BioWin and MEDVIA sign first strategic collaboration between health clusters in Wallonia and Flanders

Published: 14-May-2024

Agreement will leverage strengths of two powerhouses dedicated to health to foster cross-border collaboration, building critical mass and consolidating sector to maintain Belgium’s position as a leader in Europe’s healthcare industry

BioWin, the health cluster of Wallonia and Medvia, the health innovation cluster of Flanders, have entered a strategic partnership to foster innovation and cross-border collaboration in the Belgian health sector. This is the first agreement of its kind to be signed between a Walloon and a Flemish cluster.


Bolstering Belgium's healthtech ecosystem

BioWin represents 18,500 employees, with 260 members, including 140 innovative industrial companies, 5 academic institutions and 6 research centres. MEDVIA represents 150 members, including 6 academic institutions, 7 hospitals, and 80 companies with R&D activities. Both clusters are poised to leverage their collective strengths for mutual growth and advancement.

Through this agreement, BioWin and MEDVIA will address challenges jointly and align funding streams to create joint projects between Walloon and Flemish companies by facilitating relationships between key stakeholders in both regions, including governments, companies, research institutes and hospitals.
The two health clusters aim to further develop Belgium’s healthtech ecosystem by utilising each other’s strengths to increase the quality of science across the regions, create jobs and grow company valuations and attract international investors, while developing drugs and medical devices that have a real and positive impact on patients’ lives.
The agreement emphasises several key areas of expertise, including:

  • Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs)/bioproduction: Initiatives focusing on this growing sector, including the development of a Belgian ATMP hub and talent development endeavors
  • Medtech/healthtech: Collaboration on national and international initiatives, joint participation in European projects and facilitating access to financial resources for innovative companies
  • Research & innovation: Joint calls for projects and optimisation of initiatives with regional and national funding tools to drive research and innovation forward

“This partnership with MEDVIA is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the power of regional collaboration in fostering innovation in the biotech and healthtech field. Together we can be bolder and address the challenges in our ecosystem. We can leverage our strengths to consolidate Belgium’s position as a leading life sciences hub in Europe and have greater impact internationally to bring the best innovative treatments to as many patients as possible,” said Sylvie Ponchaut, managing director of BioWin.
The two clusters started working together in 2023, co-organising several key conferences such as: Science for Health, supported by the HST Group consortium (Health, Science and Technology Group, a unique alliance of Pfizer, UCB, GSK and Janssen); and the first HealthTech Investor summit in Bruges, giving 75 pitching entrepreneurs access to more than 60 investors.

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