Research Platform

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, places one of the highest disease burdens on European society today: 1.8 million deaths, almost 49 million people living with CVD, and costs totalling €210 billion in the EU. There is therefore a great need for cardiovascular research to reduce deaths, control risk factors and improve patients’ quality of life. For more data on CVD, please consult the section on CVD Statistics.

Research funding for CVD

About one third of EHN members fund CVD research, with a combined annual contribution of €180 million. This is a significant contribution, keeping in mind that between 2014 and 2018, the EU spent €458 million to fund research projects on CVD under Horizon 2020.

EHN members’ research spending covers a large spectrum of research activities from basic/pre-clinical, clinical and epidemiological research to research in prevention/population/public health.

Nationally sourced funding has been mostly spent on research performed within national borders, with the EU supporting scientific collaborations for transnational cardiovascular research.

The EHN Research Platform

EHN facilitates networking and exchange between its research-funding members, gathered in the EHN Research Platform, as well as their interaction with members of the EHN’s Patient Group.

The Research Platform comprises those EHN members that fund cardiovascular research. It serves as the EHN expert group to be consulted in relevant research-related topics and policies. Together, we develop the EHN’s positions on issues that directly or indirectly impact CVD research and engage in EU policy discussions to: 

  • improve awareness of the need for CVD research, and
  • influence the EU research framework programme and its implementation, for better balanced EU funding, with sufficient funds available for CVD research.

The Research Platform meets once a year but in addition regular liaison takes place throughout the year via email, subgroup meetings and other means.

Linking patients with research

EHN strengthens the involvement of patients in research activities to align future research priorities to their needs, including in terms of quality of life, and to capture the patients’ experience. Read more about EHN’s work with patient organisations here.