East Netherlands


Developments in Personalised Medicine in East Netherlands presented at EU regions week

On October 9, a session on regional smart specialisation, investments and innovation opportunities for SMEs was organised as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels. The developments in East Netherlands in Personalised Medicine were presented by the leader of the S3 platform on Personalised Medicine.

Personalised Medicine in East Netherlands

Since 2018 East Netherlands is co-lead of the S3 platform for Industrial Modernisation on Personalised Medicine. This platform is run together with Flanders and Limburg, working together with regions from all over Europe. It aims to support industrial modernisation and smart specialisation. By stimulates bottom-up initiatives in regional industries and SMEs to become more innovative, with concrete tools for successful cooperation. During the workshop the iconic project TopFit and the developments in interregional cooperation on the mission programme Diabetes were presented by the Personalised Medicine Partnership Lead, Kathleen D’Hondt, from the Flemish Government.


TOPFIT is a strategic open innovation programme initiated by Radboud University, RadboudUMC, Wageningen University & Research and the University of Twente. Comprising a wide range of partners such as care institutions, companies, insurance companies, municipalities, GGD’s, universities of applied sciences and vocational education. The program has a horizon of 10 years and an annual turnover of 100 million, and aims to be the largest research embedded Citizen Lab and Health Innovation Hub (including public-private innovation platform) in Northern Europe.

The aim is to provide citizens with two more healthy lifes, by combining the three domains health, tech and food. Thus TOPFIT focuses on being ‘ One step ahead ‘. The first mission programme is aimed at reducing the impact of diabetes in Europe. By establishing a public-private-people- partnership to reduce the socio-economic burden of diabetes in regions in Europe. This partnership will focus on improving cure & care for diabetes patients and improving personalized health through prevention (incl. prediction) to reduce occurrence of diabetes in the regional populations. This programme will be run in close collaboration with patients, risk groups and professionals throughout Europe in order to increase knowledge, develop innovative products and services and implement these in the daily (care)practice. Social return on investment and life style coaching are priority themes.

Kathleen D’Hondt, Personalised Medicine Partnership lead, Flemish Government, Belgium.


Smart Specialisation Partnerships for Industrial Modernisation in Personalised Medicine

The regional Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) create new transregional cooperation opportunities. In 2016 the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation was launched by de European Commission (DG Grow and DG Regio) as an open initiative with the aim to support industrial modernisation across the EU. This is done by the development of inter-regional investment projects.

Currently 21 interregional partnerships have been established covering different traditional and emerging industry-related fields and value chains. Partners from Th!nk East Netherlands are active in the following platforms: Personalised Medicine,  Hydrogen Valleys , Photonics, Medical Technology , Advanced Materials for Batteries

Partnerships develop cooperation and investment ideas which in some cases are based on co-operation protocols formalising the willingness to pursue a long-term inter-regional cooperation. Under the same principles the partners of Th!nk East Netherlands are active in the Vanguard Initiative in the field of Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing, 3D printing and new nano-enabled products. Thus encouraging effective trans-regional cooperation between industry, R&D sector and authorities to help innovation actors to apply smart specialisation. This enables SMEs to develop strategies with innovation partners, internationalise and acquire a stronger position in European/global value chains.

At the workshop regions, clusters and industrial organisations had  the opportunity to discuss with smart specialisation experts and financial brokers how to benefit from the presented tools and how to involve new actors and SMEs in view of the programming period 2021-2027.


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