The Netherlands is a global leader in trade and industry. SMEs are not only the driving force behind innovation, they generate 60 out of every 100 euros that the business sector earns and are therefore an important driver of economic growth as well. These facts explain the Top Sector's primary focus on SMEs. In addition, SMEs are dependent of the national innovation climate. The many regional organisations active in life sciences and health are working hard to provide knowledge institutes and companies with an excellent framework that they can innovate in.
Over the last months, we have been busy organising numerous activities to boost the impact of our Top Sector by connecting the dots. I would like to draw your attention to a few of these: our very first webinar, our well-attended ‘Get Together Event’ to establish further collaboration between health foundations and SMEs, and a meeting dedicated to regional collaboration.
The first Health~Holland webinar focused on Access to Capital, as securing funding is a well-known hurdle to many entrepreneurs active in the life sciences. Two experienced entrepreneurs, Top Sector board member Hans Schikan and venture capitalist Dinko Valerio, shared their insights. A successful first pilot! In case you missed it, you can still watch a recording of the webinar here.
For SMEs and health foundations, the 'Get Together Event' was a great success. Chairman Rein Strijker even spoke of an ‘historic moment’. Top Sector LSH has designated 15 million euros in TKI allowance to facilitate public-private partnerships between health foundations and SMEs. I am convinced that by joining forces, we will not only develop better innovations for patients but that we will speed up the time from bench to bedside too.
A unique feature of the Netherlands is the large number of high-quality, university medical centres, universities and science parks active in life sciences. Together these form the world’s most concentrated life sciences and health cluster. Top Sector LSH recognises that fruitful collaborations at a regional and national level are vital for gaining momentum. We therefore took the initiative to organise a meeting that brought together all regional organisations active in life sciences and health so that they could share best practices and discuss the Top Sector's role.
In conclusion, Top Sector LSH is actively realising its task to connect the dots and to facilitate the amazing number of inspiring life sciences & health activities that are taking place throughout the Netherlands!
With kind regards,
Professor Jan Raaijmakers
Chairman of the Top Team Life Sciences & Health