Warsaw Health Innovation Hub set make a ‘Polish Medical Valley’ a reality

A new health innovation hub in Warsaw is the first step towards creating a Polish Medical Valley, modelled on European clusters and ecosystems.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on June 10 launched the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub (WHIH) at the Medical Research Agency in Poland.

A joint initiative between the Medical Research Agency, EIT Health and leading industry players – AstraZeneca, Microsoft, Polpharma, Roche – WHIH was unveiled at a ceremony at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland.

It is the first initiative of its kind in Central Europe, which will see the public and private sector work together to create innovative medical, technological and legal solutions to improve patient health and increase the efficiency of the Polish health care system.

“Our responsibility is to build strategic partnerships in the field of health in the public and private sectors,” said Morawiecki. “This is the lesson we learn from the pandemic.”

The prime minister added that the potential of Poland’s researchers and companies “should not be wasted”.

Poland’s Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski said that no field is developing as dynamically as medicine.

“We believe that cooperation with the business sector under WHIH will accelerate the implementation of many solutions in the health care sector in Poland, and that the potential of our researchers and young start-ups will be noticed and properly implemented for the benefit of patients,” said Niedzielski.

Mateusz Morawiecki (left) and Adam Niedzielski at the launch of WHIH
Polish Medical Valley

WHIH’s activities will relate to three strategic areas: pharmaceutical innovation, innovations in the field of medical devices, and digital health solutions. The hub aims to create a Polish Medical Valley, modelled on European clusters and ecosystems, which will provide opportunities for Polish scientists and researchers to cooperate with global companies in the field of biotechnology and innovation.

“The establishment of the Warsaw Healthcare Innovation Hub is a new, innovative approach to the development of healthcare in Poland,” said Mark Loughran, CEO of Microsoft in Poland.

“It is a combination of technology and human ingenuity that will result in innovation that serves us all. Microsoft’s aspiration is to support the development of the Polish Digital Valley, and the digital transformation of the sector, being one of its key pillars, will bring benefits not only to selected, but also to all participants of the health care system in the country.”

An element of the WHIH concept will be programmes created and financed by business partners focused on the creation of medical and technological innovations for the development of the Polish biomedical sector and the pragmatic use of innovations for the purpose of raising the standards of health services provided.

Responding to key health challenges

The operator of the strategic partners who will be responsible for the cooperation platform between the companies is EIT Health.

“The Warsaw Health Innovation Hub is an example of how, thanks to the open innovation formula, we can respond to key health challenges common to all of Europe, especially in the post-pandemic period,” says Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health.

“So far, EIT Health, together with over 150 partners, has implemented 118 innovative projects. Therefore, we see great value in projects where business works hand in hand with the government to strengthen the health care system. As part of WHIH, EIT Health will support strategic partners in coordinating pilot projects, in close cooperation with the Medical Research Agency and government institutions”

The unique concept of WHIH will create conditions allowing for a quick transformation of ideas into products, processes and services, taking into account the development interests of the Polish biomedical sector and the need for Poland’s independence in the field of innovative drugs and medical products.

It will also offer the opportunity for investment in Polish technology and the best research teams in the country.

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