The power of collaboration

Health foundations invest enthusiastically in public-private partnerships

Looking back at a successful collaborative year.

Health funds' participation in PPPs has risen dramatically, a development that has been assisted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' incentive policy via the PPP-Allowance (former TKI-Allowance). In the Top Sector LSH, health funds, knowledge institutions, the business community and the government cooperate in finding innovative solutions for serious healthcare challenges that affect society, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart and kidney failure. The top institutes for oncology and regenerative medicine (RegMed XB), the plans for which were announced in 2016, are examples that distinguish themselves in terms of focus, mass and impact. By jointly investing in knowledge and innovation, these institutions are working towards the accelerated development of new treatment methods and solutions for patients. The collaborations and meet ups between these relatively new parties are continuing apace.

First of all there was an official meet up of the health funds and the companies during the Get Together of Top Sector LSH in May 2016. Almost seventy companies were present and took the opportunity to present their innovative solutions to twenty different Dutch health foundations. Innovations varied from personalised medicine, to serious gaming for revalidation purposes and new diagnostic instruments for use at home. After this event many of the delegates stayed in contact with each other so see how collaboration can unravel.

Tom Oostrom, director of SGF: "We need to work together with industry if we take our promise to patients and financial donors, to improve healthcare, seriously."

Overall, these new partnerships of funds, knowledge institutions and companies have already brought the sector a lot. This is because not only the health foundations support the large overarching PPPs, but funds are also created for new calls that researchers and companies can submit proposals to. By the end of 2016, more than 30 PPP projects had been realised with the help of the SGF and Top Sector LSH and the PPP-Allowance generated. The scope of these projects ranges from 150,000 euros to 5 million euros. With mostly SMEs and a few large and international companies this is a superb reflection of the Dutch LSH sector and the diversity of the Dutch health foundations.

In the coming months and years the results of these new projects will become public and will probably be incorporated in our healthcare. However, you can already get a glimpse of some projects by reading the publications of the Dutch Cancer Society,  the Dutch Heart Foundation, or and example of the AIDS Foundation.

With Jos de Wolf from MyDiagnostick Medical.