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EHDS2 – from discussion to implementation: A pilot project is launched

The month of September 2022 will see the start of the work of EHDS2 – a pilot project that is set to explore the workings of the future European Health Data Space.

First announced in Paris, France, on 18 July 2022, the pilot project’s aim is to go from discussion to implementation. Its focus is on the secondary use of data, and the practical functioning of the data space. The consortium will be coordinated by France’s Health Data Hub.


The pilot project brings together 16 partners from some eight European Member States. The countries involved have both large and small populations, and range across the European Union.

Among the partners are organisations and associations that focus on the use of (research) data on medicines, disease prevention and control, hospitals, biobanks/biomolecular resources, rare diseases, and public health. They constitute eight national health data infrastructures, four research infrastructures, two European agencies, a European research infrastructure consortium, and a public health association.

The European Health Data Space will also feed into ambitious large-scale projects for the benefit of research and health policies, like the 1+ Million Genome Initiative. Supported by the ELIXIR infrastructure – a network that brings together Europe’s leading life science organisations, it aims to enable secure access to genomics and the corresponding clinical data across Europe.

60 per cent of EHDS2’s 8 million euros budget is to be provided by the European Commission.

What’s in it for us?

Overall, the direction is to offer new opportunities for health research organisations in Europe. Initiatives and projects working with data to be shared in the data space will gain visibility.

From a practical perspective, EHDS2’s job is to set up the foundations for the space in the future. Its tasks are to develop and deploy a network of data sources platforms – called nodes – by connecting the national platforms of participating countries.

EHDS2’s intention is to evaluate the feasibility, interest and capacity for deploying such an infrastructure throughout the whole European Union. The operation of the new infrastructure will be put to the test through concrete research use cases.

The end-goal is to demonstrate the potential for transnational re-use of health data for research, innovation, development of regulations and policies, and – ultimately - personalised healthcare.

In the words of Dr. Nienke Schutte, researcher in the Belgian institute for health, Sciensano:

To make the most of health spending and investments both at EU and national level, proactive, operational and strategic decision making should be based on solid and up-to-date data.”

More information will be out soon once EHDS2’s work begins practically.

Meanwhile, EHTEL members are working with a number of European projects and initiatives that have a focus on the use of data in a variety of health-related fields. They include InteropEHRate, mHealthHub, OPEN DEI, TALIsMAn, TEHDAS, and UNICOM.

For more general details, watch the consortium video.