Permides – enhancing the interaction between biopharma- and IT-SMES

Precision medicine “… is one of the biggest opportunities for breakthroughs in medicine that we have ever seen” (President Obama, Jan 2015) and is one of the emerging industries with high growth and innovation potential identified by the EU Commission (cf. The main objective of this proposal is to provide key solutions for the reconfiguration of the biopharmaceutical value chain in Personalised Medicine towards a Health Economy 4.0, with a special focus on oncology (i.e. cancer treatment). The digitalisation of communication and workflow processes is changing entire value chains. Advancing Personalised Medicine in the digital age requires solutions to issues currently driving the IT and software sector, e.g. Big Data, machine learning, IT security, data protection, and cross-enterprise collaboration. As a cross-cutting industry, the IT and software sector is an innovation enabler in many industries providing process and best practice solutions in diverse industrial and business environments. The project outlined in this proposal will enable further digitalisation of the value chain in Personalised Medicine by applying the knowledge base of the IT industry in an exemplary way, thereby increasing the competitiveness of biopharmaceutical SMEs in Europe.

In a cross-clustering approach, leading biopharma and IT clusters from three countries (Austria, Germany, and Norway) will create novel cross-sectoral collaborations between SMEs to address innovation barriers in the biopharma sector via cutting-edge IT solutions. This will be achieved through an open collaboration space consisting of workshops, a semantic online matchmaking portal, and matchmaking events, allowing biopharma enterprises to identify suitable partners among the IT companies of the participating clusters. In a second step, the biopharmaceutical SME and the IT partner will jointly tackle an innovation barrier in the value chain using an innovation voucher scheme. While finding novel solutions to important innovation barriers in the biopharma sector remains the primary objective of this proposal, a welcome side effect of pairing SMEs from the biopharma and IT sectors would be the entry of participating IT companies into the evolving and highly attractive Digital Health2 sector.

Follow-up coaching by the cluster organisations and transfer activities will maximise business impact and political outreach of the scheme and ensure sustainability of the chosen approach beyond the funding of this proposal.

Key objectives in figures:

  • 75 SMEs participating in matchmaking events on regional and European levels
  • 100 companies entering their profile into the semantic matchmaking portal
  • 90 innovation projects between IT and biopharma companies, supported by innovation vouchers
  • 50 sessions of follow-up coaching
  • 120 SMEs benefitting from technology transfer activities

Sectoral/industrial focus:

Medicine, Biopharma, Biotech, IT and Software sector




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