Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Recommendations to quickly turn scientific ideas into commercial health technologies

Transforming scientific research and innovation into commercialised products can be a highly complex process, particularly in health technologies. An EU initiative laid down a strategy to speed commercialisation.
Recommendations to quickly turn scientific ideas into commercial health technologies
The practice of turning a scientific concept into a commercialised product, device or service (idea-to-market) involves a complex set of relationships among various actors, including institutional bodies, medical professionals, researchers, patients and consumers.

To address the issue, the EU-funded ITECH (Roadmap for research and innovation in health technology) project set out to identify the gaps and barriers throughout all stages of the idea-to-market process. Overall, the aim was to propose an optimum strategy to accelerate and support this process. The focus was medical devices and e-health applications.

Work began by defining and validating the ITECH model which describes the phases of innovation maturation from research to commercialisation. The five phases are: proof of concept; prototype development; regulatory process; product development; and reimbursement.

Project partners identified regulatory process and reimbursement as the two most critical phases in idea-to-market. After mapping existing national instruments that support research and innovation and the idea-to-market strategy, they presented available funding for each of the five phases. Results show that research activities receive greater support from public funding agencies. Furthermore, less attention has been paid to critical issues such as nomenclature, regulatory procedures and reimbursement.

An extensive analysis of the findings led to the identification of 12 main gaps and barriers to an efficient idea-to-market process. In total, 61 issues were identified as hindering the process. Roadmaps, recommendations and action plans were created for four of the issues. These are e-health taxonomy; education and training; clinical trials; and adoption space and human factors engineering.

By accelerating the idea-to-market process, ITECH will ensure that products and services meet the needs of their users. This should lead to improvements in the competitiveness of European health technology industries globally.

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Life Sciences


Health technologies, research and innovation, idea-to-market, ITECH
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