Introducing new Top Team member Erik Gerritsen

From 1 July Top Sector LSH welcomes Erik Gerritsen, Secretary General at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport as the new member of the Top Team Life Sciences & Health. Within the Top Team Erik Gerritsen represents the government. Top Sector LSH would like to thank Gerritsen's predecessor Angelique Berg as Director General of Ministry Health, Welfare and Sport for her contributions.

Let’s get to know Erik Gerritsen and his role at the government!

What is your role at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport?

The Secretary General is the highest-ranking civil servant at the Ministry responsible for the overall proper functioning of the organisation. For me personally this means ensuring our minister and state secretary as well as parliament receive excellent advice and service and that the Ministry is a strong mission-driven organisation with a sharp focus on creating maximum impact in society. One of my more specific responsibilities concerns Innovation and eHealth.

What are your personal motives for working for the Ministry?

I have a strong passion for working for the public good, making a difference for vulnerable people and solving wicked societal problems. When you want to make an impact on a national and healthcare-wide level then the Ministry is the place to be. Primarily through unleashing all of the positive energy that is going around at the frontline level.

Why do you think that the Top Sector approach is important?

The Top Sector approach has the ambition of organising focus as well as inclusive, multidisciplinary and even cross-sectoral cooperation. These are two key success factors for creating impact. Everything that you give attention to grows and you can get the whole system into a room, so to speak, and lock the door until they have reached a solution. 

What is the role of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in Top Sector Life Sciences & Health?

The first rule of government is ‘do no harm’ and embrace all the positive energy that is going around. The second rule is ‘help to remove obstacles that stand in the way of innovation’. And the third rule is ‘help to create learning communities and facilitate the development of ecosystems’. These general rules are also applicable to the role my Ministry and other ministries (Economic Affairs & Education, Science and Culture) have to play with regard to LSH.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Dutch Life Sciences & Health sector?

I am relatively new in the field and for now have nothing to add to the general consensus that we are a frontrunner in many ways. However, there is no reason whatsoever to be smug about that, because at the same time we are running the risk of falling behind very quickly, with all those mutually reinforcing exponential developments that we are confronted with and that forces all of those involved to work together towards resilient and adaptive networking. 

How do you see the future of eHealth?

eHealth is maybe the most important lever for attaining durable affordable, accessible and higher quality healthcare. More focus on low-tech high impact eHealth is needed. To quote my minister Edith Schippers ‘from the waiting room towards the living room’. To quote my state secretary Martin van Rijn ‘cold IT enabling warm care’.

What is your message to everybody working in the Life Sciences & Health sector?

First act, then reflect. The best way to predict the future is by making it together. I am very much looking forward working with you all. Don’t hesitate to contact me at or follow me on twitter @egerrit.

Scale Up Guide 2016: Developed for and by care innovators

How do we ensure that innovations in healthcare succeed? And how can successful innovations be implemented elsewhere? During the eHealth week in June this year Zorg voor Innoveren launched the new, improved and redesigned Scale Up Guide 2016. This digital publication is a toolbox for healthcare innovators to help them successfully scale up their innovation. Scaling up innovation is an important development phase for Top Sector LSH, which enlarges the scope of the innovation. See how this toolbox can benefit you!

Scale Up Toolbox

While scaling up can be a difficult process, there are many examples of successful healthcare innovators. In addition to these case studies, the Scale Up Guide contains many tools: tips and tricks and useful references and reviews of innovators inside and outside healthcare. The guide includes subjects such as entrepreneurship, finance, and conditions for success. In this final topic the authors elaborate on collaboration, research, education and legal aspects.


Developed for and by care innovators

The information in the guide is useful for both healthcare innovators with and without experience in healthcare. The publication is designed for and by healthcare innovators and contains input from the Scale up Top of December 2015. Zorg voor Innoveren is open to suggestions from users and readers to further improve the guide.

Even better healthcare

As Minister Schippers emphasises in her preface: "Learn from those who have gone before you. Their stories are in this guide. And use the knowledge that Zorg voor Innoveren has collected and compiled.’ We can further enhance healthcare in the Netherlands with the right information and advice.

Curious how the Scale Up Guide can benefit you? Read the new Guide below.

English Guide or Dutch Guide

New Health~Holland Guide

Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure website

Upgrade International branding Health-Holland