First SAPHIRe workshop -region specific needs and barriers


Twenty-two regions from across Europe were represented at the first SAPHIRe workshop

We held the first interactive SAPHIRe workshop on the 12th & 13th March at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. The event was a great success and was attended by a wide range of stakeholders from government departments, academia, healthcare and industry. This included representatives from over twenty different regions including; Northern Ireland, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia and Portugal, to name just a few!


SAHIRE aims to:

OBSERVE (SCOUT) – undertake a thorough mapping exercise to address specific regional needs, while taking the different levels of personalised health maturity into account. Attention will focus on linking remote and sparsely populated regions to regions that are more advanced in personalised health, and, a toolbox for services and support will be developed to help regions with joint initiatives in personalised health implementation.NETWORK (CONNECT) - a network will be developed which will include regional policy and decision makers, opinion leaders, regulatory agencies, regional development agencies, cluster organisations, patient organisations, regional knowledge institutions and healthcare providers. The network will bring regional strengths, needs and barriers to the attention of national and European policy makers. This will enable a collaborative approach to developing personalised health in regions.SUPPORT (ACTIVATE) – fundraising support actions will be undertaken to enable inter-regional collaborations and to help identify opportunities for financing or investment by the Framework Programme, the Structural Funds or the EIB. Alignment will also be made to regional smart specialization initiatives focusing on personalised health.


Kathleen D’Hondt, Policy Advisor, Dep. Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI), Flemish Government gives an overview of SAPHIRe.





There were a number of interactive round table discussions in which attendees were invited to talk about the barriers and needs around implementation of personalised health in different regions across Europe.


On the second day we had the pleasure of welcoming Professor Joris Vermeesch, Head of the Constitutional Cytogenetics Unit of the Center for Human Genetics, Leuven, Belgium, Professor of Molecular Cytogenetics and Genome Research and co-ordinator of the genomics core at the university hospital. Professor Vermeesch gave a presentation on “Personalised Medicine: Needs and Barriers”, to access his presentation please click on the following link saphire-vermeesch-joris-vermeesch







Professor Joris Vermeesch gives a presentation on barriers and needs in precision medicine

Please click here to read our discussion paper on barriers and needs saphire-ws1-barriers-and-needs-discussion-paper


We will hold our next workshop on the 17th and 18th October in Belfast, Northern Ireland. If you are interested in finding out more about the workshop please email sorcha.finnegan@hscni.net. You can also follow us on Twitter @projectSAPHIRe

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 

2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825046

The project is co-ordinated by Department Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) of the Flemish Government.

Department Economy, Science and Innovation - Koning Albert II-laan 35 1030 Brussels, Belgium