Annemiek Verkamman, director HollandBIO: "Let's tell the world how you are all working to improve our health and contibute to a sustainable world."

Eight lessons on how to incorporate patients from PatientTOP

How to involve patients during the innovation process?

Inspirational plenary opening

In his enthusiastic opening speech, executive chair Johan Melse asked the visitors when they last did something new and the last time they had a patient experience. Uproar erupted; the launch of a day full of involvement and interaction.

Margriet Crezee shared her story about All of Me, an initiative that focuses on adolescents with a chronic disease. The whole project is about co-creation, reflecting alongside the adolescents on how this group can receive the correct information and support. In All of Me the involvement of the working field, partners and end users is vital for finding the correct form to create something.

The subsequent Open Space, where all participants could write their frustrations and tips for others on flap-overs, initiated interesting dialogues about working methods, government policies and other recognizable issues. Nonetheless, many interesting tips were written down, like ‘invest in new collaboration systems with experiential experts’ and ‘look at the man in his entirety and not solely at the patient’.

Various subsessions on innovations and patient participation

Following this programme section more sessions took place, where experiences and valuable lessons were shared. For example, Sytske van Bruggen and Karin Busch spoke on behalf of Protocol Los, a project to stimulate patients to take control of their own healthcare. However, this also calls for a different approach from the healthcare providers. They feel supported, but must also have faith in their knowledge and experience to embrace the new working method.

Respiratory therapist Ruud van der Wel developed the Magic Floot and GroovTube, electronic wind instruments that enable children with a muscular disease to enjoy therapy. “If children enjoy going to therapy more then my mission is accomplished.”

The need of the customer is the starting point for Hence not: we have a top-loader with a brushless engine for you! But: do you have a large family with many athletes? Then this washing machine suits you the most! Maartje Geerts Ward van Loon showed how cleverly utilises data customers leave behind on their platform while shopping. By translating buy and click behaviour to needs, you gain insight in what customers are searching for and how you can best meet their question.

eHealth has become ubiquitous, as Chandra Verstappen of Pharos emphasises. However she points out that individuals with a low educational level, inadequate health literacy or a migrant background often have a low capacity to find, understand and apply information on websites and apps due to problems with reading and writing. Her tip: involve as the patient/end user different patients and different types of patients, from individuals with a low level of health literacy to individuals with high levels of education.


After the TOP director ‘Innovatie en Zorgvernieuwing’ of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport Gelle Klein Ikkink told his most important lesson of the day. “I read on one of the flap-overs: fun, fun, fun. This is also how I experienced today. It is inspiring and enjoyable to develop and design along with patients, healthcare providers and innovators. At the same time, fun is the beginning of the word fundamental, and that’s the movement we now see. The relation between healthcare provider and patient is changing in an equal relationship in which patients are involved in all innovations from the very beginning.”

Learned lessons during the PatientTOP

From all of the input given on this day, lessons will be put together that will also be included in the new knowledge file on patient-included innovation. Read the interactive PDF.

All of these lessons are in Dutch

Lesson 1: Betrek de patiënt vanaf het begin (Involve the patient form the start)
Lesson 2: Vraag niet alleen de usual suspects (Do not ask just the usual suspects)
Lesson 3: Leg uit: ‘Waarom zou ik meewerken?’ (Explain: 'Why should I get involved?’)
Lesson 4: ‘Wij weten wat goed voor u is!’ (We know what is good for you)
Lesson 5: Begin simpel (Start simple)
Lesson 6: Begroot de inzet van patiënten (Increase the use of patients)
Lesson 7: Blijf aangehaakt bij elkaar (Remain connected with each other)
Lesson 8: Meer dan alleen een medisch dossier (More than just a medical file)

Annual Health~Holland Regional Meeting

Strengthening national and regional collaboration in Life Sciences & Health.

Nico van Meeteren, Executive Director Top Sector LSH: "The investments and number of success in the Dutch LSH-regions – from the North to the South – increased again in 2016!"

The executive director of the Top Sector, Nico van Meeteren, started the meeting with a review of Top Sector LSH's activities over the past year. This gave the regional organisations an insight into the developments and opportunities for industry and the knowledge institutions. Next Chrétien Herben, valorisation manager of Top Sector LSH, gave a presentation on how the Top Sector LSH facilitates a collaboration between various educational and coaching programmes in the sector via the Business Education Roadmap.

Theo Föllings, Vice President at Oost NV, elaborated on the manifesto entitled the ‘National revenue and the crucial role of regions’. This takes a closer look at the business climate and ecosystems and how national revenue can best be facilitated. Föllings emphasised the Regional Economic Acceleration Agendas and he concluded by stating that regional collaborations are crucial for national profitability. Afterwards a discussion started on regional versus national policy and what to do with regional investments.

Next Peter Post, Director of Task Force Health Care, had a call-to-action to jointly accelerate on international representation of the Dutch LSH sector. According to Post: “We can only create international impact when there is national collaboration.” The audience was curious about concrete forms they can use and where to go for what.

The presentations ended with six pitches on various topics by the regional organisations attending. During these pitches, successful regional initiatives that want to scale up were presented. These pitches included the Center for Open Innovation in Lead Discovery (COILED),, a partnership on Healthy Lifestyle Innovation called C.I.A.L.E., Health Hub Utrecht, Foundation ‘Mijn Data | Onze Gezondheid’, and the call-to-action on input for Health~Holland to apply for 'Innovatiemakelaar'.

The meeting ended with drinks and bites and a chance to network. Currently Top Sector LSH is working on the follow-up of this meeting to continue its efforts to strengthen the connections between regional and national LSH organisations.

Strategic public-private partnerships: inspiring each other

The second PPP meeting organised by Top Sector LSH

Joining forces to tackle worldwide societal challenges is becoming increasingly common in the field of healthcare research. Large consortia focusing on cancer, cardiovascular medicine and regenerative medicine are formed by Dutch researchers in close collaboration with industry, SMEs and the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH). The Top Sector aims to facilitate such initiatives to ensure good organisation and to develop sustainable financing. Therefore, the Top Sector will include several of these so-called strategic public-private partnerships (PPPs) in its new strategic document (Knowledge and Innovation Agenda 2018 – 2021).

On 31 May 2017, around 30 Strategic PPPs came together in Utrecht for a second time to inspire and inform each other. Although the status, development phase and challenges of each individual PPP are different, all PPPs have to deal with the same general aspects of strategic PPP formation. By exchanging information during such a meeting, PPPs can learn from each other. Koen Besteman, Principal at Roland Berger, gave a presentation about the different characteristics and funding sources that apply for strategic PPPs. Since Roland Berger has a long history in guiding healthcare PPPs, Besteman addressed the typical threefold approach when setting up a PPP: 1) development of a business plan, 2) building a consortium, and 3) public affairs. In addition, a successful set-up of a PPP has to include a clear project structure and mobilisation of leadership.

Evolution of CVON into the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance

Next professor Wiek van Gilst explained his initiative: the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance (DCVA). DCVA is a movement of the cardiovascular community in the Netherlands and is represented by the Heart Foundation, Netherlands Heart Institute, Heart & Vascular group, NFU, KNAW, NWO, ZonMw, the Dutch government and the Top Sector LSH. Together they aim to mobilise one billion euros for early recognition of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which will be rapidly translated into health solutions to reduce the cardiovascular burden by 25%. DCVA is building on the existing CVON community and is attracting new (industrial) partners to reach its goal: from scientific results to marketed products. They have therefore set-up a valorisation and implementation fast-track programme, next to portfolio management of their consortia, to realise maximal societal impact.

Meet & Match

The rest of the meeting was devoted to a meet & match information session for strategic PPPs with the the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Government ministries (Economic Affairs; Health, Welfare and Sport; Education, Culture and Science), NWO-TTW, SGF and Top Sector LSH. More information about the PPPs will become available in our new strategic agenda, which will be published in July 2017 on the Health~Holland website and in the upcoming Update.

HollandBIO Biotech Thursday