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Posted: Nov 15, 2010
Health Axis Europe - International kick-off meeting in Heidelberg
(Nanowerk News) Representatives of the European health technology clusters in Leuven (Belgium) and the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region (Biotech Cluster Rhine-Neckar BioRN, Germany) now announced at the Regional Development Summit in Heidelberg the launch of a new initiative called "Health Axis Europe". The members of the Health Axis Europe committee include key individuals of each cluster representing the local industry, science, politics and venture capital. In a first kick-off meeting the committee members convened in Heidelberg to discuss the outline and the next steps of the Health Axis Europe initiative. A representative of the Cambridge life science cluster also attended the conference as Cambridge is the next candidate to be invited to join the alliance. The event was organized by BioRN Cluster Management GmbH.
The purpose of the Health Axis Europe initiative is to cross-leverage the innovation resources and thus jointly increase the international competitiveness of the clusters in Cambridge, Leuven and Heidelberg. The clusters share a common innovation culture, are comparable in strength and have complementary areas of expertise. All three clusters are located around internationally outstanding universities with excellent health sciences and a strong tradition in top education and research. They have a substantial health industry base and are driven by strong key individuals that are personally committed to foster economic growth and entrepreneurship. In addition, the three clusters are focused on complementary health technology areas covering regenerative medicine and stem cells (Cambridge), medical electronics and nanotechnology (Leuven) as well as personalized medicine and cancer research (Heidelberg).
The first activities of the Health Axis Europe will be a joint effort to initiate major transnational collaborations in health technology research, development and education between the three regions.
Martin Hinoul, Business Development Manager at K.U. Leuven Research & Development, described Leuven´s intentions in joining the Health Axis Europe: "With this new alliance the Leuven region in Belgium demonstrates its ambition to play a dynamic and leading role in the European knowledge economy of the 21st century".
Prof. Alan Barrell, Entrepreneur in Residence, University of Cambridge, said: "I plan to present to colleagues in Cambridge the excellent aims and objectives of Health Axis Europe with a recommendation for full Cambridge engagement."
Christian Tidona, managing director of the BioRN Cluster Management stated: "In a global knowledge economy the formation of strong clusters is crucial in order to establish international competitiveness and thus accelerate innovation and economic growth. An even stronger acceleration effect can be achieved by connecting the local resources and networks of leading clusters like Cambridge, Leuven and BioRN through a strategic partnership."
About the BioRN Cluster Management GmbH
The BioRN Cluster Management GmbH is a public-private partnership between the Rhine-Neckar BioRegion, the Heidelberg Technology Park, the Rhine-Neckar Chamber of Commerce and the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region (MRN). It is charged with the coordination, integration, development and marketing of the Biotech Cluster Rhine-Neckar (BioRN) - one of the leading life science clusters in Europe. The cluster includes renowned academic research institutions such as the University of Heidelberg, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), about 70 small and medium-sized biotech enterprises, as well as big pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies such as Roche Diagnostics (Mannheim), Merck Serono (Darmstadt) and Abbott (Ludwigshafen).
The BioRN Cluster Management is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg.