• Cross border collaboration to drive healthtech in Belgium
    Sylvie Ponchaut (left) and Ann Van Gysel

News & Views

Cross border collaboration to drive healthtech in Belgium

Jun 12 2024

A strategic partnership between Wallonia’s health cluster BioWin and MEDVIA, the health innovation cluster of Flanders, is set to foster cross-border collaboration, building critical mass and helping to consolidate Belgium’s position in Europe’s healthcare industry.

Through this agreement – the first of its kind to be signed between a Walloon and a Flemish cluster – challenges can be assessed jointly and funding streams aligned to create joint projects between key stakeholders in both regions including governments, companies, research institutes and hospitals. 

By utilising each other’s strengths, the partnership aims to increase the quality of science across the regions, create jobs and grow company valuations and also attract international investors, while developing drugs and medical devices that have a real and positive impact on patients’ lives.

The agreement highlights several key areas of expertise, including:

  • Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs)/bioproduction: Initiatives focusing on this growing sector, including the development of a Belgian ATMP hub and talent development endeavors
  • Medtech/healthtech: Collaboration on national and international initiatives, joint participation in European projects and facilitating access to financial resources for innovative companies
  • Research & innovation: Joint calls for projects and optimization of initiatives with regional and national funding tools to drive research and innovation forward

“We are eager to begin working with BioWin, as collaboration is in the DNA of both of our organisations. We aim to draw on the unique strengths and differences between our regions to complement each other, to the benefit of the whole ecosystem. Together, we aim to create maximum economic and societal value, as well as solidify Belgium’s reputation as a player to be reckoned with in global health innovation,” said Ann Van Gysel, CEO of MEDVIA.

“This partnership with MEDVIA is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the power of regional collaboration in fostering innovation in the biotech and healthtech field. Together we can be bolder and address the challenges in our ecosystem. We can leverage our strengths to consolidate Belgium’s position as a leading life sciences hub in Europe and have greater impact internationally to bring the best innovative treatments to as many patients as possible,” said Sylvie Ponchaut, managing director of BioWin. 

The two clusters started working together in 2023, co-organising several key conferences such as: Science for Health, supported by the HST Group consortium (Health, Science and Technology Group, an alliance of Pfizer, UCB, GSK and Janssen); and the first HealthTech Investor summit in Bruges, giving 75 pitching entrepreneurs access to more than 60 investors.

More information online

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