The Health and Care Network Kempen reinforces entrepreneurship and collaboration in the sector of Health & Care with the main goal to boost innovation in health
The Health and Care Network Kempen reinforces entrepreneurship and collaboration in the sector of Health & Care with the main goal to boost innovation in health. The Health & Care Network has one single point of contact (coordinator) for all stakeholders in the region who also operates as a link to regional and federal governments, to share with policy makers any obstacles and concerns thus giving input for policy improvement.
The goals of the Health & Care Network have been defined by over 60 stakeholders from the quadruple helix at 2 co-creation sessions between July and October 2016. One central question: ”What can we gain as a region by building a strong network?” Mission and vision of the HCN, the USP’s of the region and the expectations from stakeholders towards the HCN have been defined together and concrete goals have been written in a strategic plan that is annually updated.
The network works on 6 domains:
1. Testing and validation (living lab infrastructure)
2. Joint facilities and services
3. Upscale of innovations to the consumermarket
4. Innovative financing instruments
5. Collaboration between education and job market
6. Attractive region for innovation
Funding for 1 coordinator+operational costs from the Province of Antwerp till Jul 2019 (estimated at 120.000 euro. Remaining part financed by Thomas More University College. The 7 members of the Steering Group deliver services in kind f.i. building and maintaining the website, support at events
Evidence of success
Over 600 persons reached from the quadruple helix in matchmaking and information sessions, and network events. Health and Care Network Kempen brings visions and knowledge together. This resulted in at least 7 concrete regional collaboration projects with partners from care, business, education and public sector.
The main challenge is to keep the network alive and keep all stakeholders involved. A dedicated coordinator plays an important role to address this challenge. To ensure that no one pulls out, it is important to start from shared needs and involve all stakeholders.
Potential for learning or transfer
The creation of the HCN shows that it is possible to set up a dedicated network in a very short period if you involve everybody from the very beginning to build a common vision and strategy and to set up task forces focusing on specific themes. This method is easily transferable to other regions.
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