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EU invests €16 million in European project to accelerate innovation in robotics for healthcare

Troels Oliver Vilms Pedersen

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HERO university of twente

EU invests €16 million in European project to accelerate innovation in robotics for healthcare

The European Commission invests €16 million in DIH-HERO (Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics), a European project which aims to boost innovation and implementation of robotics in healthcare.

The project consortium, which is led by the University of Twente (as coordinator), consists of 17 partners - including the Danish Technological Institute - spread across 10 European countries. The consortium is aimed to establish an independent platform meant to connect businesses, knowledge institutes, investors and other stakeholders, facilitate collaboration and support them to make their products and services in the field of robotics available to healthcare providers.

“The role of the Danish Technological Institute is to connect companies in Scandinavia with the platform and among other things support startup companies with technology and knowhow”, says Troels Oliver Vilms Pedersen chief program officer from DTI and adds:

“We have experienced that when we as an institute are strongly represented in European projects, then more Danish companies participate in them. They get access to capital and collaborations with the best knowledge institutes in Europe via the projects.”

Acceleration of innovation cycle
Stefano Stramigioli, professor in robotics at the University of Twente and coordinator of the pan-European network, explains about the project:

“The route for embedding medical innovations in clinical practice is tough, time-consuming and requires substantial investments. It involves clinical testing, developing efficient production methods, reaching investors, establishing a company and handling distribution, just to mention a few steps. Furthermore, multiple actors are working on various innovations in robotics.”

The European Commission aims to accelerate this ‘innovation cycle’ throughout the entire value chain, making sure that the products and services are developed efficiently by connecting the relevant stakeholders. Each of the 17 partners within the consortium represents a network of healthcare- and knowledge institutes, investors and commercial businesses active in robotics for healthcare.

Danish participation is important
Morten Rasmussen who is the CEO of Danish.Care - the Danish Trade Association for Assistive Technology is excited about the Danish participation.

“It is amazing that Denmark is represented in a project like this, that can help support the innovation in new technologies in healthcare”, he says and adds:

“It provides Danish companies with the opportunity to draw on world-leading competencies”.

Through joining forces, it is planned to build up a DIH-HERO platform during the next four years. This platform will significantly leverage added value throughout the entire value chain in the healthcare ecosystem, by sharing knowledge, connecting the right stakeholders and stimulating tailored investments.

“We are delighted with this grant of €16 million, of which more than €8 million will be distributed to commercial companies in order to support their efforts in development and implementation of digital technologies”, Stefano Stramigioli states. 

Open Calls
SME’s and midcaps located in Europe can apply for funding in open calls from summer 2019 until spring 2021. Funding will be available for travelling, demonstrators and technology transfer.

“We are convinced that DIH-HERO can make a real difference concerning innovation in healthcare and will add significant value throughout the value chain, striving to bring excellent products and services to the market, to the best benefit of the end-consumer - the patient”, Stramigioli concludes. 

For more information and details on upcoming calls, please go to: www.dih-hero.eu.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825003.