It is a real privilege to be working in the Life Sciences and Health (LSH) sector. One old proverb says it so clearly: “a healthy person has 1000 wishes, a sick person only one."
Day in day out, millions of people globally are working in the field of Life Sciences to make that one wish for ill people come true or to prevent it from ever being necessary. With commitment and dedication, and with a focus on cure, care and prevention. In the Netherlands as well, hundreds of thousands of passionate people are spending their days, their years, their careers on helping patients to live normal lives. By continuous innovation in new treatment paradigms, novel medicines and diagnostics, and new interventions. And it is paying off. The Netherlands is in the top league when it comes to innovation. In the 2016 European Innovation Scoreboard by the European Commission, the Netherlands belongs to the top 5 innovation leaders. Equally important, the Netherlands also belongs to the top 5 of fastest growing innovators, which holds even greater promise for the future.
The Life Sciences and Health sector fits this recognition very well. The recent flow of deals between global players in the LSH field and Dutch companies speaks for itself. But also the activities within the Netherlands are clear examples of how we foster innovation by means of collaboration within the so-called golden triangle where public, private and governmental actors come together. The recently announced collaborations in the fields of oncology (also known as Top Institute Oncology) and regenerative medicine (known as the RegMed XB initiative) where knowledge institutes and companies, often SMEs, work together supported by the government are excellent examples of innovation and anticipated subsequent valorisation.
With the addition of another key player in healthcare innovation, the patient, one could perhaps better speak of the ‘platinum quadrangle’ than the often used ‘golden triangle’. Health foundations, patient organisations and sometimes even individual patients are becoming significant parties in the search for healthcare and disease solutions.
At the BIO convention in 2015, I had the pleasure of meeting former President Clinton. When he learned I came from the Netherlands, his first reaction was; "you in Holland have the best healthcare system in the world." With that compliment and in the knowledge that our collaborative efforts will lead to further significant innovation in the near future, I hope you enjoy reading this new issue of Health-Holland Update.