Health & Care officially assigned as central theme in the mission-driven innovation policy

On 13 July 2018 the Ministerial Council officially approved the new Mission-Driven Innovation Policy that builds upon the Top Sector Policy, with a clear focus on global societal challenges. Health & Care is appointed as one of the four central themes in the renewed Top Sector Policy. Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) celebrates this good news for the Dutch LSH sector. The importance of the LSH sector and the robust innovative solutions it offers are hereby once again officially recognised by the government.

Collaboration in the quadruple helix

To tackle the societal challenge Health & Care, improving the quality of life (vitality) while restraining the costs of healthcare, it is of utmost importance that citizens, researchers, government and entrepreneurs join forces in the field of science, applied research and innovation. As Health & Care is appointed as one of the central themes in the renewed Top Sector Policy by Minister Eric Wiebes and State Secretary Mona Keijzer, the Top Sector LSH can further stimulate this collaboration in the quadruple helix.

Mission driven innovation policy

Agriculture, Water & Food; Energy transition & Sustainability and Safety are the other central themes appointed within the renewed top sector policy. For all of the societal challenges a number of clear missions will be drafted. These missions are guiding for the establishment of Knowledge and Innovation Agenda’s (KIA’s). Within these agenda’s the approach and strategic plans to reach these missions will be laid out. Other focus points will be valorisation, Human Capital, internationalisation, hurdles in legislation and regulation, the role of the government as launching customer and the affiliation with European and regional initiatives and financing.

“The innovation potential in Health & Care is enormous. New treatment modalities, including disease prevention and real cures will lead to huge benefits for patients and society at large. At the same time, they go hand in hand with economic growth of an already thriving Life Sciences & Health sector. I am thrilled that our government embraces this view and has identified Health & Care as one of the key priorities in our national innovation policy”, says Hans Schikan, Chairman a.i. of the Topsector Life Sciences & Health.

The Top Sector LSH’s KIA 2018-2021 describes the health and care ambitions for the next four years, with the guiding mission ‘vital functioning citizens in a healthy economy’. This mission is supported by national strategic public-private partnerships in the field of cardiovascular diseases, dementia, regenerative medicine and cancer research and will further extend in the upcoming years. In addition, the Top Sector will continue to search for new public-private partnerships that boost innovation in health and care.

Turning to action

To turn the agenda’s into action the ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy expands the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) allowance, a financial instrument for public-private research and development, with 50 million euros per year. This substantial increase in financial resources gives the Top Sector LSH the possibility to invest in more PPP projects and large LSH consortia that aim to tackle diseases through large-scale research and treatment programmes.

The Top Sector LSH invites research organisations, health foundations and companies (start-ups, SMEs and industry) to jointly invest in research and development for the benefit of evidence-based innovation and to help build a strong and sustainable LSH sector that contributes to the global societal challenge ‘Health and Care’.