Following the launch of the cluster flanders.healthTech in 2021, the first round of 14 consortia have started working on innovation projects in healthcare. The projects have received a total of EUR 4.7 million in VLAIO support from Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits to help make a difference in the field of technology and innovation in healthcare.
flanders.healthTech was launched in 2021 to support the health innovation ecosystem and facilitate collaboration between companies, knowledge centers, and healthcare institutions. The cluster facilitates and supports the creation of unique consortia in the biotech, MedTech, and ICT domains, in which Flanders has a lot of expertise. flanders.healthTech supports innovation building by identifying and bringing together relevant partners in consortia that develop unique approaches to address specific medical needs.
Minister Hilde Crevits: "Last year I founded flanders.healthTech with the aim of stimulating healthcare innovations and building a strong Flemish ecosystem in the field of medical technology. I am delighted that today the first 14 projects are starting. By combining the forces of universities, knowledge centers, companies, hospitals, and care institutions, and offering support to promising projects, we can make a difference in our healthcare in terms of technology and innovation."
The cluster also builds bridges to members of the ecosystem who would not normally actively participate in healthcare innovation, and offers specific services to support MedTech, Health IT, and life sciences companies.
Ann Van Gysel, CEO of flanders.healthTech: "We have been able to bring together people from different corners of our diverse ecosystem to work out innovative solutions that take healthcare to the next level. It's great to see how well we’ve started! We are grateful to VLAIO for a fruitful first collaboration, and for their support in our mission to further strengthen Flanders' position as one of the world's top regions for life sciences and health technology."
The first call of flanders.healthTech resulted in the creation of 14 unique consortia, including:
AIPLANT: this project uses AI to analyze 3D images of the jaw and propose the optimal jaw implant approach/strategy/planning of the surgery. In this consortium, the startup Relu joins forces with UZ Leuven and Xentro Dental, a private practice of craniomaxillofacial surgeons and dental specialists. These doctors would normally focus on standard patient care and not actively participate in innovation. Through flanders.healthTech, they have been able to take advantage of this opportunity for additional funding.
ELEVATE: a project that gives surgeons faster access to preoperative simulations of the interaction between the heart and an implant, creating a link with existing hospital ICT infrastructure. The consortium includes Feops, UZ-Leuven, and the non-academic hospital, Ziekenhuis Oost Limburg (ZOL). As the integration of new technology in patient care is a role usually taken up by university hospitals, the presence of the general hospital is a nice accomplishment.
Biodevice-CRO: here a biodevice toolbox is being developed for rapid development of customized, scalable bioprocess solutions for cell, gene, and diagnostic companies. The three members of the consortium are combining their expertise and strengths to create a unique crossover solution that combines medical devices (Comate), electronics (ICsense), and life sciences (Antleron) to address a central challenge in healthcare.
flanders.healthTech is the youngest spearhead cluster of 7, founded in 2021. The cluster stimulates unique innovations in healthcare by facilitating and supporting collaborations between companies, knowledge centers, universities, and healthcare institutions. We build unique consortia by tapping into Flanders' strengths in biotech, MedTech and ICT domains. The consortia are driven by the many unmet medical needs, for which the partners are jointly developing solutions. flanders.healthTech supports the consortia with specialized services and earmarked VLAIO funding, for which an open call is organized annually.
flanders.healthTech includes more than 90 R&D partners from the Flemish ecosystem, who have committed to jointly support innovation in HealthTech applications around four themes: personalized medicine, digital medicine, efficient healthcare, and breakthrough healthcare innovations.
More information: www.flandershealth.tech
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