The International Horizon Scanning (IHSI) Initiative has been selected as the runner up at the European Innovation Procurement (EUIPA) Awards 2021 under the category “Facing societal challenges award”. The ceremony took place during the first European Innovation Council Summit in Brussels on 25 November. For more information see European Innovation Council Summit (europa.eu).
IHSI is an international non-profit association (association internationale sans but lucratif), composed of three organisational bodies. Each participating member state – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal – provides a representative to the Executive Committee, the key decision-making body. From this, the members of the Board of Directors are elected who, together with the Secretariat, oversee the IHSI’s operational management.
IHSI is acting as a Central Purchasing Body and Lead Contractor in order to develop a horizon scanning system, including a database of information on pharmaceuticals – which gathers medical substantive inventories, analyses, and associated activities – and the further development, adaptation and maintenance of the system, following go-live and the IT service management.
The aim is to identify new pharmaceuticals that are expected to enter the international market within a pre-defined time horizon. Identification should be organised on an international level, as most drugs in development are not country-specific and market authorisation is likely to happen on a crossborder level. Ultimately, the horizon scanning system should serve to inform decision makers on emerging and new pharmaceuticals for reimbursement decisions and policy development, as well as on issues that are relevant to monitor the newly introduced pharmaceutical products; and to enhance collaboration in selecting relevant issues and pharmaceutical products to collaborate on. The technology vendor will need to make use of open source/publicly available materials (royalty free). The information will be presented to users by way of on-demand access to the overall database of unfiltered information on pharmaceuticals, accessible through a user-friendly inter-face
To ensure the success of the initiative, the step-by-step Eafip methodology was followed, in order to carefully prepare the award procedure, define its scope, justify the implementation of a competitive procedure with negotiations and define the IPR strategy. Of particular relevance in a project of such characteristics is the involvement of all the potential stakeholders from the very beginning and the drafting of a proper business case. For more information on the step-by-step Eafip methodology see https://eafip.eu/.