For Luxembourg BioHealth Cluster, 2018 began with the arrival of a new manager. Jean-Philippe Arié took office on 5 March with the objective of supporting the government’s strategy for the health technology sector, a priority area for the development of the Luxembourg economy.
Although still relatively young in Luxembourg, this sector has undergone a considerable development in recent years and high-level health-related academic research has emerged. The country is home to both public and private players who share the desire to turn Luxembourg into an attractive destination for innovation projects in the field of health.
A very receptive ecosystem
In 2018, the BioHealth Cluster drew up a detailed mapping of these players. The work was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of the Economy, the Observatory for Competitiveness and Luxinnovation’s Market Intelligence department. The outcomes were presented on 15 January, revealing that the health technology sector generated an added value of €175 million, or 0.38% of GDP, in 2016 (the latest available data).
With 131 companies active in health technologies, the sector counts nearly 1,600 employees, 80% of whom are active in companies with no more than 10 employees. 31 of these firms are specialised in digital technologies. “This mapping will be updated annually. It will serve as a basis for monitoring the sector, measuring its development and adjusting public policies in the best possible way,” explains Jean-Philippe Arié. “By supporting these technology companies, we hope in the long run to improve the health of citizens and, of course, to increase economic growth.”
Technology and health: one and the same
The development of new technologies is profoundly changing society, a fact that also applies to the health sector. More and more start-ups are combining new technologies and health services. For the first time, start-ups in this field were able to participate in the Fit 4 Start acceleration programme. Alongside the 188 start-ups that applied for the ICT track of the Fit 4 Start #7 edition launched in autumn 2018, 38 others applied for the new health technologies vertical. A more than respectable figure for a first pilot edition.
The year 2019 of the BioHealth Cluster promises to be just as filled with technology. In March, a new cross-sectoral initiative involving the ICT Cluster will facilitate exchanges between digital and health tech specialists. The aim will be to measure the potential of digital solutions in health and understand how companies in the ICT sector can meet the needs of health stakeholders. The cluster will also focus on clarifying its roadmap, from which new priority fields and the next planned actions should emerge.