to improve knowledge management and increase drug safety. Currently we are evaluating upcoming project opportunities for IMI2.   We will focus again on projects that correspond to our core scientific research areas. Additionally, we will take a co-leadership role in strategic governance for IMI2 projects in neurodegeneration and diabetes.  

The world’s largest public-private initiative demonstrates the commitment of our industry, academia, and the EU to partner together and solve pressing and complex health issues. Our combined efforts will advance scientific research development to ensure a healthy Europe and bring new innovative medicines to patients.  Together, we are on the path to achieve the ultimate goal of delivering the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.