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News & Press: News

Joint Ecosystem Meeting: A Great Success

20 December 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Rigby
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“98% of attendees wish for more such gatherings”


On Thursday 1st December 2016, ECHAlliance brought together for the first time ever, two Ecosystems from the International Network, for a joint Ecosystem gathering in Northern Ireland. The theme for the day was Cross Border Collaboration.

The session was attended by 250 delegates from all sectors and from across borders. In addition to representation from across Ireland, organisers were pleased to welcome delegates from Slovenia, Denmark, Greece, Austria, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany and the UK.

We were delighted by the feedback, and are pleased to share some of the comments:





Joint Ecosystem meetings would be a valuable forum for cross-border collaboration

The quality of speakers and content was high

The topics covered were relevant to me/ my organisation

I identified partners for potential collaboration









The Joint Ecosystem was a valuable networking opportunity

I have a better understanding of cross-border initiatives

I gained insights into future opportunities for my organisation

I would recommend attending future Joint Ecosystem events to others in my network



“I was amazed by the complexity of the health sector in general with overlapping organisations, initiatives and responsibilities, both sides of the border and was fascinated by the effectiveness of the Joint Ecosystem gathering and the potential for future alignment and efficiencies in Health Care in Ireland and beyond.

“I noticed a number of senior civil servants within health talking to each other in deep conversations …. it is so difficult to quantify the value of bringing people from within the system together and talking things through, in an informal setting.  I am sure you don't see the benefit of it but your forum is very important in making these types of interactions come about.

“Well done, I really enjoyed the event, and it was time well spent.”

“Very interesting to have attendees from outside island of Ireland. So much to learn and share from other places with similar aspirations”

“Well done... In times of global change where HE budgets are being cut and Health & Care resources are ever more stretched, high impact cross-border events are essential to driving the innovation economy”

“As a technology development specialist, innovator and entrepreneur moving from Life Science to Health Care this was a huge learning experience.”


Our thanks to all who supported the event: our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, visitors and to the attendees. 

To maintain momentum, we will shortly announce dates for the 2017 Ecosystem meetings in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland.  We are planning the second Joint Ecosystem to be held in Dublin in 2017 and will announce the date when confirmed.

We will keep all attendees informed of developments over coming weeks and encourage you to participate in future Ecosystems, and join the communities that we are building across Europe.   Join in, on the Global Connector at

Cross Border Collaboration

The day focused on cross border collaboration, and for many delegates, the meeting was the first time they had been given the opportunity to meet their counterparts from elsewhere on the island of Ireland, especially for a session focused so intensively on innovation. Both factors fuelled an energising level of conversation throughout the busy day.

The busy agenda launched with keynotes on collaboration and shared priorities, with speakers from the Irish Department of Health, Department of Health Northern Ireland, and Invest NI and InterTradeIreland. Later in the day sessions covered funding opportunities with examples of successful approaches to European funding from both sides of the border and a look at Northern Ireland’s Small Business Research Initiative.

Thanks once again to all our partners: