Building Bridges: Collaborations and Funding Opportunities in Healthcare Open Innovation

Civitta, as the EIT Health HUB Slovakia, once again hosted the increasingly popular EIT Health Morning Health Talks (MHT) on May 31st, 2024 to explore the topic ‘Alliances and Funding for Open Innovation in Healthcare’. This event aimed to bring together key players from academia, startups, hospitals, the Ministry of Health, investors, MedTech startups, and pharmaceutical companies to discuss collaborations and funding opportunities for tackling complex healthcare challenges. 

Beata Kurucz (EIT Health) presented the activities of EIT Health and this year’s focus on open innovation in healthcare, highlighting its necessity in addressing healthcare challenges. The keynote speaker George Megas (I-sense group) discussed strategies for building successful open innovation collaborations between hospitals and startups and highlighted the importance of securing funding through EU sources and other channels. 

Among the case studies was the company Mace & Menter (UK), founded by Sam Menter, who shared his experience using service design to improve healthcare experiences. Helena Jurašková (Dex Innovation Centre) highlighted some of the positive outcomes and challenges of startup and hospital collaboration in capacity building projects. 

Zuzana Kušíková from Civitta introduced Digivitality (CEE), a program focused on accelerating startup development in healthcare, with a particular emphasis on validating ideas. They highlighted the benefits of collaboration with hospitals, Medtech companies, and experts for successful validation.  

Another important aspect of this event was the discussion around funding opportunities, where Petra Zappe, from VAIA, provided insights into Slovakian funding opportunities for healthcare innovation. She highlighted the “Domena Zdrava Spolocnost 2030” document outlining strategies for advancing healthcare innovation and the “Program Slovensko” offering grants for breakthrough application development. Furhermore, Monika Barčíková (CVTI SR), presented on Horizon Europe funding opportunities for healthcare research and innovation, including mission-driven calls and innovation actions.  


Overall, the event emphasized the importance of open innovation and collaboration for advancing healthcare in Slovakia, and provided valuable insights into existing funding opportunities and successful open innovation practices.