Welcome to Invest4Health project, an innovative initiative focused on transforming public health financing for people’s better health and well-being. Our mission is to enhance health promotion and disease prevention by incentivising investments and asset maximisation in these critical areas. Discover a fresh perspective with us on financing and reimagine the value of health as an investment rather than a cost!  

The need for change is undeniable. With public finances in a fragile state and ongoing efforts to recover from the pandemic, we need cost-effective strategies that span multiple sectors and ensure the efficient utilisation of available resources. It’s time to let go of outdated practices and embrace the wisdom of prioritising prevention over reactive solutions. Prevention and health promotion are not just a cost but a valuable investment that brings personal, societal, economic, and environmental benefits.  

To make this vision a reality, our consortium combines interdisciplinary expertise with real-world test beds in diverse health ecosystems. We’re developing innovative smart capacitating investment (SCI) models, testing them in practical settings, and creating a roadmap for large-scale implementation. But our work doesn’t end here. We also want to empower citizens and local communities to participate in decision-making, ensuring their voices are heard actively. Among others, we will work with the industry to design and test a collaborative platform that offers broader opportunities to actively involve local communities in new governance mechanisms for smart capacitating investments.  

Our goal is to deliver tangible results. Our validated smart capacitating investment models and tools will enable decision-makers and policymakers to prioritise risk-sharing and resource pooling for health promotion and disease prevention at all levels. We’re demonstrating the value of smart financing through return on investment analysis and strategic pricing, inspiring health insurers and funders to invest in effective and efficient services for active and healthy living.  

We’re determined to drive real change. So join us on this exciting journey as we pave the way for a future where smart capacitating principles empower healthier lives and thriving communities. 


Our Understanding of Public Health

In our project, we have delved into two vital aspects of public health: health promotion and disease prevention. These areas go hand in hand and are not mutually exclusive. Health promotion entails empowering individuals to take control of their health and enhance their overall well-being, as emphasized by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1998). We embrace the extended concept of “well-being and well-becoming,” which centres on actively improving the societal “health opportunity architecture” for present and future generations (Edwards, 2022; Figure 2, Edwards et al., 2016). Our work is also guided by the prevention pyramid (reference!) which outlines primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention. In addition, we recognize that effective prevention extends beyond the healthcare sector and encompasses various sectors like housing, education, transportation, and global health. Additionally, we draw inspiration from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their ten essential public health services, which provide a roadmap for protecting and promoting community health. 

Smart Capacitating Investment

Building on social investment, we aim to develop sustainable financing mechanisms that incentivize and boost investment within and between sectors while disrupting traditional financing approaches. In addition, this project will help us learn how to do SCI more effectively.

So, for I4H, SCI means collaborating to invest at a large scale across different levels of health ecosystems while managing risks and generating sustainable returns and localized benefits. SCI will create a positive impact by not only the tested and validated new financing and business models but also expertise, networks, and other types of support to help organizations reach their full potential in prevention and health promotion. The support includes mentorship, training and education, access to networks and partnerships, and technical assistance.


A testbed is a real-world environment or platform where comprehensive testing and experimentation can take place to evaluate the performance, functionality, and feasibility of various technologies, systems, or prototypes. In our project, testbeds in the European region will serve as practical environments for implementing targeted interventions in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention. These interventions will be implemented in different settings and for various target groups like in the home office environment, for different stages of life in the healthcare pathway, or a new social prescibing initiative.

We will leverage these testbeds to test and refine different investment models to finance these interventions, contributing to our goal of driving positive changes in health financing. We plan to gather quantitative and qualitative data to test innovative finance models. This information will enable us to prioritize investments and make informed decisions within each testbed. We will also assess the strengths and weaknesses of different systems, policies, and protocols by conducting a self-assessment exercise using a tool developed in a previous project. By leveraging each testbed region’s unique characteristics and needs, we aim to overcome implementation barriers, optimize our interventions, and ultimately drive improvements in health promotion and disease prevention practices and services.

Citizen science

Our project emphasises involving citizens in the scientific process through citizen science. We incorporate facilitation models to ensure the representation of vulnerable groups and align with responsible research and evaluation practices.

We promote interactive and participatory methods by engaging citizens through workshops and processes, including citizen scientists, patients, and everyday citizens. Citizen science contributes to research integrity and transparency in health research, establishing a solid ethical foundation. Beyond involving citizens in research priorities, we train lay researchers and enable citizen participation in science engagement activities. These aspects are distinct yet complementary, with different metrics used to measure success.

Digital collaborative space for effective decision making

The digital collaborative space acts as a platform for testing data integration from different sources, which serves as the basis for informed co-governance of SCI-driven actions. It enables us to make informed decisions and work together to promote health and prevent diseases using smart investment approaches.

Using SCI business and financial models, we can assess the value of these actions by conducting return on investment (ROI) analyses and estimating cost savings. Additionally, this platform opens up opportunities for collaboration with EIT Digital/Health and I3 strand 1 consortia, allowing us to leverage service value networks for developing new business models, fostering the emergence of digital ecosystems, and effectively integrating data.
Photo:  @freepik

Social franchising

Social franchising is a relatively new approach successfully implemented by organizations, including social enterprises. In the context of Invest4Health, the social franchise approach serves as a framework for our offering. It involves providing peer support and development to networks of local stakeholders who have agreed or will agree to deliver socially equitable health promotion and disease prevention services under a common franchise brand.

The goal is to replicate the impact of Invest4Health in different locations while maintaining a consistent standard. Unlike commercial franchising, which focuses on profit, our primary objective is to maximize social benefits. This approach establishes a sustainable financial model for health promotion and disease prevention. It provides comprehensive support to those implementing our offering through ongoing training and assistance. By combining mobilization efforts and market-based approaches, Invest4Health ensures the replication of our successful models and interventions while allowing for local flexibility in implementation, creating value where it is most needed.
Photo:  @prostooleh