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Halmstad University becomes part of European innovation hub

Halmstad University is part of the national collaboration Health Data Sweden, which the EU Commission recently appointed as one of Europe's new digital innovation hubs. The focus will be on using data to improve health care. The innovation centre Leap for Life will lead Halmstad University’s part of Health Data Sweden.

"To spread experiences, create value and new knowledge, and support small and medium-sized companies and the public sector, both nationally and internationally, in the transition to modern care and care feels extremely exciting and fun."

Anne-Christine Hertz, Manager at Leap for Life

Health Data Sweden consists of 18 partners – both universities, regions, innovation environments and research institutes. The strength of the national innovation hub lies in the cutting-edge research on health data, combined with an ecosystem that, via the parties' networks, expertise and range of services, can pass on knowledge to the public sector, business sector and citizens. From 283 candidates, a total of 141 digital innovation hubs have been nominated by the European Commission. Health Data Sweden is Sweden's only digital innovation hub focusing exclusively on health.

The University entrance. Flowers in the fore ground.

Health data for efficient health care

One of the purposes of Health Data Sweden is to increase the use of health data to contribute to more efficient health care. An important task will therefore be to meet the great need for services that contribute to small and medium-sized companies, in collaboration with the public sector, being able to develop new digital health and welfare services. In addition to better health for the individual, these services can also help solve major demographic societal challenges, such as making care more accessible and equal.

"Health Data Sweden has gathered a Sweden-wide constellation of competence. Being able to spread knowledge and experience from the best initiatives is a basic prerequisite for us to succeed in creating value from health data, not only for research, but above all for citizens", says Sebastian Meijer, Professor in Health Care Logistics at KTH, who is the coordinating part for Health Data Sweden in the new hub.

Already today, Health Data Sweden's parties deliver services that reach more than 800 companies annually. The ambition as a digital innovation hub is to almost double this capacity. Sweden is at the forefront of health innovation and health data use, but the innovation process is hampered by fragmented ownership of data. This clarifies the need for an ecosystem that includes all major stakeholders, where cutting-edge knowledge, data access, test beds and early funding will be available as services for both the public sector and small and medium-sized companies in Sweden and the EU.

"It is very gratifying that Sweden, in this way, can take the lead in the joint European work with better utilisation of health data. The innovation hub Health Data Sweden will be important for the ecosystem in life science and policy development both in Sweden and internationally", says Jenni Nordborg, National Life Science Coordinator at the Government Offices.

European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH)

The investment in digital innovation hubs is part of the EU programme "Digital". The programme's goal is for companies, citizens and public organisations to make greater use of digital technology. The priorities will be linked to four key areas: High-Performance Computers (HPC), Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security and Advanced Digital Skills. By providing technical expertise and new ways of working and testing environments, EDIH helps companies and the public sector improve production processes, products and services using digital technologies.

Collaboration and strong research success factors

Halmstad University has a close and well-established collaboration with the public and business sectors, for example, through the University's focus area Health Innovation and the innovation centre Leap for Life. Such a well-functioning collaboration, combined with the University’s research on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and health data, will provide good conditions for a successful innovation hub. Halmstad University's part of the innovation hub will be managed by Leap for Life, in close collaboration with the University's research centre within health data and AI, Health Data Centre (HDC).

"Halland plays an important role in our national cooperation, and we have made many major investments in recent years in health data, which we now will be able to use. To spread experiences, create value and new knowledge, and support small and medium-sized companies and the public sector, both nationally and internationally, in the transition to modern care and care feels extremely exciting and fun", says Anne-Christine Hertz, Manager at Leap for Life.

Text: Christa Amnell
Photo: Anna-Frida Agardsson

Health Data Sweden’s 18 collaboration partners

KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, coordinator), Blekinge Digital Health Blue Science Park (BDH), Bron Innovation (BI), Compare/DigitalWell Arena (DWA), EIT Digital (EITD), EIT Health Scandinavian CLC (EITH), Future Position X/Geolife Region (FPX/GLR), Halmstad University/Leap for Life, Karolinska Institutet (KI), Linnaeus University (LNU), Livsmedicin Region Västerbotten (LM), Region Stockholm (RS), Region Kalmar län/ eHealth Arena (eHA), RISE; Stockholm University (SU), Stockholm Science City (SSCi), STUNS Life Science (STUNS) and Uppsala University (UU).

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