Nano4Health has as objective to support the development of innovative healthcare applications at the crossroads of nano-electronics and biotechnology. Integrated and aligned collaboration is a prerequisite to reach this objective. For this reason Nano4Health is developing a systemic and interactive innovation approach – The N4H Fast Track to Innovation - enabling collaboration between stakeholders from different sectors and disciplines on specific, concrete challenges.
The Fast Track to Innovation is divided into 3 phases:
- Challenge phase: Through a call procedure project owners who are actively developing innovative products or services in the N4H domain are invited to participate in the N4H Fast Track to Innovation and to submit concrete challenges which they want to have solved by a ‘competence’ team. An international jury will select, based on the information submitted, maximum 5 project owners who can participate into the N4H Fast Track to Innovation.
- Competence phase: Based on the information from the selected project owners and their challenges, the N4H team launches a request for competences to a broad range of competence providers. With this request, N4H invites competence providers to participate into the Fast Track to Innovation and to make a proposal on how they can help project owners to overcome their challenges. The proposals from the competence providers will be shared with the project owners to prepare the next phase.
- Solution phase: During the solution phase N4H will organize 3 workshops to facilitate cooperation between project owners and competence providers. The objective of this solution phase is to deliver 3-5 documented value propositions which are supported by a multidisciplinary competence team and are ready for implementation.
During this solution phase a number of workshops will be organized:
- A ‘Get acquainted’ workshop to launch the Innovation track. During this workshop project owners and competence providers can meet up and evaluate collaboration. The objective of this workshop is to form multi-disciplinary project teams which work throughout the Innovation track on solutions for the project owner’s challenges.
- Follow-on meetings allow project teams to interact behind closed doors and discuss next steps. Cross fertilization and learning from peers are key to this follow on workshops.
- Final meeting to present progress made during the Fast Track to Innovation and to set goals for the future.
The N4H team will tailor the different workshops to the needs of the different projects and will closely interact with the project owners during the different workshops.
Collaboration will be catalysed by the N4H Voucher scheme (6.500 Euro/voucher) and complementary financial support schemes available in the Flemish region (e.g. KMO-portefeuille. Project owners can apply for multiple N4H vouchers: one for each competence provider the project owner wants to involve in the Fast Track to innovation. Active participation in the workshops is mandatory for the project owners and the members of the respective competence teams.
The N4H Fast Track to Innovation is only the start of a full innovation cycle. The N4H Fast Track to Innovation aims at preparing project owners for the next steps. Those next steps can be very diverse and can range from further research activities to the setup of initial proof of concepts with customers. The limited financial resources which are available for the Fast Track to Innovation are not sufficient to take the next steps. Fast track to Innovation pilot business cases will also be supported after the closing workshop. Mentoring, consortia formation and searching for funding possibilities are opportunities to be explored in interaction with the pilot case representatives.
B.Overall timing 1st N4H Inno Track
The overall timing for the 1st N4H Inno Track is the following
- Challenge Phase: 1/9/2015 – 30/9/2015
- Submission date of applications by project owners: 15/09/2015 – 12 AM
- Formal feedback on selection to project owners: 1/10/2015
- Competence Phase: 1/10/2015 – 31/10/2015
- Launch request for competences: 1/10/2015
- Submission date of proposal by competence providers: 15/10/2015
- Feedback of proposals to project owners: 15/10/2015
- Distribution of agenda for workshop 1: 1/11/2015
- Solution Phase: 1/11/2015 – 29/2/2015
- Get Acquainted workshop: 10/11/2015
- Follow on workshop 2: 12/1/2016
- Final workshop: 16/2/2015
II.Call for challenges
With this ‘Call for challenges’ the challenge phase of the first N4H Inno Track is initiated. Project owners are invited to submit their application to participate in the N4H Inno Track by filling out the application form.
Project owners who want to participate in the N4H Inno Track have to be an SME based in the Flemish Region and have to focus on solutions:
- Which address concrete challenges in the healthcare domain.
- Which have an innovative character.
- Which combine as much as possible competences and expertise from different sectors (e.g. electronics and biotechnology).
- Which have a clear market potential.
The following procedure will be followed to select maximum 5 project owners for the N4H Inno Track:
- Project owners have to submit their application for the N4H-Inno Track by filling out the N4H-Inno Track application form and by sending this form to email@example.com before 12 AM on September 15, 2015.
- An international jury will evaluate the submissions and will score the projects on 4 criteria:
- Market Potential
- Innovative character
- Cross sectorial character
- Candidates will receive formal feedback before October 1st, 2015.