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The SAPHIRe project on securing adoption of personalised health in regions has started

The first meeting of the SAPHIRe consortium parnters

Personalised Medicine (PM) (also referred to as stratified or precision medicine) has been rapidly evolving in recent years. PM is strongly technologically driven and will induce a transformation in how health and well-being are approached, and how medicine is being implemented. The integration of knowledge relating to health, disease and ageing, with digital technologies and access to data, opens a huge potential to develop new applications to improve general health and wellbeing, and it will make preventive medicine a reality.

To stimulate developments in personalised medicine and support the uptake in all European regions, including sparsely populated and remote regions, the EU recently awarded a coordination and support action on Securing the Adoption of Personalised Health in Regions - SAPHIRe. The project will support the agenda of the International Consortium of Personalised Medicine (ICPerMed), which was formally established in November 2016 at the initiative of the European Commission.

SAPHIRe kicked off on 1 December 2018 and is coordinated by the Department Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) of the Flemish Government. Other consortium members include the Public Health Agency (PHA) from Northern Ireland, Hungary-based EIT Health InnoStars and the EuroBioForum Foundation (The Netherlands), who have provided strategic support in PM in Europe since 2011.

SAPHIRe aims to:

  • Support regions in Europe to structure the implementation and adoption of personalised medicine in regional healthcare systems, by identifying and addressing specific regional gaps and barriers.

  • Create a network of regions and their ecosystems, including all stakeholders across the entire value chain, to ensure that regions are well placed to bring personal medicine and healthcare closer to citizens.

  • Assist with and encourage pilot projects in and between regions, which could provide the much-needed evidence for the adoption of personalised medicine in regional as well as national health systems.

  • Spread knowledge of best practices on the implementation of personalised medicine from regions across Europe; this will allow the development of a modular roadmap.

  • Identify and extract region-specific recommendations on policy, funding and investment needs in order to stimulate the development and deployment of interregional (cross-border) collaboration projects.

SAPHIRe will run for the next three years and plans to engage with regional stakeholders, including policymakers, industrial and academic actors via a series of thematic workshops. The first workshop is planned in the early spring of 2019.

Parallel to and aligned with the SAPHIRe project, EWI-Flanders is one of the leading regions in the Interregional Partnership for Smart Specialisation on Personalised Medicine (S3P4PM) which started in May 2018. See for more information:


Kathleen D'Hondt, Flemish Government – Department Economy, Science and Innovation, email:

The SAPHIRe project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825046.

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