Driving Innovation in Healthcare: EIT Health DRIVE Wraps Up
In December, Laviniu Chis, Stefan Rusu (INNO), and Anca Roman (Department of Intelligent Specialization, NW RDA) traveled to Budapest to attend the final workshop of the EIT Health Drive program. The program was conducted in a hybrid format, with representatives from nine European regions participating in several online meetings and three in-person meetings held at different locations across Europe that showcased exemplary practices in the healthcare industry. Over the course of 15 weeks, the EIT Health Drive initiative facilitated collaboration between nine innovative regions spanning Romania, Lithuania, Portugal, Croatia, Italy, and the Netherlands. The goal was to exchange knowledge on best practices and identify the most effective strategies for fostering regional innovation in the medical and life sciences fields. In Budapest, we had the opportunity to engage with SETsquared Partnership representatives, who manage a network of business incubators for startups and innovative businesses, affiliated with five British universities. In addition, the third session centered around exploring available funding opportunities for health startups and the methods of accessing them. Our objective when joining this project was to gain valuable mentoring in a field that would benefit the North-West region. Looking back, we can confidently say that our goal has been accomplished because: - We connected with top innovation ecosystems in Europe (Delft, Coimbra, Budapest) - We observed how accelerators, incubators, and technology transfer centers are organized and operated to maintain international standards - We learned about the most effective methods and methodologies for mapping and involving stakeholders in our actions - We realized how important collaboration is in creating a large-scale initiative - We examined and identified the strengths and weaknesses of the region we represent - We realized how important collaboration with universities is in the field of innovation. These partnerships began first as research partnerships, then expanded to technology transfer to the market, and then evolved into successful accelerators and incubators. EIT Health Drive laid the foundation upon which we will build. We have already begun discussions with regional stakeholders and are working closely with them to develop the action plan to support regional startups in the targeted fields. Additionally, to ensure that we are on the right track, we are in continuous communication with the experts from EIT Health Drive who support us and provide their feedback. It is a joint effort, which is why we want to involve as many regional actors as possible who have the expertise and motivation to help us in these endeavors. If you want to get involved in the development of the innovation ecosystem and encourage entrepreneurship in the health and life sciences fields, email us at 𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗼@𝗻𝗼𝗿𝗱-𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁.𝗿𝗼! 𝗘𝗜𝗧 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), through EIT Health, promotes innovation in the field of health and the development of innovation ecosystems in health in countries whose innovation capacity is not performing well. Due to the specific elements of the industry (from cumbersome legislation to the need for clinical studies and complex networks of stakeholders involved), health startups need specialized support to make the transition from idea to market. 𝗘𝗜𝗧 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗲 EIT Health Drive is a training program based on a methodology developed by the Delft University of Technology and EIT InnoStars, which consists of a series of on-site and online training delivered by experts from top innovation ecosystems (Netherlands, Sweden, Israel, etc.), and involves both individual and team work. By the end of the 15-week program, which takes place from August 29 to December 8, 2022, participants are expected to have created a program specifically aimed at supporting startups in the fields of health and life sciences.
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