FASILIS -> IN2LifeSciences -> Boost4Health
FASILIS was a transnational program aiming to stimulate innovation and new business in medical life sciences by opening up public and private research infrastructures in the field of human health (biotech, pharmaceutical and medical technology) to SMEs from other regions in NWE.
The aim was to give SMEs access to a far wider range of research facilities than is currently available at a regional level, broadening their competence network. To achieve this, the project created an innovative transnational facility sharing infrastructure that:
- gave SMEs in each region a single point of contact for information to help answer R&D questions and support them in accessing facilities with relevant expertise in other regions
- made SMEs fully aware on the available competences, expertise and facilities available in other regions through a dynamic online catalogue of facilities and their competences
- assured full and easy accessibility of regional facilities to SMEs from other regions under a set of pre-defined (common) access rules
- stimulated the initiation of durable long-term transnational cooperation between SMEs and facilities through a transnational voucher scheme
The successful FASILIS project initiated 67 international life sciences collaborations, some with impressive spin-offs.
IN2LifeSciences was financed by INTERREG IVB NWE, a financial instrument in the European Union’s Cohesion Policy, which funds projects that support transnational collaboration. Each partner had a voucher budget of €100,000 to support international collaboration projects for their life and health science SMEs.
For more than two years, representatives of eight life sciences clusters have worked together closely to help SMEs innovate across borders, speed up their business processes and facilitate lasting relationships. Key bottlenecks for many SMEs resulted from issues of financing or getting a product to market. IN2LifeSciences was about helping them to overcome these specific issues and move one step forward. In each case, we did this by stimulating cross-border cooperation and innovation.
Supported by Interreg 4B NWE and other financers, this project contributed to a more cohesive EU society because it was based on the cooperation of people from different countries to work on Life Sciences and Medical Technology innovations that touch the lives of citizens in northwest Europe. The project helped SMEs gain access to organisations abroad with the tools, expertise or resources needed to overcome their innovation bottlenecks. To facilitate these processes the project has organized market access webinars, workshops, events and four calls for proposals.
- Easy-to-obtain financial incentives (worth €500, €4000 and €7000) that help SMEs begin collaborations with relevant experts, facilities or investors abroad
- An Access Broker Network: single points of contact for each region, serving as easy-to-reach entry points to experts, facilities and funding abroad
- International brokerage workshops and open innovation events to help SMEs find relevant organizations to collaborate with
- An online directory of relevant facilities and experts in the eight IN2LifeSciences regions
- Transnational elevator pitch events to help SMEs access foreign investors
- Market access webinars
IN2LifeSciences press release:
IN2LifeSciences project concludes successful third round
Transnational voucher scheme details previous successful collaborations and opens new round of applications
March 26, 2014 - On February 1, the fourth and final call for incentives has opened, offering SMEs the chance to speed up their innovation. Life Sciences SMEs are invited to apply until May 4, 2014. A total of 164 incentives have been granted during the first three calls; 53 Collaboration, 29 Insight, 82 Meet and Greet. SMEs that wish to take part in the project can contact their Regional Access Broker or fill out an online application form.
Financial incentives The IN2LifeSciences scheme aims to provide small financial incentives for initiating Open Innovation collaborations. The project offers SMEs three different incentives to provide easy access to tools, expertise or resources, helping speed the process of innovation in the life sciences, medical technology and health-related food sectors. IN2LifeSciences enables SMEs to work with providers of expertise and equipment beyond those available at the regional level.
To stimulate actual contact and cooperation there are three types of incentives available for SMEs seeking innovation support in the eight IN2LifeSciences regions in north-west Europe:
- Meet & Greet incentives: up to €500 for SMEs to travel and meet relevant organisations in other regions
- Insight incentives of €4,000 to exchange staff, receive training or contract experts to gather insight
- Collaboration incentives of €7,000 for an actual collaboration on an innovative new product or service
The following examples of successful cases illustrate the value of IN2Lifesciences:
Insight An IN2LifeSciences Insight incentive of € 4,000 was granted to Bridge Bioresearch (Denmark), who had their type 2 diabetes drug tested for bioavailability in humans. The voucher has led the company to the next step in the development process of the drug, which is the first clinical trial to be initiated in 2014. Søren Stenderup, CEO of Bridge Bioresearch explains: “We were approached by the German biotech company PharmaInformatic and agreed to apply for a voucher to contribute to the financing of the testing of our drug. In a short period our development project was taken to the next step.”
Collaborations MOMA (Department of Molecular Medicine in Denmark) and Phenosystems (a Belgian SME) were awarded a Collaboration voucher to gain insight in the data storage and management area for genomic information. Both parties now have a better understanding of the requirements of a molecular laboratory. As a result, a first prototype was implemented.
Avivia BV is running a project on the treatment of breast cancer. This Dutch company required the ability to trace medicine in the human body, something that Pharmainformatics’ technology enabled them to do. An IN2LifeScienbces incentive has made it possible for both parties to collaborate. Avivia is still in the testing phase, after which future product development can be decided.
Having realized the relevance of working internationally, MVIP Software & Consulting (Nörten-Hardenberg, Germany) found their perfect collaboration partner in MEDEX Loncin from Wallonia, in order to develop a fully transportable X-ray system. One prototype of the portable X-ray system was sent to Bangladesh in order to do first tests for usability and to acquire a statistical relevant amount of images.