Wild Card 2021 – Vision Care and Pain Management are the new challenges

Eye & Vision Care and Pain Management will be the two challenge areas for the 2021 EIT Health Wild Card programme. Applications will open at the end of September 2020.

Every year, EIT Health Wild Card builds two new ventures that break new ground, push boundaries and troubleshoot some of European healthcare’s greatest challenges. The programme provides world-class training and mentoring, and the opportunity to create a venture with up to €1.6 million investment.

Highly skilled individuals and small teams with game-changing ideas selected for the programme will start their Wild Card journey in March 2021 with a week-long hackathon. Participants will receive best-in-class mentoring, coaching and networking to complete formation of their teams and develop their ideas to address one of the two challenge areas. The most promising teams will continue through the Business Model Validation phase and will pitch for EIT Health investment in July 2021.

About the 2021 challenges

Each year, EIT Health addresses two under-innovated and under-invested healthcare challenges through the Wild Card programme.  The two challenge areas Wild Card 2021 is focused on are: Eye & Vision Care and Pain Management.

Eye & Vision Care

This challenge calls for ideas to help mitigate, prevent and cure eye conditions and vision impairment. It is looking for solutions to address:

  • Accessible eye care and rehabilitation, and to raise public awareness and understanding of the importance of maintaining eye health through regular eye and sight examinations.
  • Eye conditions such as amblyopia, uncorrected refractive errors, cataracts and glaucoma.
  • The eye as a gateway to full-body health, as certain parts of the eye can indicate underlying health problems.

The pain management challenge

This challenge looks at how to alleviate acute and chronic pain conditions. Addressing this topic with the Wild Card challenge holds the promise of finding ways to correctly assess and treat pain in its different forms and support patients that most of the time live with a chronic painful disease.

More information will be posted soon on the application process, on this website and on, with the call opening at the end of September.