Boosting the Baltic Sea Region's health economy

An investment project has bridged the gap between healthcare providers and SMEs in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). ‘BSHR HealthPort’ enhanced innovation, reduced healthcare costs and promoted SME's access to the region's healthcare market. The project took great strides towards forming a strong and sustainable BSR health economy.

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More than 300 participants joined the HealthPort final conference October 2013 in the beautiful city of Gdansk. © Peter Frank, ScanBalt More than 300 participants joined the HealthPort final conference October 2013 in the beautiful city of Gdansk. © Peter Frank, ScanBalt

" BSHR HealthPort addressed key bottlenecks in health care innovations, including insufficient commercial exploitation of solutions proposed by health care researchers and practitioners; procurement practices limiting SME access to the healthcare market; and insufficient innovation competencies of target groups. The health economy now has the potential to be the leading sector in the Baltic Sea Region. "

Peter Frank, General Secretary, ScanBalt

Business development was promoted by holding various BSR ‘idea competitions’, which saw various SMEs in the region coming up with new healthcare innovations in medical devices, diagnostics and healthcare services.

There were four winners in the first edition of the competition and each received support in a whole range of areas including proof of concept (POC), business plan preparation, team building, market opportunities and client interaction. The second edition of the competition focused on more mature innovations – the focus was on attracting private equity and venture capital financing for the victors. Several products such as award winning birthing support system “Relaxbirth” are already on the market, with other innovations coming soon.

As part of the project, the Accelerace Life (AL) and Nordic-Baltic Accelerace Investment Fund (NBAIF) were promoted by the lead partner ScanBalt. These funds were put in place to help start-ups achieve their business objectives and to ultimately bring new products to the marketplace.

Healthcare innovation agenda and press trip

Additionally, the project examined regional capacities in healthcare innovation and fed this knowledge back into a BSHR HealthPort Innovation Agenda and strategy document. In fact, the so-called “Driving cross-sectoral innovation in health and life sciences – an Innovation Agenda for the Baltic Sea Region Health Economy” has been well received throughout the BSR and EU. Concrete innovation platforms following its recommendations are also being established - particularly in the medical technology industry.

In May 2013, a media trip was organised to showcase the impressive results of BSHR HealthPort. It was well attended and resulted in blanket coverage for the project.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “BSHR HealthPort” is EUR 2 481 650, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 905 120 from the Operational Programme “Baltic Sea Region" for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date