The timing could not have been better for Eucomed Forum 2010. The European Commission officially launched Innovation Union last week to drive innovation in a number of key areas, including healthcare. It also announced the first partnership for innovation under that umbrella devoted to . . . healthcare and wellness. “There was a great deal of debate regarding which sector would be the first,” Professor Maria João Rodrigues told attendees during her keynote speech at the event in Brussels this morning. “But it was decided that it should focus on health. Specifically: a partnership for active and healthy ageing.” Rodrigues is a special advisor on European policies, EU Institutions, and Professor of European Economic Policies at the Institute for European Studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
As part of the Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative, the partnership’s goal is to enable citizens to live longer independently in good health by increasing the average number of healthy life years by two. Achieving this target, it is reported, will improve the sustainability and efficiency of EU member states’ social and healthcare systems. Moreover, the hope is that it will create a market for innovative products and services and, in the process, provide new opportunities for EU business.
To increase your odds of finding support at the EU level, potential partners should heed the following, according to Rodrigues:
- articulate a challenge
- make sure all of the stakeholders have a firm commitment to the project
- ensure that the project advances EU values
- be outcomes focused
- have your financial house in order
Take advantage of this environment to start networking and planning for this opportunity, Rodrigues urged attendees. “The partnership will need a steering board, technology working group and much more.”
The Eucomed Forum continues until 14 October at the Crowne Plaza in Brussels.Norbert Sparrow