Chapter News

European Commission announces support for the Venture Centre of Excellence programme

  • The European Commission announces a €150m financial contribution to the Venture Centre of Excellence (VCOE) programme, at the HTID® event in Paris
  • The contribution from the European Commission is an anchor investment in the VCoE with additional contributions expected from private investors predominately in the Pharma and Med-tech industry,
  • Co-developed by EIT Health and the European Investment Fund, the VCoE is expected to catalyse over €2bn into the European Life Sciences industry. The VCOE programme will start operations in the coming weeks.

EIT Health and EIF, with the strong commitment of the European Commission, announced the contribution of EUR 150m from EFSI to the VCoE programme in Paris today, during the annual HealthTech Innovation Days (HTID®) event. The ceremony featured speeches from French President, Emmanuel Macron, as well as Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market.

VCoE is a first of its kind open innovation platform in the Life Science sector in Europe aimed at fostering collaboration and investment sharing between the venture capital industry and corporates in order to boost investments in highly innovative digital health and life science start-ups. This enhanced collaboration and investment capacity is expected to boost Europe’s innovative life science ecosystem, support breakthrough technologies, ensure products and services are commercialised and scaled in Europe, and help attract talent and innovation from beyond our borders.

The Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “The crisis has accelerated the digital transformation of healthcare in Europe. We must seize this opportunity. We need to act strategically and create the conditions for start-ups, industry, healthcare systems and patients to benefit fully from the potential of digital health in Europe. As part of our efforts, today we are offering concrete support towards the Venture Centre of Excellence, an innovative platform fostering collaboration and investment that are much-needed for Europe’s health ecosystem.”

EIF Chief Executive, Alain Godard, declared:  “We must continue to support Europe’s position as a leader in life sciences. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that strong partnerships are key to developing solutions for global healthcare challenges. I am delighted that within a year of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with EIT Health, we can welcome a substantial commitment from the European Commission to our jointly created Venture Centre of Excellence programme. This support will help to encourage more investments into start-ups and scale-ups in the health sector, an area the EIF continues to prioritise.”

Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health commented : “At the EIT Health Summit in December 2019, the President of Paris Region Valérie Pécresse, announced that the Region would host and finance the installation of the operational headquarters of the Venture Centre of Excellence in Paris, alongside EIF’s teams in Luxembourg. With the strong financial backing from the European Commission, the VCoE will break down silos between key ecosystem players, and concretely support Life Science and healthcare innovation. Thanks to EIT Health’s positioning as one of the world’s largest Healthcare consortia, we will therefore be able to facilitate the access to market of high-quality solutions meeting real-world patient and citizen needs.”

The strong financial commitment from the European Commission to the VCoE is a testament to the fact that Europe’s leading healthcare and life sciences sector is vital to ensuring the health of European citizens and economies, as the Covid-19 pandemic has proven.

EIT Health chose to partner with the endowment fund HealthTech for Care to co-organise the second edition of HTID®, thus providing participants with the possibility to interact with its extensive network of partners throughout Europe. Thanks to this partnership, HTID®, while bringing together more than 200 international investors, will also provide a venue for future Venture Centre of Excellence (VCoE) members’ meetings.

Please find more information about the VCoE programme here:

About EIT Health

Europe faces a turning point in health. An ageing population, the rising burden of chronic disease, and growing multi-morbidity are all placing pressure on health systems across Europe.

EIT Health is a vast, vibrant community of world leading health innovators backed by the European Union. Working across borders, our network connects approximately 150 world-class partner organisations, as well as entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs from the worlds of business, research, education and healthcare delivery. Our aim is to answer the biggest health challenges Europe faces and we believe that life changing innovation happens when these worlds meet and collaborate. That’s why we call this the ‘knowledge triangle’.

From our headquarters in Munich, six regional Innovation Hubs and InnoStars cluster, which brings together organisations from regions in which the overall pace of innovation is more moderate, we provide an ecosystem in which fresh thinking can thrive. Our Regional Innovation Scheme further expands our presence in 13 countries across Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. EIT Health also leads the development of the EIT Hub in Israel, which connects innovators across Europe to other key thriving ecosystems beyond the EU.

EIT Health is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. Our ambition is to enable people in Europe to live longer, healthier lives by transforming businesses and delivering new products and services that can progress healthcare in Europe and strengthen our economy.

EIT Health: Together for healthy lives in Europe. 

For more information visit:

About EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises by helping them to access finance. It designs and implements venture and growth capital operations, as well as guarantee and microfinance instruments specifically targeting this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

About Health Tech Innovation Days

The HealthTech Innovation Days drive and foster collaborations within the European healthcare ecosystem. This event features conferences and private meetings between innovative European Biotech, Medtech and Digital health companies, pharmaceutical companies, life sciences specialized investors, healthcare experts, KOLs and institutional representatives. The HTID® demonstrates that access to innovative care for all depends on the right funding and partnership in-between actors in health and finance. This second edition hold on October 5th & 6th 2020 held by HealthTech For Care, an endowment fund launched by France Biotech, and co-organised with EIT Health, will accelerate patient access to healthcare solutions and contribute to building a stronger ecosystem.


  • Ms. Yasmin Ghariani, EIT Health Senor Communications Lead | yasmin.ghariani[at]
  • Mr. Jérôme Fabiano, EIT Health France External Affairs Director | jerome.fabiano[at]
  • David Yormesor, Media Officer | d.yormesor[at]
  • Flora Matthaes, Press officer for employment, social inclusion and investment at the EU Commission | flora.matthaes[at]
  • Marietta Grammenou, Press Officer for Digital Economy, Research and Innovation at the EU Commission | marietta.grammenou[at]

Compliments of the European Investment Fund.