Vlerick and KU Leuven found the Health Sciences & Business Institute together

Impressive ecosystem in the field of healthcare and innovation

The Vlerick Healthcare Management Centre and the Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy at KU Leuven are joining forces. The two bodies intend to work together under the umbrella of the new Health Sciences & Business Institute (HSBI) in the fields of scientific research, and international training in entrepreneurship and leadership in healthcare.

Prof. Dirk De Ridder, Head of the Leuven Institute for Healthcare: “To give innovation in healthcare a chance, we need to break down the barriers between scientists, the business community and the care sector. And that is exactly what we envisage with this new joint venture”.

Prof. Walter Van Dyck, Director of the Vlerick Healthcare Management Centre: “This unique cooperation brings together science and health, as well as business and leadership. By bringing our networks together, the HSBI forms an impressive ecosystem in terms of healthcare and innovation in the Low Countries and the United Kingdom. This has been made possible thanks to the strategic partnerships we have set up for this purpose with pioneering international institutions in care management, namely Imperial College London and University Medical Centre UMC Utrecht in the Netherlands."

Within this initiative we are developing amongst others the following programmes.

The ‘Health Entrepreneurship’ course, which begins in the late spring, is aimed at start-ups and growing companies in biopharmaceuticals, MedTech and services in the care sector. The course is aimed at helping them to convert their innovative ideas into a business model that can withstand the test of risk financing. Maximum use of online distance learning and expert coaching will support young companies on their way to international growth.

The unique ‘Health  Innovation Leadership’ course, which begins in autumn, is, on the other hand, aimed at doctors and leaders in hospitals and the medical industry with a healthy interest in patient-focused innovation systems. Focusing on co-creation in care, the aim is to propose innovative care models that are necessary to create networked ‘high-reliability healthcare’ organisations.

The courses will form part of the EIT Health Campus portfolio in 2017. EIT Health, a European institution for promoting educational initiatives that bring together business and healthcare, is one of the largest healthcare networks in the world and aims to be a catalyst for sustainable improvement of European health care by means of stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation.

Prof. Dirk De Ridder: “We hope to use the courses to promote innovation that does not merely put more focus on the patient, but also leads to solutions that span the entire ecosystem. That is only possible by stimulating greater cross-pollination between all the actors involved, which are the health and life sciences, medical service providers and academics. All too often, after all, we see innovative technologies that end up stranded in the development phase and never find their way onto the market. That is because the end users, i.e. care providers and patients, simply do not buy or use the products. Hence entrepreneurs also need to gain insight into their decision-making process. However, managers at established companies in the sector or managers with care providers also need to gain insight into how to put equipment, IT and biopharmaceutical technology onto the market and how they can work with entrepreneurs to do so. An open discussion on innovation in healthcare is becoming increasingly important in these times of austerity. It is encouraging to see that the prestigious EIT Health Campus greatly appreciates the value of our initiative by including us in its portfolio focused on Europe”.

As for academic research into health sciences and biosciences, the two parties have drawn up a common agenda based on shared strengths. Topics currently under further scrutiny focus on both care policy and the strategic management of medical technology and innovation in companies and care institutions. Research into quantitative models of care processes and advanced ‘real world’ big data analysis for the purposes of performance-based care are also part of the research portfolio.

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