Top Sector Life Sciences & Health

GROZ: vital functioning citizens in a healthy economy

In the summer of 2018, the GROZ initiative was launched by the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH), along with many other parties, including ZonMw and the Association of Dutch Health Foundations (SGF). The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. GROZ aims to support the transition of our, in essence successful, healthcare system towards a future-proof, affordable, high-quality system. A system that withstands demographic demands by adopting the technological and sociocultural innovations foreseen in the years to come. The name GROZ is the anagram of the Dutch word for care, 'ZORG'. Within GROZ, citizens, healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists, financiers and the government join forces for the realisation of a society of vital functioning citizens in a healthy economy.

The start of GROZ

Starting from June 2018, five transition teams have been formed to support and work on GROZ. Each team represents a different group of stakeholders varying from citizens, with their bottom-up, local and regional initiatives and cooperatives; patients and their bundled organisations; healthcare professionals and their branch organisations; entrepreneurs and their societies and foundations; and potential investors and financiers. The teams separately meet to set the agenda and to determine what strategic, tactical and operational steps are needed to fuel the transition. Also, optional solutions are subsequently explored and brought into action.

Kick-off meetings

Citizen initiatives and cooperatives

On 4 July, the first kick-off meeting took place. All type of citizen initiatives and cooperatives jointly formulated ten key performance conditions that assist and instruct the successful growth of citizen initiatives and cooperatives. Based on these conditions, the transition team developed a business case to successfully support other health-related citizen initiatives and cooperatives in cities and regions.

With GROZ, citizen initiatives claim a major role in achieving a sustainable healthcare system.

Jan Smelik, Nederland Zorgt voor Elkaar

Patients and their organisations

In September, this transition team started their activities. Their shared ambition is to position civilians actively and meaningful (in their role as an expert, patient or client) in innovation and research. They are currently working on a sustainable and strategic public-private research programme. A programme in which patients are supported by researchers, innovative companies and government, to realise research with their needs in mind.

Human Capital

On 4 October, the human capital transition team kicked off with healthcare professionals, their representatives and branch organisations and healthcare-related educational institutes. They concluded that education, and the educational system, needs to transform to include the development of new soft skills, adoption and usage of new technologies and to facilitate life-long learning of everyone in the future healthcare system. Additionally, interdisciplinary and extramural care provision and networking capabilities in neighbourhoods and cities should be focussed on.

Healthcare professionals play a key role in utilising the opportunities for innovations, digitalisation and prevention, and in maintaining affordable and accessible healthcare.

Hanneke Heeres, Top Sector LSH


The emerging role of entrepreneurs in GROZ was discussed on 7 November, during the industry kick-off meeting. Entrepreneurs exchanged innovative best practices regarding their role and contributions in the healthcare sector. In parallel, delegates were informed about the existing regulatory and financial rules and regulations. The need to oversee the technological and societal challenges was the stimulus to start working together and develop solutions for the changing needs of citizens and healthcare professionals, as well as proactive initiatives to overcome the regulatory and financial hurdles.

Bottom-line, “vital functioning”, requires alternative business models facilitating and empowering (healthy) individuals throughout their life-time.

Patricia Maas, Centraal Boekhuis

Investors and financiers

The final kick-off meeting, planned by the transition team of investors and financiers for 31 January 2019, is meant to bring all stakeholders together. The needs of citizen initiatives and patients or patient organisations will be matched with (future) concepts, services and products offered by healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs. Initiatives and projects from various stakeholders will be pitched towards investors and financiers and serve as a first invitation for financial support for the GROZ transition.

Next steps

All of the transition teams will continue their processes. They will formulate constructive input for the Knowledge and Innovation Agenda (KIA) for the societal challenge Health and Care 2020-2023, a strategic and ambitious document requested by the Rutte Administration no later than 1 July 2019. The teams will also continue to act towards the healthcare system to keep the launch of the transition rolling.

About GROZ

The collaboration on the healthcare transformation is requested by the Dutch Government, in essence, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. 

Currently, GROZ also works in close collaboration with the initiative of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport called “De juiste zorg op de juiste plek”. Would you like to know more about GROZ? Watch our animation video below (subtitles available on YouTube). Or would you like to contribute to the concrete activities and solutions? Then please contact Anneke Mels