Connecting SMEs in Life Sciences to Stimulate Breakthroughs in Personalised Medicine

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 18 November 2021

Between 23 and 25 February 2021, the Enterprise Europe Network Flanders and B2Match partnership made up of Smart Hub Health – Belgium and ScanBalt - the health and bio economy cluster of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Northern Germany, Northern Netherlands and North-Western Russia hosted a virtual ClusterXchange in order to strengthen ties and set up connections between SMEs.

Thanks to the exchange, clusters emphasized their willingness to cooperate despite the fact that in general, companies often stay in their nearby markets. On the contrary, Smart Hub Health and ScanBalt believe that both regions can collaborate to boost innovation, and although in the past clusters and governments in Flanders tried to set up cooperation in healthTech with Northern Europe, many of them have failed.

Now, after past collaboration between Smart Hub Health, Tartu Biotechnology Park and Danish Life Science Cluster in the context of the COSME CELIS-project, the momentum is there for a successful collaboration between clusters as well as the Technology-Attaché for Health from Flanders Investment & Trade, based in Copenhagen.

Additionally, the two clusters have decided to set up a meeting at a later stage with the newly created Flanders HealthTech cluster, whose goal is to stimulate cross-overs between biotechnology and all other technologies (nanotech, 3D-printing, big data, etc).

Overall, all the organisations involved in the ClusterXchange were satisfied with the exchange scheme which allowed them to establish innovative relationships between Northern Europe and Flanders in the HealthTech sector.

Jaanus Pikani from ScanBalt said that “Thanks to this exchange, I had the opportunity to speak with the chairman of ScanBalt. During our meeting we agreed on the next step to bring Northern Europe and Flanders together which is in the interest of its SMEs and the rest of the ecosystem.”

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