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News & Press: News

Great 2018 - Financing of Innovation in Healthcare (Slovenian ecosystem)

04 December 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Smith
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Financing of innovations in healthcare – 3 December 2018, Tehnology Park Ljubljana


Today, the " 2018 - Financing of Innovation in Healthcare" is taking place in the Technology Park Ljubljana. The key conclusion of the participants is that a systemic approach is necessary in order to bring technological innovations into the healthcare system. Financing on its own is not the limiting factor anymore.


Jozka Hegler, et. Director of the Technology Park Ljubljana, in a welcoming address, spoke about the necessity of connecting all the stakeholders of the health ecosystem and stressed the importance of involving insurance companies and extending the ecosystem to the field of biotechnology. Tomaž Gornik, of Marand, joined the welcome address, empasizing the importance of the ecosystem cooperation, that is proving effective not only in Slovenia, but is modelled accodring to the ECHAlliance approach practiced in 30 ecosystems across and beyond the EU.


Jack van Lint of NLC Healthtec Venture Builders from the Netherlands addressed 150 participants as the keynote speaker. He presented the main challenges facing healthcare in the Netherlands: high drug prices, ineffectiveness of hospitals, demands to raise doctors' and staff salaries, reluctance to innovate and reimbursement for inputs instead of outcomes.

"Healthcare costs are high, they are difficult to control and politically very sensitive. I am convinced that innovation can help reduce them", he said.


Piret Hirv from the Tallinn Technology Park presented the key factors of the Estonian ecosystem, while Mateja Urlep from TikhePharma emphasized the importance of innovation through the involvement of all stakeholders.

"Innovation is important because the life expectancy is longer and the population aging, and our health systems are not sustainable in such a demographic picture. We urgently need an action plan to find the right path to the goal", she stressed.



At the round table of the Partnership for Innovation in Health initiative, the word was about the importance of innovation in improving health care and also increasing efficiency. A special feature of modern digital services is the increasing emphasis on early diagnostics and prevention. The aim of the initiative is to make Slovenian innovative health technology companies, on the one hand, and public health institutions better cooperate.


Anka Bolka from the Health Insurance Fund of Slovenia draws attention to the high price of medicines and highlights the support of the Fund in integrating new services in the field of digital health, with the awareness that commercial interests are very high in the introduction of innovations.


Gregor Cuzak from ECHAlliance is aware of the importance of cooperation initiatives with insurance companies and the need for multi-stakeholder cooperation in the future: mentoring companies, talking with regulators and setting up a good communication platform.

"With the Ljubljana Technology Park, we will create a concrete program that will help to innovate in the Slovenian health system at the system level."


Ljubljana Technology Park supports many startup companies and has an overview of the entire innovation scene in Slovenian healthcare. Mojca Cvirn from Ljubljana Technology Park is convinced that capital is available in Slovenia.

"We support the startups in our park at the general level, but now we have decided that health will be supported by specific, program-tailored industry requirements. We have already tested services, and the second year we will present a new support program. We are proud to have opened a dialogue with all stakeholders in the market - including with insurance companies", she said.


We have also learned about the Hungarian ecosystem, and in more program packages, more than 30 Slovenian and foreign companies, investors, mentors, and health experts represent the product commercialization and more.


The organizers of the meeting find that money is no longer a key limiting factor in the development of Slovenian health technology potential. When four years ago was organized for the first time, among the innovators, the need for financing was different, and many companies were only at the level of the business idea. Today there are already many successful companies, but practically everyone is thriving nicely and globally.


Jožka Hegler, director of the Ljubljana Technology Park, said that now a systematic approach to introducing innovations is what is required. On the one hand, companies need to learn what the health system needs and how the technologies need to be certified, while public institutions headed by the Ministry of Health must enable the unification of the rules for entering the public health system also for technological solutions where special emphasis needs to be given, including proper and secure management of patient data.


For more information, please contact Mojca Cvirn, is jointly organized by Mesi, Xlab, Marand and Technology Park Ljubljana. The event takes place in the framework of the activities of the Slovenian ECHAlliance ecosystem, which connects all stakeholders in the field of eating and health care in Slovenia, following the example of many ecosystems abroad (see ECHAlliance Ecosystems here)