"Providing solutions that enable European citizens to live longer and healthier lives" is the aim of the European Union-supported network, EIT Health, of which Portugal is part. SAPO TEK spoke with Nuno Viegas, Portugal's regional manager at EIT Health Innostars, who explained the program's potential and the country's contribution in this area.
Focusing on "promoting innovation", the non-profit organization and a European public-private partnership on health innovation with more than 140 partners, connects the "right people and the right topics across European borders" so that innovation can take place. through the intersection of research, education and business for the benefit of European citizens.
“Since its inception in 2016, EIT Health has contributed to the launch of over 35 products on the market and supported over 400 startups”
As for more numbers, the PhD specialist in immunology and infectious diseases ensures that the program has trained more than 11,000 health professionals, involved more than 800 people, 48% of them women, and joined more than 60 experts on innovation projects. that will help to create new health solutions and products. In terms of funding, EIT Health-supported startups have raised more than 90 million euros since 2016.
This year the funding was 85 million euros and, according to the regional manager of Portugal, has been distributed in innovation projects, education programs and business creation in health.
This program can be apply entrepreneurs and startups, which can be supported by EIT Health. To do this you will have to submit your application by December 31st. But the program also makes available training for citizens, students, professionals and health executives.
What is Portugal's contribution and the challenges to be faced?
The country is one of the InnoStars regions of the program, which means that the overall pace of innovation is still subdued. EIT Health InnoStars brings together 21 main partners and associates and presents as main geographical regions Portugal, Hungary, Poland and Portugal.
EIT Health InnoStars' four core partners and 17 associate partners benefit from EIT Health's unique ability to facilitate collaboration among the region's innovative health entities, including universities, global healthcare companies, startups, entrepreneurs, academic institutes / research and creation of specialized companies, "explains Janssen, also a member of the business development department of pharmaceuticals.
In the case of Portugal, Nuno Viegas identified four strong bridges in this partnership. In addition to guaranteed access to the largest geriatric medical centers in Portugal and Central Europe, the country can also count on industrial partners in the fields of ICT, medicine and biopharma. Among other things, the expert also highlights the importance of a science-based incubator in Coimbra, with a special focus on technology transfer and spin-off creation.