Creating a new order for cooperation in innovation

Trento, 28th May 2018

The main challenges of the nowadays-healthcare system, in particular within the Central Europe area, are represented by its fragmentation and the lack of cooperation between its main stakeholders. Moreover, the research and innovation structure of this field does not allow fruitful interactions among actors: as a consequence, knowledge transfer along the digital healthcare-sector-value chain, is hampered. The digitalLIFE4CE project aims at overcoming such threats, at regional, national, and transnational level, by establishing an area of excellence in the field of digital integrated healthcare system solutions: the implementation of such strategy is divided into a three-step process, with the final goal of creating strategic task forces.

First, by enhancing joint strategies, six thematic focuses have been singled out: Connected health & Network building, Digital Assistance in Healthcare delivery, Digitalization for Healthcare Management, Digitalization for Health Promotion & Prevention, Monitoring & Analytics of Healthcare Trends, and Technical & Organizational Infrastructure. Each thematic focus is managed by a working group set up on both the regional and the transnational level; working groups have the paramount task to start gathering together members to include in for the ideation and implementation of the task forces.

For each thematic focus, the project has envisioned an ecosystem of innovation value-chain relevant members, thus including three main different categories:

a) health-sector workers and health consumers;

b) decision-making members;

c) research & innovation area players.

In such fashion, the transnational working groups have led the project into the second main step, the Innovation Network Alliances, where the most relevant actors are attracted in order to effectively implement a joint strategy.

Finally, the core leading groups of each innovation network alliances correspond to the strategic task forces. The sum of the thematic regional strategic task forces generates the transnational strategic taskforce. Its impact should have a direct connection to decision makers at three level: regional, national, and European. The mid-long term goal is to create a sustainable and durable cooperation among these levels which could allow a faster decision-making process and a higher degree of coherence among objectives.

The strategic task forces are developed into three main phases:

  • The first one is the inspirational phase, when the state of the art and the stakeholders’ expectations are defined, therefore mixing together different perspectives from the Central Europe regions. The digitalLIFE4CE partners should exploit the tools developed within the project for identifying potential members (the visualisation tool) and strategic goals and working methods (the cooperation grid).
  • The challenges highlighted in the first phase are tackled in the ideation phase where solutions will be designed and relevant stakeholders will be included.
  • Once defined such a specific framework for each thematic focus, the working group should find the more efficient and intelligent options for a maximum impact, in the implementation phase.

Within our own project partners, there are two real-life examples of strategic task forces: the first one has been set up at the regional level by the Province of Trento, the second one at the national level by the Italian Ministry of Health. In January 2017, TrentinoSalute4.0 (TS4.0) has been established by creating a network between the regional health system, the research in the health sector, and the Trentino territory. TS4.0 includes the Autonomous Province of Trento, the Trentino Health Trust, the Bruno Kessler Foundation, and other actors such as the civil society, the local enterprises, the academic world, and so on. The overall framework of TS4.0 is structured so to enhance the cooperation between these actors, with the final aim to transform the technical-organizational solutions tested into innovative services for the healthcare sector. So far, two main European projects within TS4.0, WellCo and Upright, have been co-financed by Horizon 2020 for more than 1 million euro. On the other hand, at the national level, the Mattone Internazionale Salute Program (ProMIS) was born from the institutionalisation of the Mattone Internazionale Project (PMI), which was the aftermath of the recommendation of the Health Commission of the Italian “State – Region” Conference. ProMIS supports Italian regions in their participation in funding programs and European network in the social health sector.

These two best practices are an example of how cooperation of actors from different levels, could not only shape a common vision for the future but also could boost efficiency in health-related issues.

 by Sara Testa