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Leveraging the innovative power of the healthtech system

8th July 2022

Last week, the inaugural Bits and Pretzels HealthTech Conference 2022 successfully concluded at the ICM in Munich, Germany. Together with Roche, EIT Health was a founding partner in this new annual event for healthtech start-ups, where we invited key players from across the healthcare ecosystem to join us in forging the alliances needed to foster a healthier future. The vibrant and bustling event was attended by 1,500 people, including 250 start-ups, plus numerous investors, policy-makers, and partners who made up the diverse line-up of 150 speakers.

Technology is developing at a rapid pace, not least in the field of healthcare. During the pandemic, there was accelerated adoption of a number of innovative solutions that leveraged the power of innovation and entrepreneurship for the benefit of patients and citizens. Health start-ups represent the forefront of healthcare advancements and the growth of the healthcare sector as a whole.

During the event, experts emphasised that to ensure we continue to leverage the innovative power of the healthcare system, the sector must continue to assess and overcome barriers to the development, launch and adoption of innovative products and services. A more coordinated approach from all those involved in the healthcare ecosystem is key to ensuring that we retain focus on cooperation, and forging new alliances to expediate innovation in the healthcare sector. And organisations like EIT Health, which bring together those from all three sides of the knowledge triangle – business, research, and education – are uniquely placed to drive transformation in healthcare.

Crucial to accelerating healthcare innovation is the ability to unlock funding for projects that seek to solve Europe’s greatest health challenges and hold the potential to make the biggest societal impact. To unlock funding, bridging the gap between European and regional funding instruments is key. In his keynote speech, Jean-Marc Bourez, Interim CEO of EIT Health, stated, “EIT Health is well connected to European and regional instruments to help drive healthcare innovation across Europe.”

As the healthtech system matures, opportunities for innovation through entrepreneurship are increasing. During his keynote speech, Kurt Höller, Director of Business Creation at EIT Health, emphasised how start-ups should take advantage of the financial opportunities in the region, explaining that, “Europe is the fastest-growing region in terms of VC investment – on par with Asia.” This was consolidated by Laoura Ntziourou, Senior Manager at the European Investment Fund (EIF), when she noted,“We have observed growth in funds investing in the sector.”

This is just a snapshot of some of the valuable ideas shared at Bits and Pretzels HealthTech, which brought together the start-up founders, investors, partners and policy makers most motivated to drive positive change in the sector. We hope you can join us next year as we continue to shape a better future for patients and citizens by facilitating great ideas, conversations and connections, at this transformative event for the healthtech community.

Be a part of this movement and join us at our event next year.

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