ELISE addresses a societal challenge common to European regions: to promote better health and life for all. ELISE partners from 7 regions believe that the concrete application of the Life Science Ecosystem concept at regional and interregional level can help to address these constraints. Over the past 5 years, partners exchanged good practices and experiences to identify ways of improving their policies. As a result of the Action Plan implementation process, ELISE can now show a variety of achievements able to influence positively research and innovation activities in partners’ territories.
Germany - Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein
The focus of the partner Life Science Nord activities was the regional innovation strategy of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, which forms the framework for the Operational Program of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the respective funding period. The partner has focused in particular on their input in the revision of the RIS, which will apply for the period 2021-27, as this will have the greatest and longer-term impact on the future. Their aim was to strengthen the culture of innovation and to promote the funding for early startup phases. This was inspired by their exchange with the ELISE partners, especially through the discussions in Kaunas, Lubelskie and Bologna. It became clear that LSN should have a stronger role in (a) promoting a culture of innovation (more courage to take risks and openly dealing with alleged failures) and (b) the early financial support of start-up projects from the scientific community. Both topics can be found expressly in the RIS, which was revised in May 2021. In addition, 'health' and thus the thematic focus of LSN is once again named as one of the important focus topics.
Germany - Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
The aim of the ELISE activities of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which are coordinated by BioCon Valley Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e. V., is to achieve an increase in the number of start-ups in the health economy. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the conditions for start-ups in the ELISE health economy theme have improved significantly in the course of ELISE.
The “Master Plan Health Economy Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 2030” explicitly states how the conditions for start-ups can be improved. The experiences from ELISE were incorporated here.
Two new financing instruments for start-ups developed in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern during the ELISE funding period. The participation opportunities of the state VC were also expanded to include digital topics (e-health). At the same time, start-ups have received a flat-rate and generous trade fair subsidy since 2020, which also enables them to participate in expensive trade fairs abroad.
Likewise, five digital innovation centres were created in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern during the reporting period. Here, start-ups in particular are developing on the ELISE topic of the health economy.
In addition, the “Baltic-Sea-Region Health Innovation Award” was launched, which is aimed at start-ups in the Baltic Sea region - and thus at a region in which many ELISE partners are involved.
The ELISE partner BioCon Valley Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e. V. is sponsor of a “award health economy”, which is awarded annually for the start-up competitions of the two universities in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Rostock and Greifswald. The two competitions are catalysts for start-ups in the state and produce a majority of new companies in the health economy.
Parallel to this, the BioCon Valley Initiative has the "Ideas Competition Health Economy", which is organised on behalf of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Here, five start-up ideas are selected each year, which then receive funding for two years to reach market or product maturity.
Since ELISE was established, the following special formats have been offered for start-ups at the National Conference on Health Economy, which is organised by the BioCon Valley Initiative on behalf of the state government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern:
• “Start-up Arena”: Fresh ideas from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's health economy are presented here in the form of pitches.
• “Ship to Business": THE networking event for all start-ups in the health economy of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. VC, banks and business angels from Germany are on board.
• “NBK-Ideensprint”: Students from health degree courses develop ideas for better health care. The goal is to transfer the ideas into the founding of start-ups.
In the course of the National Conference on Health Economy, a prize has also been offered since 2020 that is aimed at start-ups in the Baltic Sea region: the “Baltic Sea Region Health Innovation Award”