The Policy Learning Platform organised an online peer review on the topic of ‘promoting economic diversification and attract manufacturing industries in the health sector’ with the City of Szombathely, Hungary, on 29-30 June 2021.
The host region, the city of Szombathely with the support from Pannon Business Network (PBN), is currently designing its economic development strategy—Szombathely 2030. The host region aims to promote economic diversification in the health sector and wanted to explore with the peers the following policy challenges:
- What are policies and initiatives to attract manufacturing industries in the health sector.
- What are policies and initiatives for skills, research, university-industry collaboration to promote the health sector.
- What EU funding opportunities to promote the health sector are available.
Peers from across Europe
Alongside Marc Pattinson and Arnault Morisson, our research and innovation Thematic experts, five talented peers shared with the host region their experiences and suggestions for promoting economic diversification and identify sectoral opportunities in the health sector. The peers were:
- Nora Mack, Business Upper Austria (Austria)
- Iñaki Gutierrez-Ibarluzea, BIOEF, Basque Country (Spain)
- Alberto Baldi, Bioindustry Park, Piedmont (Italy)
- Maria Garcia, Sodena, Navarra (Spain)
- Jan Nylander, Glasir AB, (Sweden)
The host’s main policy challenges and peers’ suggestions can be found in the peer review in the follow-up report.
Building on two days of intense and very rich exchanges with the host region, the Mayor of Szombathely, the Pannon Business Network (PBN), and stakeholders, the peers gave relevant and actionable suggestions on the main policy challenges such as:
For policies and initiatives to attract manufacturing industries in the health sector, the peers recommended to:
- Pursue diversification in related health sectors and make strategic bets. Target one or two value chains and become really good in these areas.
- focus on sectors that already are in the region—wellness and rehabilitation—and these can encompass many niches (elderly people needs, pets, sports).
- from the mapping and analysis on localised capabilities, invest on a new and promising sector (e.g.: smart health, P4 medicine) and sustain it in the mid-long term. Discover more insights and suggestions from the peer review in the follow-up report.
For policies and initiatives for skills, research, university-industry collaboration to promote the health sector, the peers highlighted on the importance to:
- Set up a “hot spot” / establish an “innovation campus” at the teaching hospital / real-estate where all the relevant experiences, players and expertise will start to be concentrated:
- it should include incubation spaces, testbed for complex rehabilitation, research labs, maker space, office space, community space
- with a view to stimulate local companies and startups
- a place for companies/people to meet and collaborate.
For EU funding opportunities to promote the health sector, the peers gave as policy recommendation to set up a dedicated office / task force able to deal with the EU funds complexity and capable to maximise the opportunities.
Discover more insights and suggestions from the peer review in the follow-up report.