Make innovation in healthcare happen
20.11.2015 - European citizens are living longer than ever before and this trend is further continuing due to unprecedented medical advances and improved standards of living. By 2020, more than a quarter of Europeans will be over the age of 60.
It is obvious that these structural changes in our society will have a dramatic impact on European healthcare systems. Along with the aging population, they are facing increasing issues due to a growing number of severe illnesses such as cancer and chronic diseases, Alzheimer's or diabetes.
As part of Horizon 2020, the largest EU programme for research and innovation ever, a new project called "EIT Health" was started at the end of last year by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The consortium consists of more than 140 partners from leading businesses, research centres and universities from across 14 EU countries. Endowed with nearly €500m of EU funding between 2014 and 2020 and a total project volume of €2bn, EIT Health aims to promote entrepreneurship and innovation for healthy living and active ageing with the final goal to improve the quality of life and healthcare across Europe.
I am proud that we were able to find this critical mass of partners from industry, research and higher education. Together we will have the power to respond to the growing challenges to our healthcare systems and we will be able to diminish fragmentation of healthcare systems in Europe.
In the past few months we have been working hard to build the structural fundament for the European headquarters of EIT Health in Munich and the six co-location centres in Mannheim/Heidelberg (Germany), London (UK/Ireland), Stockholm (Scandinavia), Barcelona (Spain), Paris (France), and Rotterdam (Benelux). EIT Health also includes several regional clusters consisting of network partners in Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Wales to help leveraging diversity and driving innovation in emerging countries. Sylvie Bove, the new CEO started at EIT Health in September. With her multinational background, broad expertise and well-established network, Sylvie is perfectly suited to this task.
Now that the legal structure is complete, EIT Health is fully operational. I am very much looking forward to being part of this large and dynamic network, helping to translate creative research projects into ready-to-market products and services. The multidisciplinary approach of EIT Health will open doors to new collaborations, new developments, and finally to better care for citizens. EIT Health will be a key element in advancing innovation in Europe's healthcare systems!
Dr. Ursula Redeker
was nominated managing director and spokesperson of the executive board of Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Mannheim, in 2014. Until August 2015, she was coordinator and ad interim CEO of the European EIT Health consortium. She is now a member of the EIT Health supervisory committee. Dr. Redeker is a senior leader in the healthcare industry with more than 25 years of experience (biotech and global corporations) and over 10 years in senior leadership roles.