BlueHealth Antwerp is a new incubator for innovative economy
E-health, digital applications in the health sector, is a booming business the world over. Antwerp now occupies an important position in this growth cluster. Private, public, university and hospital interests have jointly set up BlueHealth Antwerp, the e-health incubator for starting entrepreneurs who plan to use digital technology to improve our health care system. BlueHealth Antwerp will also be the first customer in Startup Village.
Agfa HealthCare, the Cronos Group, iMinds, the University of Antwerp, University Hospital Antwerp (Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen - UZA) and the City of Antwerp joined forces to set up the e-Health incubator BlueHealth Antwerp in StartupVillage.
Under the BlueHealth Antwerp partnership, knowledge institutions, major private companies, health care providers and government agencies have teamed up to support young entrepreneurs with innovative e-health ideas during the startup stage (from business plan to first customers). The partners are providing the necessary resources, expertise and network to participate in growing startups. The hope of the founders of BlueHealth Antwerp is that it will further strengthen entrepreneurship in Antwerp.
Antwerp enjoys a unique position in the e-health sector. Indeed, Antwerp has a large healthcare infrastructure, allowing the practical application of developments in the e-health sector in cooperation with the actors on the ground. Ethical as well as legal principles and privacy laws apply. The integration of ICT in healthcare has made it possible to improve the quality of patient care, while raising the cost efficiency of the work performed.
A survey commissioned by the City of Antwerp has revealed that in Antwerp, too, e-health will remain one of the major growth sectors in the coming years. That study concludes that, within the e-health sector, there is a need for new initiatives to support the development of this sector in terms of networking, matchmaking, incubation and acceleration.
On September 1st, iMinds will launch a new iStart call for (future) tech entrepreneurs. This will be the fourth call so far in 2015. Such a call gives young, innovative entrepreneurs the opportunity to realize their business plan. The BlueHealth Antwerp invitation to startups seeking to become part of the new incubator also falls under this call. In October, BlueHealth Antwerp will have selected from the shortlist of candidates and the incubator will effectively be operational from then on.
Blue Health Antwerp will be located in StartupVillage, the City of Antwerp’s business complex which will accommodate Antwerp-based incubation initiatives and growth businesses in the heart of Antwerp from 2016.