16 March 2018

Gelderland aims to become the leading international testing ground for medical innovations by 2030. To achieve this, the Province of Gelderland and Radboud university medical center drafted a joint cooperation agenda. While Radboud university medical center is considered a frontrunner in the field of medical research, considerable gains can be made by converting their knowledge into new medications and products.

Towards innovation
Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc) is an international frontrunner in the field of medical research. Thanks to the many medical breakthroughs and ICT applications such as e-health, Radboudumc is seen as a pioneer in the field of healthcare innovation. However, considerable gains can be made if companies use their knowledge to develop new medications and technologies. The cooperation agenda drafted by Radboudumc and the Province of Gelderland aims to use medical innovation as a source of economic growth and job creation in the region.
 
Innovative entrepreneurship
The Province of Gelderland and Radboudumc are stimulating innovative entrepreneurship by investing in the valorisation programme Briskr and Rockstart Accelerator Digital Health. Rockstart helps start-ups in the e-health sector become investor-ready in 150 days and Briskr supports innovative healthcare professionals by combining knowledge from the science and business communities. Experimental testing grounds are being set up to accelerate the testing and validation phases of healthcare products. If necessary, Radboudumc and the Province of Gelderland are prepared to serve as a launch customer, thereby acting as both customer and client.
 
The operating room of the future
A good example of an experimental testing ground is the MITeC operating rooms at Radboudumc, which are among the most innovative in the Netherlands. To maintain its leading role, MITeC makes its facilities available to SMEs. With the support of the province, they can test their technologies here and receive the help they need to improve their innovations and enhance their market opportunities.
 
Open innovation and campuses
To establish start-ups, the parties want to facilitate the development of Novio Tech Campus and Radboudumc Campus as a breeding ground for healthcare innovations and talent. More than 1,000 talented professionals from eighty companies work here every day on healthcare products in an open innovation system focused on knowledge sharing. A regional database is being developed to make test facilities and devices readily available to regional entrepreneurs and researchers.
 
TopFit in the eastern Netherlands
Healthcare innovations cost money. The Province of Gelderland and Radboudumc want to give promising healthcare entrepreneurs access to expertise and resources in all phases. To do so, a coherent range of support and investment programmes is being created, with particular attention to the development of the TopFit programme in the eastern Netherlands, which is aimed at preventing diseases and improving quality of life for the terminally ill.
 
Building bridges
Provincial executive Michiel Scheffer is enthusiastic about these developments. 'By working together, we hope to bridge the gap between industry and science. Converting more medical knowledge into viable products helps to create economic growth and new jobs in the region,' he says. 'We want to become the most personal and innovative university medical centre in the nation, with an international reputation,' adds Leon van Halder, chair of the Radboudumc Executive Board. 'Combining our innovative strengths with the Province of Gelderland aligns perfectly with this aim.'
 
Health Valley Event 2018
On Thursday 15 March, provincial executive Michiel Scheffer opened the tenth Health Valley Event at CineMec in Nijmegen. This anniversary edition celebrated individuals who are making a difference in healthcare. From doctors and nurses to entrepreneurs and scientists, these professionals are all engaged in innovation with the aim of making a real difference for patients. At the end of the afternoon, the National Health Innovation Award was presented to the most innovative healthcare professional.

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