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Towards a Nordic ecosystem for health innovation

The seven projects gathered for a networking meeting in Stockholm last year.
  • Published 22/02/2016
  • Last updated 23/02/2016
Seven Nordic projects are working on uniting and strengthen efforts to develop a Nordic ecosystem for health innovation.


In June 2014, Nordic Innovation launched a NOK 25 million call for proposals for innovative Nordic health and welfare solutions together with Tekes, Vinnova, Innovation Norway and Rannis. The call is a part of the Innovative Nordic Welfare Solutions lighthouse project.


After organising a matchmaking event in Stockholm, we received 26 project proposals with a combined budget of NOK 190 million. Through a careful process by an evaluation panel, Nordic Innovation chose seven projects for funding, all of which are now up and running. Together, they comprise a portfolio of projects that hopefully will help achieve the aim of this call, namely to unite and strengthen efforts across the Nordics in order to develop a Nordic ecosystem for health innovation


– We are excited to see all of them come to life. Together, the projects contribute to develop a Nordic ecosystem for health innovation, where barriers to intra-Nordic business is reduced and where startups and other developers can connect with the right sources of capital, competence and users in the Nordic region. This also increases the chances of fostering scalable solutions that in turn can be exported, says managing director of Nordic Innovation, Carina Christensen.


Read more about the call and the seven funded projects.



Test beds and living labs

One of the main focus areas in the call was on Nordic test bed and living lab collaboration. For businesses in the health and welfare sector, it is important to test their ideas in a “live” setting to get feedback from citizens and employees. By engaging in testing and implementation of new products and solutions, hospitals and care facilities can improve their innovation capacity and market overview.


Three of the funded projects aim to connect different test bed environments and living labs across the Nordics. Nordic Test Beds aims to create systematic cooperation between Nordic university hospital test beds to create an efficient ecosystem and to generate common best practices.


Nordic Network of Test Beds also connects hospital test beds with the aim of harmonising clinical and administrative standards and operations, and increasing the number of companies utilising test beds.


The Nordic Business and Living Lab Alliance are on the other hand working on a municipal level. By establishing 30 Nordic living labs and municipalities, the project aims to involve 100 companies with at least 30 of them being involved in testing and co-creation.


– We are proud to have leading test bed organisations from all the five Nordic countries on board. The three test bed projects that Nordic Innovation has financed will further professionalise Nordic test beds and create a Nordic test bed infrastructure with coordinated procedures and “one point of contact”. The test bed projects will create Nordic value by connecting startups and other developers with detailed knowledge about needs and user insights, and provide test opportunities in hospitals and municipalities across the Nordic region says senior innovation adviser Arvid Løken, who is responsible for managing the projects at Nordic Innovation.



Guidelines, language barriers and startup mentoring

The call also opened for other types of projects contributing to achieving the overall aim. The Ecosystem for Nordic clinical practice guidelines project aims to develop, test and evaluate a Nordic ecosystem for developing, disseminating and updating evidence based Nordic clinical practice guidelines, while the Nordic Medtech Growth 2 aims to develop practical guidelines for HTA processes and health economic evaluation in public procurement.


The Nordic m-health/e-health project aims at helping Nordic startups in the connected health area succeed. The project will establish a group of internationally leading regulatory experts from both life science and mobile technology and develop ways to do fast track trials and testing for new solutions that require clinical trials.


The last project, the Patient-Professional Communication Platform, has developed a plug-in that “translates” medical terminology in patient journals to layman terms – improving understanding and minimising the risk of miscommunication between health care providers and patients.