Over 400 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have used Boost4Health to support their international growth strategies. In addition to the voucher system that enabled them to obtain services from specialists, they above all profited from the matchmaking events, where the numerous participants made long-term international contacts. No fewer than 80 per cent of the companies questioned rated the project as very helpful for internationalising their business strategy and would like the contacts to continue.
"Over the past four years, the project partners have built up an effective international network. In direct contact with the companies, Boost4Health has provided a financial injection of around one million euros in 167 development projects," says the delighted project manager Dr. Margot Jehle. It was in the Netherlands, for instance, that a medtech company from the Stuttgart region found the know-how it required to further develop its product. "Our excellent partnership made it possible to create a highly effective LifeTec hub in Europe. Boost4Health is a great example of how European cooperation in the life sciences can work," explains Dr. Jehle.
To ensure these successes can continue, it was suggested at the closing event in Stuttgart that the partners join the Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) platform to maintain and expand their existing contacts. The CEBR is a European network of life sciences clusters and bioregions that aims to enhance knowledge transfer and collaboration. The Interreg North-West Europe Programme has provided funding totalling 4.3 million euros to promote transnational cooperation in this part of Europe. The European Interreg project Boost4Health was designed to make internationalisation easier for small and medium-sized enterprises from the life sciences sector, including medtech, biotech and pharmaceutical companies and the food industry. The project team is made up of eleven regions from seven countries:
- Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM) in North Brabant
- GM Business Support Ltd and Kent County Council in the UK
- Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost Nederland NV in the Netherlands
- Biocat, la Fundació BioRegió de Catalunya in Spain
- University of Liège in Belgium
- ID2Santé, Eurasanté and Atlanpole Biotherapies in France
- Biopeople at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark
- BioRegio STERN Management GmbH in Germany