The peculiarities of preparing an IMI proposal

Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) calls for proposals are slightly different compared to ‘regular’ Horizon RIA or IA calls. Make sure you are aware of the specifics of IMI proposals before you start!

Funding for pharmaceutical research

The Innovative Medicines Initiative is a public-private partnership in life sciences. The resources for funding come partly from European taxpayers and partly from the pharmaceutical industry (EFPIA). As a result of this large industrial involvement, IMI calls have their own specific rules to abide to.

Topic descriptions

IMI calls are very prescriptive, stating not only the challenge and expected outcomes, but also the work needed to achieve the expected results. Often, detailed descriptions of methodologies and resources are provided. These are the methods that pharmaceutical companies need, but don’t have in house, to solve their challenges in drug development.

Because of this structure, one of the main things to highlight in your IMI proposal is your expertise and experience in the requested methodology. The same holds true for access to specific patients groups or any other resources that are stated in the topic text.

Academia linked to industry

In a 2-stage call, you will write your first stage proposal with an academic consortium. You can add non-academic partners, for example SME’s, if beneficial to the project. However, at this stage you are not allowed to contact the pharmaceutical companies that are explicitly mentioned in the call text…

… which is peculiar, since you will be working with them. Once your proposal is selected for the second stage, you will be matched with these industrial partners. Together, you will write the full proposal. This process is supported by the IMI staff, who will set up joint calls and explain the further requirements. Usually, only one proposal is selected for the second stage – but this does not mean that all second stage proposals are funded! Also here, you need to stay close to the call text and address all required items in detail.

More information

The IMI website publishes draft topics throughout the year, giving you a good indication of topics that are coming up. Since the time between official opening of the call and the call deadline is often tight, keeping an eye on the draft topics can prove to be essential to get involved in a competitive consortium in time.

Fundament can help you decide whether or not to apply for an IMI. We furthermore offer various forms of support, ranging from full support trajectories to thorough reviews for IMI proposals. Just contact us to discuss how we can help.

Author: Neeltje Peters

Co-founder and Research Funding Professional at Fundament.

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