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VELES Excellence Hub Will Drive Innovation in South-East Europe's Smart Healthcare Sector

News / News / VELES Excellence Hub Will Drive Innovation in South-East Europe's Smart Healthcare Sector
18 July. 2023

VELES Excellence Hub Will Drive Innovation in South-East Europe's Smart Healthcare Sector

VELES Excellence Hub, a dynamic consortium aimed at accelerating innovation excellence in smart healthcare, proudly announces its official launch starting on June 1st, 2023. With a focus on the widening countries of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Cyprus, VELES develops novel methodologies and pilots to enable new collaboration opportunities and smart health innovations within a sustainable, excellent place-based ecosystem driven by Regional Health Data Space. This ambitious EU-funded project, valued at 4,750,000 euros, will conclude on May 31, 2027, leaving a lasting legacy of transformative impact.

The overarching objective of VELES is to foster an environment where smart health innovations thrive, creating excellent innovation ecosystems within the participating countries. Aligned with the Regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart S pecialisation (RIS3) in healthcare, VELES aims to leverage cutting-edge technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) to enable personalized medicine, informed decision-making, and enhanced disease prediction.

VELES was established as a consortium composed of 15 partners, representing both the four widening countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Cyprus) and three developed countries (Sweden, Spain, and Germany).

The consortium includes prominent organizations such as GATE Institute, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (coordinator), Telelink Business Services EAD, Health & Life Sciences Cluster Bulgaria, and the Ministry of Electronic Governance from Bulgaria; Hellenic Digital Health Cluster (HDHC) and JOIST Innovation Park from Greece; North-East Regional Innovative Cluster for Structural and Molecular Imaging (Imago-Mol) and the Executive Agency for the Financing of Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI) from Romania; CYENS Centre of Excellence, National eHealth Authority, 3AE HEALTH, and STEGI EVGIRIAS ARCHAGGELOS MICHAEL KAIMAKLIOY from Cyprus; CHALMERS INDUSTRITEKNIK from Sweden; INSOMNIA Consulting from Spain; and International Data Spaces EV from Germany.

The hub strives to elevate the level of innovation excellence in South-East Europe by establishing a sustainable place-based innovation ecosystem, enabled by the Regional Smart Health Data Space. This comprehensive framework includes a research and investment strategy, as well as an action plan for the development and adoption of secure and innovative digital solutions that support the delivery of sustainable healthcare services. VELES will showcase the capabilities of the Regional Smart Health Data Space through the implementation of four interconnected pilots focusing on cancer treatment (Greece), Alzheimer (Bulgaria), cerebral tumors (Romania), and dementia (Cyprus).

The RIS3 strategies of Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Cyprus emphasize the urgent need for digitalized healthcare solutions based on advanced technologies. The strategies also highlight the importance of increased funding for research and investigation, policy coherence, and the

development of innovation strategies that transcend borders. VELES aims to facilitate regional and national health data-sharing strategies, prioritizing improved clinical practices, safeguarding patient privacy, and empowering citizens with access to innovative, secure, and data-driven digital health services.

“We are honoured to head the smart health innovations acceleration in the VELES Countries. VELES is an essential next step in GATE’s endeavour, as an International Data Spaces Association Hub, to boost the national and regional data-driven economy through the initiation of Data Spaces in strategic sectors such as Healthcare", says Prof. Sylvia Ilieva, Director of GATE Institute, the project coordinator.

VELES firmly believes in the power of collaboration and adopts a Quadruple Helix approach (involving members from the public sector, academia, citizens, and private companies), encouraging cooperation, coordination, and co-development.

As VELES’ consortium embarks on this transformative journey, it aspires to reshape the smart healthcare landscape of South-East Europe, revolutionizing healthcare practices and ultimately improving the well-being of the region's population.

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