HIHR and EIT Health: Memorandum to facilitate startup initiatives

Healthy Ideas, Healthy Returns (HIHR) and EIT Health (part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate collaboration in identifying and supporting promising early-stage start-up initiatives in the health and life sciences sector in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux) by connecting them with potential investors and corporates.

Through the collaboration, a continuum of network support activities will be offered by EIT Health, the largest health innovation network in Europe representing academia, industry, research, and healthcare delivery and HIHR, an organisation that unites biomedical research organisations and supports academic ventures in Benelux by bringing them into contact with potential investors and industry experts. Both share the aim of bringing innovative healthcare solutions to the market for the benefit of society.

“With this collaboration, we believe that we will improve the competitiveness of aspiring young companies as well as offer investors a stronger selection of start-ups and scale-ups to complement their investment portfolios. It will benefit the entire venture health ecosystem, catalysing excellent health research and innovation in European healthcare. We look forward to working together with HIHR to act as a growth platform, and drive a culture of collaboration in healthcare innovation,” said Menno Kok, Managing Director, EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands.

EIT Health and HIHR will work together to improve the identification of research and technology ventures that have the potential to scale across Europe (and beyond) and support them in attracting investments and excelling in the highly fragmented European market. Within the collaboration, EIT Health will focus on furthering the efforts of later-stage scale-ups, while HIHR will focus on early-stage start-ups. They will combine their efforts and use their complementary platforms to select and bring together potential investors, corporate partners, and pre-selected start-ups to facilitate greater interactions and investment opportunities.

EIT Health and HIHR will jointly organise opportunities to identify and connect selected start-ups and scale-ups with potential investors and corporate partners beginning with an ‘Investor Lounge’ event planned for 16th November 2021. Working together, they will strengthen each other’s complementary activities, by funnelling venture candidates into each other’s pipelines.

“By combining our efforts, we will be able to provide a continuous added value and thereby better serve all our stakeholders: both the investors and corporates by offering them a full landscape of initiatives from pre-Seed to Series A; as well as the Knowledge Transfer Office/spin off teams by bringing them into contact with external entrepreneurial and business expertise, allowing them to build long-term relationships. It is our ambition to become the growth platform for health ventures in the Benelux, and beyond,” said Clemens Ostrowicz, HIHR chairman and University of Luxembourg.


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