Foreword of Martin Paul - chairman advisory board

Taking public-private partnership to the next level

Many of the readers of this update will surely remember the famous slogan of Bill Clinton’s election campaign against George Bush senior: “It’s the economy, stupid”. The other two main slogans of that campaign, however, are less well known: “Change versus more of the same” and “Don’t forget healthcare”. It was clear in the end that the campaign team had a perfect feeling for the true priorities of the electorate and secured a victory for the Democratic Party and Bill Clinton.  

While these three one-liners don’t entirely do justice to the importance of healthcare they can be used to characterise the impact of the new Knowledge and Innovation Agenda of the Life Sciences and Health sector in the Netherlands. The Top Sector policy broke with the past (“Change versus more of the same”) and stimulated the self-organising power of our economic and knowledge sectors. In this framework, the Top Sector LSH managed to bring numerous and diverse stakeholders to the table to secure broad commitment for its activities. Of course the agenda is building on the Dutch tradition of public private partnerships – but it clearly gave this concept a boost and was an inspiration for new “Triple helix” collaborations between knowledge institutions, industry and the public sector. This has also influenced regional and local priorities. Focussing on life sciences and health, the initiatives in our Top Sector from the last three years have secured its unique position from which it is able to contribute not only to societal and economic stability in the broadest sense (“It’s the economy, stupid”), but also to the wellbeing of Dutch citizens (“Don’t forget healthcare”). In my opinion, the stimulation of the connection between economic impact and a vital society is the real success of public private partnership in our sector and one of the key messages of the Knowledge and Innovation Agenda 2018-2021.

The Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders (RegMed XB) strategic PPP is a good example of this innovative approach: it uses a new cooperation model that has a strong focus on improving health and is contributing to the economic development of the Netherlands. With over 35 partners involved it is an impressive example of the sector's ability to align its very diverse goals towards solving major societal issues. RegMed XB takes the PPP concept to the next level by crossing borders (e.g. incorporating a collaboration with Flanders) and by strongly involving the health foundations in the management of the programme.

These are the kind of initiatives that we need to maximise the impact of science on society and economic development. The Top Sector LSH will continue to support these kinds of efforts. I am confident that the new Dutch government will do the same and would like to end with a fourth slogan (not from Bill Clinton): “Never change a winning team!”

Read about the new Knowledge and Innovation Agenda or interesting PPP examples in this Update.

With kind regards,

Prof. Martin Paul, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health and President Maastricht University

Health~Holland Update September 2017
This Update informs you about the latest developments in the Top Sector LSH which starts with the presentation of our new Knowledge and Innovation Agenda 2018-2021. It also informs you about the potential of Learning Communities, the strong innovative position of the Netherlands, and prestigious awards like the Medical Inspirator, NWO Spinoza Prize and Simon Steven Master Prize. Be inspired by the growing financial potential of the PPP Allowance and read about the experiences of an SME. Finally, we highlight past events like the BIO International Convention, Health~Holland Meet~Up and Global Scale-Up kick off as well as the exciting, upcoming events on the agenda.