Our World of Health Tech
In The Netherlands, innovation policy is based around a number of themes, or 'top sectors'. The development themes which have a direct link with the Health Tech Region are in the top sectors of Life Sciences & Health and in Chemistry and High Tech Systems & Materials (HTSM): medicines cannot be synthesised without chemical research, and no sensors would be available for use in the development of diagnostic tools without HTSM.
The international technological and market developments are directly comparable to the Dutch priorities. European research and innovation policy is aimed at strengthening scientific and technological expertise based on seven societal challenges. Health, demographic change & well-being, where the aim is to personalise healthcare, falls within the scope of the Health Tech Region and Novio Tech Campus, and so do the key enabling technologies of nanotechnology and biotechnology. In this case, research into innovations and how they can be applied is primarily focused on diagnostics, regenerative medicine, drug delivery and materials.
There are also large-scale programmes beyond Europe, however. Countries such as Japan and the USA are working on innovations at the interface of High Tech and Life Sciences aimed at solving society's (health-related) problems more quickly and cheaply.
There is an ever-growing link between pharmacology and medical devices. The increasing connection between them is particularly apparent in the areas of biomarkers, diagnostics and ICT. Biomarkers form the basis for early diagnosis and possible prevention of various illnesses. They are coupled to diagnostics, i.e. the devices which recognise the biomarkers.
Diagnostics stimulates more effective treatment methods and hence personalised medicine (tailor-made treatment). That is the case for both high-tech solutions and blood-analysis chips, as well as for low-end devices (point of care) for consumers at home. Diagnostics requires integration between high-quality nanotechnology and the disciplines of biology, chemistry and medicine. Needless to say, ICT plays a crucial role in such developments.
From technology to people
The Health Tech Region contains all the necessary ingredients to accelerate innovations in the fields of Life Sciences and High Tech: the Radboud Research Facilities, Radboudumc Technology Centers, Radboud Reshape Innovation Center, HAN BioCentre, the specialised clinical excellence of the Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital, regional network organisations such as Health Valley, the NXP Regional Quality Center Europe and a chain dedicated to semiconductor production which is organised by the national Business Cluster Semiconductors. The Health Tech Region offers plenty of opportunities for companies who are keen to take the next step with their applications by shifting the focus from technology to people.