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IMI Joint Undertaking

The European Union (EU) is launching a Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) in the pharmaceuticals sector. In 2008, the European initiative led to the creation of a Joint Undertaking (henceforth referred to as the “IMI Joint Undertaking”) for the period up to 31 December 2017. This undertaking is intended to facilitate private investment, knowledge transfer and the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of research into developing safer and more effective innovative medicines.

ACT

Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2008 of 20 December 2007 setting up the Joint Undertaking for the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative on Innovative Medicines.

SUMMARY

The IMI Joint Undertaking implements the Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) on Innovative Medicines, with a view to the development of a competitive, innovation-based pharmaceuticals sector. This public-private partnership aims to support investments in this field.

The IMI Joint Undertaking is a Community body possessing legal personality. Its headquarters are in Brussels. This undertaking has been set up for a period up to 31 December 2017. Its founding members are the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

Any legal entity directly or indirectly supporting research and development in a Member State or in a country associated with the 7th Framework Programme (7th FP) may become a member of the IMI Joint Undertaking.

Objectives

The Joint Undertaking aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the medicine development process so that the pharmaceutical sector produces safer and more effective innovative treatments. The objectives of the Joint Undertaking are thus to contribute to the implementation of the 7th FP and to support pharmaceutical research and development in the Member States and countries associated with the 7th FP. The participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and cooperation with the private sector and the academic world are encouraged.

In addition, the Joint Undertaking aims to ensure complementarity with other activities of the 7th FP and to establish a public-private partnership with a view to increasing research investment and fostering cooperation between the public and private sectors.

Projects and activities

The IMI Joint Undertaking supports prospective research activities, based on projects selected following open and competitive calls for project proposals, independent evaluation and the conclusion of grant agreements and project agreements.

The participating research-based pharmaceutical companies that are members of EFPIA are not eligible to receive financial support from the IMI Joint Undertaking for any activity.

Operation

The bodies of the IMI Joint Undertaking are as follows:

  • the Governing Board is composed of representatives of each of the members of the Joint Undertaking. It is responsible for operations and for overseeing the implementation of activities. It meets at least twice a year;
  • the Executive Director represents the IMI Joint Undertaking from a legal point of view. He or she is also the chief executive responsible for the day-to-day management of the Undertaking in accordance with the decisions taken by the Governing Board;
  • the Scientific Committee is the advisory body to the Governing Board, with responsibilities including advising on the scientific priorities for the annual implementation plan proposal.

The IMI Joint Undertaking is supported by two external advisory bodies:

  • the IMI States Representatives Group consists of one representative of each Member State and of each country associated with the Framework Programme. It advises on the annual scientific priorities. Furthermore, it also informs the IMI Joint Undertaking on relevant activities ongoing at national level;
  • the Stakeholder Forum is convened at least once a year by the Executive Director. It is informed on the activities of the IMI Joint Undertaking and provides comments.

The financial resources of the Joint Undertaking include members' financial contributions, revenue generated by the IMI Joint Undertaking and any other financial contributions, resources and revenues.

The research activities are funded through non-monetary contributions by the research-based pharmaceutical companies that are members of EFPIA, contributions from members and a Community financial contribution under the 7th FP. This financial commitment on the part of the Community is limited to a maximum of EUR 1 000 million.

Context

Under the 7th Community FP, the EU provides for the establishment of long-term public-private partnerships in the form of JTIs. These JTIs result from the work of European Technology Platforms set up under the 6th FP and implemented through Joint Undertakings.

In addition to the IMI, five other JTIs are planned in the sectors of spaceborne computer systems (ARTEMIS), nanotechnologies (ENIAC), aeronautics and air transport (Clean Sky), hydrogen and fuel cells (FUEL CELL) and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES).

REFERENCES

ActEntry into force – Expiry dateDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EC) No 73/2008

7.2.2008-31.12.2017

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OJ L 30, 4.2.2008

Last updated: 05.09.2011

See also

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