De Krook becomes the new base for the BlueHealth Innovation Center

(23-01-2019) BlueHealth Innovation Center opens a third location in Flanders in De Krook in Ghent.

In addition to the operations in Genk and Antwerp, the Blue Health Innovation Center (BHIC) will receive a base in Ghent. The City of Ghent, UGent and UZ Gent will become the new partners, joining forces around Digital and Medical Technology.

BHIC is a private-public partnership between governments, companies, research institutions and healthcare actors. Their mission is to support the digital transformation in healthcare by stimulating young entrepreneurship. They coach students, start-ups and care actors in the development of innovative digital projects. Every year they guide dozens of start-ups from the very beginning to their internationalization. With the establishment of BHIC in Ghent, the City of Ghent, UGent and UZ Gent are now also partners within the BlueHealth Innovation Center.

"Ghent is an important start-up city in Flanders. Because of the presence of the university, the many hospitals and imec, Ghent has a lot of assets. With the arrival of the BlueHealth Innovation Center, a new important component is added. We are already on top in the biotech world; medical technology is the next logical step in this story ", says Mayor Mathias De Clercq. "The care economy is an important growth component for our city. As the largest student city in the country, the additional support for starting entrepreneurship within this care economy is very welcome. Ghent has always embraced the digital economy and many international scale-ups have their roots here ", adds Ghent's economy alderman Sofie Bracke.

"We are delighted that the Krook will become our new operating base, the inspiration for knowledge and innovation," says Tom Braekeleirs, director of the BlueHealth Innovation Center. "From the three regions of Genk, Antwerp and Ghent, we can further improve the digital transformation of healthcare support. Ghent is an ideal addition to our operations because innovation and entrepreneurship are prominent here".

Joining forces

Within the Ghent ecosystem, the forces are bundled in De Krook. Imec, MedTech Flanders, BHIC and UGent / UZ Gent will work closely together in order to be able to help start-up and existing entrepreneurs with one contact point.

"This is a unique combination. Imec.istart is already working closely with the BlueHealth Innovation Center to give HealthTech startups the best possible support. With this additional focus, we can help them even better," says Roger Lemmens, Director Innovation Services & Solutions at imec. "Increasingly we notice that within medical technology the boundaries between hardware and software become thinner. This also requires a better cooperation. The arrival of BHIC in Ghent is therefore a very good thing. Because of this joining of forces with imec, MedTech Flanders, the university and BHIC, MedTeG is central (with the G of Ghent of course)", explains Prof. dr. Pascal Verdonck, managing director of MedTech Flanders and professor Medical Technology at Ghent University.