AI4Health.Cro Announces Public Call for AI Applications in Healthcare and Medicine
The European Digital Innovation Hub for the application of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare and medicine, AI4Health.Cro, has launched a public call for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, startups, as well as public authorities and non-economic entities. This call presents a unique opportunity for those aiming to enhance their business operations, innovations, and digital capacities in implementing AI solutions in healthcare. The public call remains open until the 31st of March 2026, or until all available funding is fully allocated.
Given the funding from the EU under the Digital Europe Programme and the State Aid Programme within the National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-2026 (NRRP), services are complimentary for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, public bodies, and non-economic entities.
Healthcare systems across the European Union (EU) are tackling challenges such as the rise of chronic diseases, staffing shortages, and extended waiting lists. The application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare can potentially liberate up to 1.944 million hours annually for physicians and save between 380,000 to 403,000 lives per year.
However, for new AI technologies to be successfully deployed in healthcare, entrepreneurs, startups and innovators need to set clear goals, rely on high-quality data and assemble teams with multidisciplinary knowledge. They must also have the opportunity to test their technologies in real-world conditions before making substantial investments. It is crucial to consider ethical dilemmas, strive for integration into existing systems and work towards the acceptance of new technological solutions by end users, such as doctors and nurses, for the benefit of patients. Given the complexity of these tasks, it is clear that they cannot cover the full range of expertise on their own, which is why the services of the AI4Health.Cro Centre are available to them.
Details and instructions on how to apply can be found in the user guidelines.
"AI4Health.Cro offers comprehensive services, including testing-before investing, support in finding investments, development of the innovation ecosystem, networking, and education," explains Dr Anja Barešić, Coordinator of AI4Health.Cro at the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI), adding: "Our collaboration with clinics and hospitals enables safe technology testing and ensures that solutions are tailored to the needs of users."
The Services are Free!
"The aim of the public call is to open the doors for users to secure the tools and support they need to research, develop and deploy their AI-based technologies in healthcare by utilising the AI4Health.Cro services. We are excited to see how participants will use these opportunities," said Dr Barešić, emphasising that the services are free of charge for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, public institutions and non-economic entities thanks to EU funding under the Digital Europe Programme and the NRRP implemented by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.
From Digital Maturity Assessment to Access to Funding
"When users show interest, a four-stage process begins. First, we organise an introductory session with our partners to understand your needs and introduce you to our services, guiding you through the application for the public tender. Once we have confirmed your eligibility, we support you in applying for government grants, carry out the first of three digital maturity assessments and compile a personalised list of services. Through this process, we ensure that each of our users receives the services that best suit their needs," explains Dr Barešić.
For users who have started developing innovations in the field of digital healthcare, this call represents an opportunity for a significant step forward. Participation is not just about implementing technology into the system, but about actively contributing to shaping healthcare in the years to come.
AI4Health.Cro brings together 15 partners with the Ruđer Bošković Institute as coordinator and will be funded over three years with €2.9 million in equal parts from the Digital Europe programme and the NRRP.
The AI4Health.Cro consortium includes: the Croatian Association for Artificial Intelligence, the Magdalena Clinic for Cardiovascular Diseases, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia, Zagreb - Centre Health Centre, the Croatian Institute of Public Health, the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Split, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Rijeka, the Zagreb Innovation Centre, the Croatian Healthcare Employers' Association, Knowledge Network, FeelsGood Capital Partners and the successful companies IN2, Ericsson Nikola Tesla and NEWTON Technologies Adria.
The public call is open until 31 March 2026 or until all available funds amounting to EUR 6,503,417.61 have been fully allocated. The non-repayable funds for this call are provided under the State Aid Programme for the implementation of activities of the European Digital Innovation Hubs aimed at providing services to entrepreneurs under the NRRP measure of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.