“We Are Only At The Beginning Of The Story”

Jean-Philippe Arié, Cluster Manager – HealthTech at Luxinnovation (Photo © Marion Dessard)

The health technology ecosystem is thriving in Luxembourg. This is making Jean-Philippe Arié, Cluster Manager – HealthTech at Luxinnovation, very optimistic about the future.

Health technologies are booming in Luxembourg. The topic will feature prominently in the upcoming Luxembourg official mission organised in April in Belgium, which includes an economic seminar on “Data-driven innovations for disease prevention and care”.

Over the past few years, a more structured and mature ecosystem has developed. This momentum fosters the implementation of new initiatives such as the future HE:AL Campus or the recently established FEDIL Health Corporation, a federation representing the industrial interests of its member companies active in the field of health and life sciences.

Successful innovation in the private sector is also fuelled by public research excellence. The Translational Medicine Operations Hub (TMOH) of the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) provides for instance a platform to support clinical trials, while the Luxembourg Clinical and Translational Research Centre (LCTR), developed jointly by LIH and CHL, bridges the gap between physicians and researchers. The bio-incubator of the House of Biohealth, established in 2022 and dedicated to startups and spinoffs in the healthcare technology sector, is also a key stepping stone to fostering business growth.

A rich and diverse ecosystem

“As an innovation agency, we support and monitor this ecosystem development,” says Jean-Philippe Arié, in charge of the Luxembourg HealthTech Cluster managed by Luxinnovation. “Beyond the classic State funding available to all types of companies, some other tools specifically address the needs of the healthtech sector.”

Since 2019, the Fit 4 Start acceleration programme has included a healthtech vertical, now offering intensive, specialised coaching to five companies each year. Additionally, six projects were selected in the context of the two joint calls for projects dedicated to healthtech launched in 2021 and 2023 by the Ministry of the Economy, the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) and Luxinnovation.

In February 2023, Luxinnovation and the Ministry of the Economy also initiated the Fit 4 Innovation – HealthTech Market programme, to help companies to define their regulatory roadmap to obtain CE marking for their new and innovative medical devices and thus accelerate their entry into the European market.

“Although I joined Luxinnovation already in 2018, I’m still discovering new aspects of the richness and variety of this ecosystem almost every day,” says Jean-Philippe Arié with a smile. Moreover, the strong participation – about fifty companies – in the information and concrete exchange webinars organised each month by the HealthTech Cluster, testifies to this dynamism.

Encouraged co-creation

Another step towards maturing the ecosystem was the recruitment of Régis Ciré as Head of International Business Development – HealthTech at Luxinnovation in 2023. His role is to identify foreign companies at the scale-up stage likely to contribute to strengthening the national ecosystem and attract them to Luxembourg.

Enhancing the visibility and recognition of the Luxembourg healthtech field is also the objective of events such as the European Digital Healthtech Conference 2024, organised on 14-15 May by Luxinnovation and its partners EIT Health, dmac GmbH and Medical Valley EMN eV. This conference will review and discuss the challenges related to the introduction of digital medical devices in the European market among key institutional players, companies and their ecosystems.

“We are only at the beginning of the story,” underlines Jean-Philippe Arié. “We are in the seed stage, connecting the dots together. If joint calls for projects result in excellent collaborations between public research, hospitals, medical professionals and companies, we will likely need multiple iterations, and perhaps new tools, to make the implementation of innovation for patients more fluid. This way of working will then become the norm, given the speed at which innovation and especially digitisation are evolving.

Our champions, made in Luxembourg, will then be able to grow by exporting their expertise to other European markets. That’s how we will succeed on a large scale.”

This article was first published in the Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Read the full digital version of the magazine on our website, here. You can also choose to receive a hard copy at the office or at home. Subscribe now.

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