Smart Hub Flemish Brabant Health

Belgium: Flemish Region
Philip Dingemans

Overview

Profile:
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About us

Health is a human right, but global killers such as cancer and Alzheimer are still running rampant. Luckily, people become more aware of their quantified self, have better access to health care and increasingly take care of each other as we all grow older.

Smart Hub Health contributes to the development and reinforcement of the healthcare sector in Flemish Brabant. This is realised through lending a helping hand by creating innovative collaborations, finding suitable financing, networking and promotion. Smart Hub Health has a focus on medical (bio) technology, medical devices, bioelectronics, regenerative medicine and e-health. This is enabled by advancements made in nanotech, ICT, 3D printing, new materials, photonics, biotechnology and a healthcare-driven society.

Smart Hub Flemish Brabant is a concentration of 5 innovative tech clusters in Belgium: food, logistics, cleantech, media, creative industry and health.

Formalised strategy
Strategy focus on internationalisation

Cluster composition

  • 114
    Cluster Members
  • 75
    SME's
  • 0
    Large Companies
  • 0
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers
  • 0
    Other Ecosystem Actors

Achievements

In the frame of the EFRD project 'Internationalization of Flemish SMEs, scale-ups and start-ups in the sector of MedTech, BioTech and RegMed', the province Flemish Brabant organised and hosted in Leuven on February 21st/22nd the two-day event 'Life-on-Chip: The Road from Idea to Reality'. The event brought testimonies of roads travelled and lessons learned by pioneering researchers, entrepreneurs and first application movers. Through a rich offering of keynote speakers, thematic sessions, prototype and product show cases and matchmaking (B2Match), the event aimed to kick-start cross-over partnerships and projects to realize the full potential life-on-chip innovations, accelerating the development of personalized healthcare solutions. Around 230 participants - in total for the two days event - took part in workshops raising issues such as the combination of human cells, mini-tissues and organs with nanotechnology, 3D-printing and artificial intelligence. Or how about cross-over innovations leading to the development of novel, personalized medicines without the need for animal testing? These and many other cross-over innovations are currently at different levels of technological or commercial development.

Check the movie of this event on the Belgian TV channel 'Kanaal Z': https://kanaalz.knack.be/events/life-on-chip-conferentie-27-02-19/video-normal-1434249.html

Health House : spearhead of innovation in Flemish Brabant

The province Flemish Brabant is one of the founding partners of Health House (in 2018). Health House, located in Leuven, offers a platform on which partners can exhibit, learn or demonstrate their innovations and technologies or work with future trends in medicine and care themselves. Health House proves that Flemish Brabant is both nationally and internationally at the forefront of healthcare and the use of medical technology.

Health House is a unique experience center where its visitors can experience the future of health and care. They show how technology will have an impact on the future of our healthcare. Think of artificial intelligence, 3D-printing, wearables, nanotechnology, …Technology is shaping the future of health and care. The new health economy is an ecosystem in which hubs like Health House enable cross-border collaboration and knowledge-driven entrepreneurship. Health House is a key enabler in this transformation, demonstrating how technology creates better and healthier lives. https://www.health-house.be/en/

Platform RegMed:  Regenerative Medicine Innovation Platform

The province of Flemish Brabant (Belgium) and its neighbouring regions together have a leading role in regenerative and personalised medicine research, translation, industrialisation, dissemination and clinical implementation. Also a critical mass of experienced and complementary actors along the complete value chain is present in this region. To maintain and strengthen this unique and high potential position in regenerative medicine a customised strategic innovation platform was established.

The goal of this Regenerative Medicine Innovation Platform (RegMed) is to create a leading public-private community that, by building on its regional actors, can drive regenerative medicine towards a real industry with clinical applications and a socio-economical return.

Workshop // VR // HEALTH (December 18th 2018) : This event was organized as part of the KneeVR project (see above), supported by the Province of Flemish Brabant. 120 attendees witnissed an inspiring workshop on virtual reality in health care.

Virtual Reality (VR) is no longer just interesting for gadget freaks and gamers. This technology is also becoming increasingly popular in healthcare. The VR technology evolves faster than ever and the possibilities for using VR in a clinical context are numerous. This workshop gave a glimpse of VR applications in healthcare. What does already exist and what does the future have in store? It was a workshop with fascinating speakers, inspiring cases and live-demos.

Visionary seminars (March 6-7th 2016): 'aging with a healthy brain’ in Kopenhagen and Stockholm. Organised by Province Flemish Brabant in cooperation with KULeuven Research & Development (LRD), Leuven.Inc and Universities of Kopenhagen and Stockholm.

 

Management team

Philip Dingemans
Cluster Manager
Tine Van Lommel
Cluster Manager

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral Industries
Technology fields
S3 EU priority areas
Cross-sectoral industries
Biopharmaceuticals

Services

Support services provided

Other (please specify)

Support programmes

EU Programmes

Name & description

On a regional level, EFRO Vlaanderen - the ERDF program in Flanders - has granted support for Smart Hub Health. The project that was granted started in 2017. Responding on a call for projects facilitating the internationalization of Flemish small and medium sized companies (SMEs), Smart Hub Health was selected as the only cluster in Flanders to implement a project regarding the ‘internationalization of SMEs, scale-ups and start-ups in the sector of MedTech, BioTech and RegMed (see below for more details).

Project name

Project: Internationalization of Flemish SMEs, scale-ups and start-ups in the sector of MedTech, BioTech and RegMed nr. 1161 (1st of June 2017 - 31st of May 2019)

Smart Hub Health coordinates this project, for the whole of Flanders within ‘EFRO-Vlaanderen’, the Flemish ERDF-programme (‘European Regional Development Fund’). Project partners include flanders.bio (Life Sciences), DSP Valley (micro and nano electronics) and Leuven MindGate (Health) and with the support of Flanders Investment & Trade and The RegMed-Community. Many other Flemish actors in the health sector support this project.

The goal of this ERDF project is to make Flemish SMEs in the sector of MedTech/BioTech/RegMed aware of, and give them information on, internationalization. The project will also develop tools so they will be able to find foreign partners to do business with.

This involves the promotion of internationalization among Flemish MedTech/BioTech/RegMed companies, as well as retaining and attracting foreign actors (companies, R&D facilities, …) that have added value for the Flemish MedTech/BioTech/RegMed ecosystem. Specific activities during the two year period of the ERDF project included a modular training ‘Going International’ that helps to set up and to implement a successful internationalization strategy. Another activity was the matchmaking internationalization, giving Flemish SMEs the necessary tools and platforms to find a foreign match in the form of community & cluster-sessions, pitch & match sessions and/or missions.

The output of the EFRD project Internationalization of Flemish SME’s, scale-ups and start-ups in the sector of MedTech, BioTech and RegMed so far includes: 

  1. Training: The modular training ‘Going International’ helped BioTech en MedTech start ups to set up and to implement a successful internationalization strategy (March 2018-November 2018)
  2. MatchmakingThere was a matchingsession with the German cluster BioRegio Stern (Leuven | 17 September 2017) and at The MedTech Conference (USA | 24-26 September 2018). There were two clusterssessions at BioJapan (Japan | 10-12 October 2018) and with Boston Scientific (Leuven | 12 November 2018). Other sessions will take place with the cluster MicroTech Südwest (Germany), the region Rhein-Neckar (Germany) and Swiss MedTech (Switserland) (Leuven | spring 2019) and at the conference Knowledge for Growth (Gent | 9 May 2019).
  3. Conference: in February 2019 the province organised an international cross disciplinary conference and match making event called ' ‘Life-on-Chip – The Road from Idea to Reality’  aiming to kick-start cross-over partnerships and projects to realize the full potential life-on-chip innovations, accelerating the development of personalized healthcare solutions. The event included testimonies of roads traveled and lessons learned by pioneering researchers, entrepreneurs and first application movers, with a rich offering of keynote speakers, thematic sessions, prototype and product show cases and matchmaking (B2Match). The 2 days event was attended by 143 participants.
  4. Acquisition: interesting foreign Life Sciences companies were encouraged to invest in Flanders. Within the framework of the Welcome Team Life Sciences of Flanders Investment & Trade two actions towards Northern-America were prepared. At the matchmaking event during the MedTech Conference (USA | 24-26 September 2018) MedTech-companies were stimulated to come to Flanders. At the event about Single Cell (USA | 28 September 2018) a seminar about this topic was organised in order to put the cluster from Gent in the picture.

Project KneeVR: Using Virtual Reality for revalidation

By complementing the recovery process of knee injuries (more specifically ACL (anterior cruciate ligament-related treatments) with AR/VR gamification will enable patient to recover quicker and in more enjoyable conditions. Knee injuries are rather frequent with athletes, both professionals and amateurs. A reconstruction of the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament-related treatments) is common surgical option with the athlete’s objective to be able to completely resume his or her sporting activities. Downside is that the patient is facing a long and boring recovery. For months on end, preforming the same set of exercises is not exactly stimulating. By using Virtual Reality and gamification, KneeVR aims to develop a personalized virtual environment where recovery is stimulated through fun exercises, variability and personal feedback.

The province Flemish Brabant subsidises this project. More information: www.kneevr.be

Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries

China
United States

Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries

Denmark
Germany
Netherlands
Sweden

Transnational support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

International support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

Upcoming events

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