Health Campus Care Innovation Fund encourages innovation in healthcare
POM Limburg and the University of Hasselt backing healthcare companies
POM Limburg and the University of Hasselt are today launching the Health Campus Care Innovation Fund, a new programme for encouraging innovations in healthcare. Five projects from healthcare organisations are claiming financial compensation and substantive support from the University of Hasselt’s new simulation and innovation lab, THINK³.
Just recently, the plans were made known around the THINK³ lab, as part of the innovation centre at the Health Campus in Diepenbeek, and one of the projects from the economic future plan SALKturbo. At this lab, healthcare organisations can work together to innovate their systems and processes. “And this is needed,” says Tom Vandeput, Deputy for the Economy and Chairman of POM Limburg. “The healthcare industry today faces numerous challenges around personnel, technology and processes. Care organisations must constantly respond to new needs, while innovating at the same time. These innovations then need to find their way into practice as quickly as possible. The THINK³ lab on the Health Campus will play a crucial role in the latter element.”
POM Limburg and the University of Hasselt, with the support of the provincial government, are now also linking a fund of some 200,000 euros to this lab. POM will serve as a coordinator. Tom Vandeput: “We motivate Limburg healthcare companies and organisations to set up projects that innovate healthcare systems and processes. We are giving a financial push to five projects, but we also support them substantively, including by giving them access to the THINK³ lab and assigning them a University of Hasselt promoter. Healthcare actors are given two years to set up a project.”
Ways of thinking
The THINK³ lab is an interactive learning environment for students, teachers and actors from the field, where interdisciplinary learning in healthcare is central. With the new initiative, the University of Hasselt is aiming to reduce the distance between an innovative idea and its implementation. Professor Jochen Bergs: “The THINK³ simulation and innovation lab brings three ways of thinking to the foreground: critical thinking, strategic thinking and design thinking. Three ways of thinking that we believe are needed to meet the challenges in healthcare. In healthcare, there is no shortage of insights and innovations – sometimes even too many. So we need to be critical: which ones offer the most value? And how do they fit into systems and processes? In addition, we need to think long-term, beyond the quick fixes we often see. Finally, we want to encourage solution-oriented thinking. A scientific insight or paper is not yet a solution. This must first be translated into practice. Using our scientifically informed methods, we are working with the five projects selected to build a learning network in our province.”
At the Health Campus, POM Limburg and the University of Hasselt are building the future of healthcare. The design for this campus’ gatehouse was announced just recently. Health Campus Manager Roeland Buckinx: “Health Campus Limburg will be a beacon where companies, knowledge institutions and care actors meet and improve our care together. We are now encouraging that with the Health Campus Care Innovation Fund. In our future gatehouse, by the way, there will be an open care innovation centre that will permanently embed this interaction into campus operations. Care innovation starts here.”