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EIT Health set to bridge innovation gap in Austria

5th December 2022

With the support of 15 Partners, we have launched a new regional innovation hub in Austria to bridge the gap between research, business, and education, so that healthcare innovation may flourish. The new hub, in the third district of Vienna, connects Austrian life science organisations, universities, and businesses within our Partner network with local talent, to bring innovative health solutions to market faster.

With 1,000 biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies in operation and a revenue of over €25.1BN,[1] the life science sector in Austria is sizeable. Its success is supported by 24,000 life science employees, working at 17 universities, 13 universities of applied science and 25 non-university research institutes.[2]

EIT Health Austria will build on this success and drive healthcare innovation in the region. It will connect Austrian businesses, research institutions and universities, to provide programmes giving innovators the skills, mentorship and financial access needed to develop to market-ready products.

The healthcare industry in Austria has many strengths, including a well-developed healthcare system, a competitive market with several big players, and particularly strong SMEs. It also has an extensive talent pool and well-functioning life science clusters. Plus, the ambition and political strategy needed to drive innovation in areas where our healthcare systems can be improved. We look forward to leveraging this powerhouse for greater impact as part of the wider EIT Health network,” said Dr Dirk Holste, Managing Director ad interim, EIT Health Austria. 

The new hub will also gear its activities to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and contribute to the implementation of local strategies. For example, Vienna’s health-related objectives in the Strategy Vienna 2030 – Economy & Innovation.

The establishment of the new hub in the headquarter of the Austrian Federation of Social Insurances (Kundmanngasse 21; 1030 Vienna) has been made possible through the support of 15 highly engaged Austrian Partners, EIT, and key institutions at a regional level. These include the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, and the Vienna Business Agency.

Local financial support enables the implementation of the innovation lab project, Health.Gateway.Austria, which will boost synergies between Austrian and European stakeholders in the field of life science innovation. In this way, it will bridge the innovation gap currently stopping great ideas at a prototype stage. The Health.Gateway.Austria is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG for the next six years.

“Launching a regional innovation hub in Austria is a vital step in furthering our work to create resilient healthcare systems in Europe. The combination of EU and local funding means we can drive healthcare innovation sustainably, and for the long term in this region. The Austrian hub will contribute to pan-European solutions to the significant healthcare challenges we face across Europe,” said Lisa Shaw-Marotto, Chair of the Supervisory Board, EIT Health.

In September, EIT Health launched a call for proposals for activities to foster innovation in three flagship areas. These include new models to deliver healthcare, facilitating the uptake of digital medical devices (DMDs) in Europe, and harnessing the full potential of health data for innovation. EIT Health Austria welcomes proposals from within the Austrian healthcare innovation ecosystem to help us drive change in these key areas at a regional level.

“Adding the expertise of the Austrian healthcare innovation community to our network puts us in a stronger position than ever to improve healthcare delivery models, increase adoption of DMDs, and harness health data to drive innovation across Europe. I welcome proposals from Austria in response to our flagship call and look forward to seeing the change we facilitate together, said Jean-Marc Bourez, CEO ad interim, EIT Health.

Discover our Austrian Partners and connect with the team at EIT Health Austria.

Article orginally posted on the main eithealth.eu news page.

  1. Advancing austrian life science (no date). Available at: https://www.lifescienceaustria.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Life_Science_Report_Austria_2021.pdf (Accessed: November 24, 2022).

  2. Advancing austrian life science (no date).

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