EIT Health RIS Innovation Call Provides More than a Million Euro Funding to Support Innovative Health Care Start-Ups
For the third year running, EIT Health organised the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call to support promising and innovative health care projects.
The EIT Health RIS Innovation Call has supported a start-up from Latvia for the last two years and 28 European consortia of health care innovators received support of two million euro in 2019–2020 as a result of the competition.
The aim of the annual EIT Health RIS Innovation Call is to support health care innovations developed by teams of researchers from the most advanced regions of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, including promising Latvian start-ups. In the last two years, six start-ups from Romania and Slovenia have been funded, three from Italy, Portugal and Croatia and one from each of the following countries: Estonia, Slovakia, Greece, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania. As part of the competition, each selected project receives a grant, mentoring and competition opportunities, as well as access to a network of top-level European health care professionals to help develop their innovative solutions.
A Latvian consortium consisting of Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU), the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Latvia and the Latvian start-up Semantic Intelligence received funding.
The project Mākslīgajā intelektā balstīta intelektuālā īpašuma analīzes platforma jaunu zāļu atklāšanai (AI-based platform to analyse intellectual property to discover new drugs) is a technology that can help pharmaceutical and contract research organisations accelerate their research process in the early stages of developing a drug, when quick and accurate analysis of huge data flows is critical for commercial decision-making. The project aims to fundamentally reduce the time required to process a significant amount of big data in health care. The artificial intelligence programme includes both words and chemical structures in its semantic searches, allowing the user to discover information much faster than by using existing technologies. This is particularly important when time is short, such as right now when the whole world is trying to develop a highly advanced vaccine, or drug to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Health care systems and health care professionals around the world have faced very serious challenges this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and unfortunately this challenge does not seem to be over. It is therefore all the more important to support new, innovative and revolutionary health initiatives that provide new solutions and can make life easier for patients, doctors and health professionals and make the treatment process more efficient. Our goal is to support the next generation of innovators to encourage the creation of new health care companies,’ said Mónika Tóth, Head of the EIT Health InnoStars RIS programme.
In 2019, 33 % of the projects that were supported worked with big data, cloud solutions, mobile applications and platforms, but in 2020 this figure rose to almost 40 %. This reflects a global trend: as health care providers generate huge amounts of data every day, there is a great need to find solutions that can analyse and interpret this data. This is all the more important during a pandemic. Last year, half of the teams that were supported developed new health care solutions such as patches for the treatment of psoriasis or active 3D cell culture systems for primary hepatocytes.
Requirements for participation:
- Partnership consisting of a business partner (mandatory) and at least one participant (an academic partner, or a research- or health care institution)
- The leading partner must have a registered branch in the NUT2 region where anEIT Health Centre is located
- Health care ideas have completed IML 2 (idea) and have started IML 3 (proof of concept) at least in two of the four domains