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Personsalised Medicine Innovation through Digital Enterprise Solutions

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PERMIDES (Personsalised Medicine Innovation through Digital Enterprise Solutions)

Période du rapport: 2017-09-01 au 2018-08-31

Issue addressed
Precision medicine “… is one of the biggest opportunities for breakthroughs in medicine that we have ever seen” (President Obama, Jan 2015) and is one of the emerging industries with high growth and innovation potential identified by the EU Commission (http://www.emergingindustries.eu).
Existing IT tools might easily be adapted to other clinical applications, providing e.g. e-Health tools to enable Personalised Medicine in all common diseases. Consequently, advancing Personalised Medicine in the digital age requires solutions to issues currently driving the IT and software sector, e.g. Big Data, machine learning, IT security, data protection, and cross-enterprise collaboration.
Overall objective
Based on these considerations and needs, the main objective of PERMIDES was to strengthen the competitiveness and foster the innovation potential of Personalized Medicine by providine key solutions for the reconfiguration of the biopharmaceutical value chain towards a Health Economy 4.0.
Work performed
This objective was achieved in a cross-clustering approach in which leading biopharma and IT clusters from Austria, Germany and Norway created novel cross-sectoral collaborations between SMEs to address innovation barriers in the biopharma sector via cutting-edge IT solutions. The cooperation between biopharma and IT SMEs enabled further digitalisation of the value chain in Personalised Medicine by applying the knowledge base of the IT industry in an exemplary way, thereby increasing the competitiveness of biopharmaceutical SMEs in Europe.
This was achieved through an open collaboration space consisting of workshops, a semantic online matchmaking platform and matchmaking events, allowing biopharma enterprises to identify suitable partners among IT companies of the participating clusters. The PERMIDES matchmaking platform is particularly based on the needs of SMEs and contains semantic algorithms that allow semantic-based intelligent matchmaking.
To create awareness about the project and the upcoming calls for innovation projects, the consortium implemented 15 Digital Health Fora on national as well as on international level from the very beginning of the project, focusing on cross-sectorial meeting places where the latest trends in the IT and biopharma sectors were discussed. As a result of these “pairing-activities”, the biopharmaceutical SME and their selected ICT partner jointly tackled innovation barriers in the value chain using the PERMIDES innovation voucher scheme. Follow-up coachings and transfer activities by the cluster organisations maximised the effect of around 105 innovation projects (see also https://projects.permides.eu/rest/viewconfig/viewconfigmapper/index.html). These coachings ensure the sustainability of the chosen approach, resulting in new innovation projects beyond the funding of PERMIDES. In parallel to the activities focusing on the calls for innovation projects, each of the PERMIDES partners got into contact with both national and regional innovation funding agencies to maximise the impact of the innovation projects initiated via PERMIDES, especially the Managing Authorities of ESIF. All partners established synergies with regional and national funding agencies. These connections and synergies were an important part to ensure sustainability of the innovation projects by identifying potential funding schemes.
Exploitation of project results
Since the launch of the PERMIDES matchmaking platform in spring 2017, more than 400 companies registered on the platform, rendering it a great success. The broad participation together with positive individual feedback from participating SME’s underlines the need of such a platform for presenting products and services to potential customers. Especially in the areas IT and Life Scienc-es/Medtech, services and products are designed for a globalized market rather than for customers next door. However, highly specialised products and services, provided by innovative but small companies require an equally specialised platform to be visible in a globalized market.
AS a consequence, the PERMIDES consortium established requirement specifications for further development and optimization of a sustainable PERMIDES matchmaking platform concept. This will not only enable the consortium to evaluate scenarios for the sustainable continuation of the platform concept that massively facilitates the interaction between Life Science and IT companies. It will also allow the development of extended functions driving the interaction between Life Science-related providers, supporting branches (CROs, legal, consulting etc.) and potential customers (further Life Science companies, pharmaceutical industry, insurances etc.).
Regarding the innovation projects, each innovation voucher awarded resulted in either a demo/prototyped product, a concept, a service, or the design of a solution to tackle the innovation barriers in the personalized medicine market and consequently led to an increased innovation capacity and innovation actions in the personalised medicine market. Most of the beneficiaries plan to further develop the results of their PERMIDES sub-projects in order to reach a higher technology readiness level and by doing so to develop marketable, sustainable products.
Following project results have been achieved:
- 83 SMEs (unique counts, in total: 96) were participating in 5 matchmaking events on regional and European levels
- 417 companies have enteried their profile into the semantic matchmaking portal
- 105 innovation projects between IT and biopharma companies, supported by innovation vouchers, were initiated
- 54 follow-up coachings were implemented
- More than 321 SMEs (unique counts) were benefitting from technology transfer activities through
innovation projects: 91 SMEs
consulting activities: 69 SMEs
workshops and matchmaking events: 161 SMEs

Expected long-term impacts
The PERMIDES activities helped biopharma SMEs to connect for building for long-term business relationships with IT SMEs. The innovation projects of PERMIDES stimulated the creation of new globally competitive industrial value chains across the EU and Associated Countries as important building block to accelerate the development of the biopharma sector. PERMIDES beneficiaries stated that PERMIDES had a very positive impact on several aspects of their product and business development activities including their cross-sectoral communication and collaboration abilities mandatory for the further digitization of the biopharma and precision medicine space.
To foster the development of new value chains, innovative solutions and products in Per-sonalised Medicine, the innovation potential of SMEs in this sector needs to be exploited via novel types of knowledge exchange and collaboration. PERMIDES successfully addressed these needs by linking IT and biopharma SMEs across all over Europe. Participating SMEs were encouraged to exploit national and EU funding schemes to build on the results achieved within PERMIDES and to use the contacts and network PERMIDES created. This provided all SMEs with opportunities to further advance the uptake and integration of IT solutions in Personalised Medicine value chains. This in turn will further increase the competitiveness of both, the biopharma and the ICT SMEs.