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How to boost innovation & implementation of personalised health in regions

It is recognised that there is a gap between research-development-innovation systems (RDI) and social and healthcare systems (S&HC) as health research and evidence is not translated into practice and product in a timely manner. Many reasons have been cited for this including: lack of collaboration between relevant stakeholders, failure to breakdown organisational and professional silos, and lack of funding opportunities. This in turn has hampered the progress of personalised health; personalised health builds further on the concept of personalised medicine, which has been one of the policy focal points in Europe in the last decade. With personalised health however, attention also focuses on health and well-being of individuals.

Improving the uptake of innovation is essential if we are to improve the quality of healthcare and thus personalised health, leading to sustainability in health and social care systems. A gap currently exists for innovation and implementation of personalised health-related research. Bridging this gap requires building and strengthening partnerships between academia, healthcare and industry to exploit the existing research base. It will also involve distilling results into actionable findings and guidance, whilst considering the needs of a wide range of stakeholders.

Across European regions, the importance of innovation and implementation is highlighted through Smart Specialisation Agendas (RIS3) and Regional Operational Programmes (ROPs). In recent years the Smart Specialisation Agenda approach has fostered the design and implementation of place-based, innovation-driven economic transformation agendas. Encouraging and improving the levels of innovation and implementation is vital to boosting growth performance. The creation of an innovation and implementation space (I2 Space©) along with the appropriate supporting infrastructure (funding, policy support etc) will provide an opportunity to further develop and support regional agendas and programmes in the domain of personalised health.

A possible financial solution might be the introduction of a new funding instrument: the Interregional Innovation Investment initiative (I3) as proposed by the European commission.

In the 2021-27 period the Commission seeks to reinforce interregional cooperation to deliver on S3 related priorities through the introduction of this new funding instrument. The initiative aims to help those involved in smart specialisation strategies (S3) to cluster together, scale up and bring innovation to the European market. This will be done through accelerating innovation and transfer of research results, translating innovation into concrete products, services and applications, and responding to a clear need of customers and citizens. I3 intends to support regional innovation stakeholders, well integrated in the regional innovation ecosystems, providing funding for mature joint innovation projects organised in value-chain investment portfolios. The new I3 Instrument should be implemented under ERDF with an indicative EU budget of EUR 0.5 bn.

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