Norway – Health Tech Ecosystem is ECHAlliance Ecosystem of the Month – September

Norway – Health Tech Ecosystem is ECHAlliance Ecosystem of the Month – September
This month we are featuring our Norway – Health Tech Ecosystem as our Ecosystem of the Month.
ecosystems, interviews

What is the approximate stakeholder breakdown of your ecosystem? 

Norway Health Tech (NHT) is a cluster organisation with about 260 members, 100+ being SMEs; the rest is a mix of large companies, health regions, hospitals, municipalities as well as services providers (regulatory, IPR, design/engineering, manufacturing, etc). Furthermore, we also have an incubator with over 50 companies at a very early stage. As they grow in dimension and come closer to the market, they naturally become more involved with NHT.

We vertically integrate the ecosystem through our members, and bring them to work together across a variety of events, resource groups, national and international projects across a variety of topics.

We also work very closely with other clusters, concretely the Oslo Cancer Cluster and Norwegian Smart Care Cluster (with whom we established a common legal entity focusing on testing of digital solutions and on providing the industry one voice in terms of advocacy work) and The Life Science Cluster.

Who are the top 3 champions from your Ecosystem?

It is difficult to pin-point 3 champions as this is a very active environment. We can highlight some of our closest collaborators in recent times but there are many, very relevant players.

On the research front, SINTEF, Norsk Regnesentralen or Oslo University Hospital (including the faculty and – the Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Consortium) are our closest collaborators. On the (large) industry front, DNV, Sopra Steria or Novartis are very engaged to create conditions for better digital health care, both on development and deployment fronts.In terms of star-tups, we can highlight Holocare and Diffia, which are disrupting in their field and transforming the way hospitals operate.

What EU funding/collaboration are you involved with, or you would like to be part of? 

NHT has a strong track record on EU funded projects with supporting members tapping into projects worth over 110 million EUR over the last 4 years.

Norway Health Tech is currently involved in 4 EU funded projects, CarematrixSmile E-health, NEMONOOR and Invest4Health, and about 15 nationally or self-funded projects, always in collaboration with our members.

We have a strong competence base and network which we use to enhance exploitation of project results and are happy contributing to EU funded projects, particularly in the areas of digital health, remote care, mental health and virtual/digital twins.

What are the key priorities and themes for your ecosystem?  

Norway Health Tech works across categories to elevate the competence and innovation capacity of the ecosystem, support the delivery of better health services and the growth of our industry. In doing so, we have a particular focus on industry-public sector collaboration, digital solutions testing, mental health, novel financial models for health systems, among others.

What is your primary strength as an ecosystem? 

Our membership base is our core strength: we work with the members and for the members, vertically integrating the ecosystem. Any skill that an organisation needs to develop and deploy innovation is available in our membership.

We have established member-driven resource groups on specific areas as a means to build competence, identify and tackle areas where several members (sometimes competitors) have a common challenge.

With the goal to prompt industry-public sector collaboration, together with the Oslo University Hospital and the Oslo Science Park, one year ago we established Health2B – a neutral collaboration ground and co-working space where knowledge sharing and co-design of solutions takes place. The concept has gained traction, attracted a good range of partners and it starts to spin results which would otherwise have been impossible or very difficult to achieve. Health2B has also earned the attention from politicians and national bodies who see it as a great ground to infer on the needs of the industry and how to best solve them.

We organise or co-organise 30-40 events or workshops every year, reaching a climax with the Health Tech Festival where we gather over 350 people from all quadrants and prompt interaction between industry and the public sector at different levels.

Which are the main hospitals in your ecosystem and which are the most active in your ecosystems?

Oslo University Hospital (OUS) is our primary and closest partner – NHT and the Innovation Unit of OUS share the office and the Health2B space, which we co-founded.

Vestre Viken Hospital Trust is also a very relevant partner with whom we have several projects running, including the HelseHub Drammen, one our most active regional hubs of activity.


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