Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 108

How does it feel to be designated as
the new Health KIC?
Europe’s healthcare is in a defining situation.
On the one hand, the ageing society and
changes in lifestyle create a growing demand
for health-supporting and disease-treating
products and services, and this naturally exerts
pressure on European healthcare systems. On
the other hand, the healthcare industry is
growing significantly, and the technological
progress in Life Sciences, in addition to other
areas, offers tremendous opportunities for
Europe and its population. To help best place
the European health sector within this
conflicting field is an exciting and fascinating
challenge, and one that EIT Health is strongly
committed to addressing.
We are very pleased that Roche Diagnostics
GmbH and its network partners won the bid to
run EIT Health. With more than 140 leading
healthcare organisations across multiple
industry sectors, public and private research
centres and universities, the new KIC is well
placed to develop European health systems
towards this challenge and to promote
innovation capacity and sustainable quality of
healthcare provision. In our role as co-ordinator
of EIT Health, which is of one of the largest ever
worldwide health networks, we will be able to
direct the newly founded KIC towards success
in boosting innovation for healthier living and
active ageing within Europe.
What are the main goals of EIT Health
and what impact will the KIC have?
Our thematic challenges are threefold:
supporting healthy living through lifestyle
interventions and better self-management of
health, supporting active ageing through
workplace interventions and overcoming
functional loss, and improving healthcare
through upgraded systems and better treatment
and management of chronic diseases.
T
he European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
identified the need for a greater, multi-sector,
multidisciplinary and co-operative response in order to
meet the ‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’ Societal
Challenge. Europe faces multiple struggles as it seeks to address
the increasing prevalence of chronic and neurodegenerative
diseases, comorbidity, the obesity epidemic and the difficulties
posed by an ageing population. Consequently, the EIT has created
a new Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) as a key tool in
this battle.
In December 2014, the EIT announced the designation of the new EIT
Health KIC focusing primarily on healthy living and active ageing. The
winning consortium was ‘InnoLife’, which brings together more than 50
partners and 90 associate organisations of businesses, research centres
and universities from 14 EU member states, including Abbott
Laboratories, Spain, the French National Institute of Health and Medical
Research (INSERM) and the University of Oxford, UK.
On hearing the announcement, Dr Ursula Redeker, spokeswoman for the
executive board of Roche Diagnostics GmbH, EIT Health’s key co-
ordinating partner, and interim chief executive of the KIC, commented:
“We are thrilled to win the EIT’s call. Our partnership’s goal is to promote
entrepreneurship and develop innovations in healthy living and active
ageing, providing Europe with new opportunities and resources. We will
achieve this by delivering products, services and concepts that will
improve quality of life and contribute to the sustainability of healthcare
across Europe. Our partners represent top excellence and our outreach
activities will spread all over Europe.”
To discuss the new KIC, Portal interviewed Redeker, who set out the
backdrop to Europe’s health challenges, the core objectives of the KIC, and
the contribution of the new co-location centres and the InnoStars scheme.
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
108
S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : E U R O P E A N I N S T I T U T E O F I N N O V AT I O N & T E C H N O L O G Y
A health KIC
Interim EIT Health CEO
Dr Ursula Redeker
sets out how the KIC will “improve
the quality of life across Europe” and the importance of collaboration to meet
the initiative’s goals
EIT Health is
emphasising the
importance of ageing
well together
Dr Ursula Redeker
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