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#EUnite4Health Innovation Demo Day at European Parliament - fostering collaboration for healthcare innovation in Europe

Brussels, Belgium, 06 October 2023

Building on the successful collaboration between JA Europe and Novartis with over 10 successful startup projects launched in Bulgaria and Cyprus, the Parliamentary Demo Day on 4 October gathered healthcare innovation stakeholders from policy, business, education and start up sectors from across Europe.

Moderated by Salvatore Nigro, CEO of JA Europe, and hosted by MEP Nicola Procaccini, the EUnite4Health Innovation Demo Day emphasized the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship education for Europe’s youth. The role of the European Parliament in shaping health innovation policies was highlighted alongside industry-education collaboration such as the Novartis-JA initiative.

MEP Nicola Procaccini discussed the legislative perspective within the European Parliament and the contribution of EUnite4Health to the broader health and innovation landscape in Europe. He highlighted the role innovation can play in the lives of the European citizens: “Innovation in health is not a luxury but a necessity. It is the path to a healthier, more prosperous, and more equitable Europe.”

Milena Stoycheva, Minister of Innovation and Growth of Bulgaria, shared insights into how national governments can actively participate in and benefit from the EUnite4Health Initiative's mission. “Innovation is not just about technology but also about creativity, and collaboration. And most of all about changing the culture. In the context of healthcare, applying innovation can be a game changer. Big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are transforming healthcare. Innovation in healthcare brings hope.” – concluded the minister.

Wojciech Nowak, Senior Director of Global Public Affairs at Novartis, shared his vision for an innovation ecosystem that fosters European talent and entrepreneurship and support the competitiveness of Europe. "The future of European healthcare innovation is in great hands with a new generation of young entrepreneurs entering the market. Young startup pioneers, with their global outlook, mindset and capabilities, will determine whether they continue developing their innovations within Europe or continue elsewhere. It is critical all stakeholders collectively create an innovation-friendly ecosystem that nurtures ideas and facilitates their development right here in Europe.”

The Startup Showcase featured three innovative healthcare startups from the JA Europe network: Natalia Konova, Founder and CEO of AMIRA Meditech (Bulgaria), Alexandra Dimitriadou, CEO and Co-Founder of MammoCheck (Cyprus), and Alexia Vasilaki, Co-Founder of Drug n Drop (Greece). Members of the European Parliament and JA national CEOs provided valuable feedback to the startups, contributing to their growth and development.

The event also featured a lively panel discussion, moderated by Salvatore Nigro, on the importance of innovation in healthcare ecosystems and the EU's role in promoting it. The panelists, including MEP Nicola Procaccini, Wojciech Nowak, Milena Stoycheva, Raffaele Trapasso from OECD, Antigoni Komodiki, CEO of JA Cyprus and Argyris Tzikopoulos, CEO of JA Greece, and Members of the European Parliament Radan Kanev, Tsvetelina Penkova, Sergio Antonio Berlato, Andrey Kovatchev, Petar Vitanov, Margarita de la Pisa Carrión and Elisabetta de Blasis, discussed challenges and opportunities for driving innovation in healthcare systems across the EU.

The EUnite4Health Innovation Demo Day showcased the commitment of various stakeholders to support innovation in healthcare in Europe, emphasizing collaboration and synergy among different groups. It was a testament to the dedication of JA Europe and its partners to foster innovation through education and empower Europe’s entrepreneurial youth.

For more information, please contact Minna Melleri, Chief of Advocacy and Growth, JA Europe (minna@jaeurope.org)

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