Leap for Life: Pioneering Health Innovation for Tomorrow’s Needs
Development, both in terms of efficient healthcare systems and business promotion, is taking place at an accelerating pace on the European stage. Actors from regions, academia, business, and health organizations are collaborating to drive this development and establish strategic partnerships for competence and experience exchange. An investment in health innovation is necessary to meet tomorrow’s needs in healthcare. In Region Halland, this is done through the Leap for Life initiative, an innovation centre for, and made possible by Region Halland, Halmstad University, and Halland’s municipalities. Driven by the ambition to improve and transform future healthcare, Leap for Life is a collaborative investment in connected healthcare and information-driven care. Leap for Life together with Region Halland and its Nordic partners*, have now been granted EU funds to continue pursue health and welfare technologies innovations.
Region Halland & Leap for Life
In the coming years, the older segment of the Nordic population is set to grow, a reality that imposes demands on healthcare systems and businesses to explore new solutions or reimagine existing ones. To effectively address the future requirements in healthcare and elderly care, an investment in health innovation and welfare technology is needed to significantly enhance the current state. This investment aims to relieve the strain caused by the shortage of personnel and ultimately deliver significantly improved services and outcomes.
In Halland, a close collaboration between the public sector, academia, and the business community has long been established to drive significant improvements in healthcare. Halmstad University has successfully established a strong centre focusing on AI and machine learning, while Region Halland has achieved a nationally leading position in data-driven healthcare. These achievements are the results of effective collaboration, targeted resource allocation, and the establishment of robust international networks. Health innovation is a top priority in Region Halland.
Over the past decade, the region has actively contributed to the development of the innovation centre known as Leap for Life, with its commitment to supporting innovation, research expertise and competence development in healthcare. Leap for Life is dedicated to empowering companies to spearhead innovation in the realm of information-driven healthcare, fostering transformative changes at regional, national, and international levels. Leap for Life forges strategic partnerships, leads collaborative initiatives, and guides influential projects, drawing upon the collective expertise of its key stakeholders: Region Halland, Halmstad University, and the municipalities within the Halland Region. The remarkable advancements in health innovation in Halland have been made possible through substantial EU funding.
CareWare Nordic 1 & 2
There have been previous EU projects pursued under the umbrella of Leap for Life. These projects have sought to further enhance the quality of healthcare and pave the way for a significantly improved future. Through the Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak-funded (ÖSK) CareWare Nordic 1 project, a range of dedicated forums were established, fostering collaboration among municipalities, businesses, and educational institutions, to allow for sharing of the latest knowledge and experiences within the field of welfare technology.
Leap for Life, together with Region Halland and Nordic partners*, have recently received new EU-grant through Interreg-ÖSK for CareWare Nordic 2, between the years 2023-2026. In the next phase of the project, these platforms and meeting venues will be utilized to further strengthen collaboration between businesses, public organizations, academia, and civil society. The aim is to collectively develop new shared solutions that contribute to improved competence development, needs identification, user involvement, and implementation in welfare services. The project focuses on areas that fall within the specialized domains of participating partners, with a strong emphasis on health innovation, data-driven healthcare, and digitalization. Ensuring adequate user education on available options and tools is crucial for empowering individuals utilizing assisted living technology to effectively pursue their ideas. Additionally, fostering collaboration between companies, regions, and municipalities is vital for the development, testing, and implementation of assisted living technology. This collaboration should be facilitated through the continuous enhancement of project platforms.
Project objectives & target groups
CareWare Nordic 2 primary target groups are: health and care in regions and municipalities that work with or purchase assisted living technology, educational institutions within health and care, and companies that develop assisted living technology. The project comprises three work packages encompassing various activities focused on innovation and skills development, with the aim of achieving some of the following results over the 3-year period: test and development of a model for communication and early detection of innovative ideas in the healthcare system and a maturation method that increases the number of successful innovation projects; 30 educational courses with companies and 10 courses with staff with the aim of developing better innovation, test and product development methods in municipalities/regions; and implementation of idea development processes for 20 challenges identified in the healthcare system.
Learning and evaluation are key components of the project, forming the foundation for the development of final models, methods, educational courses, and platforms. Project findings are continually documented, and the process and results are regularly evaluated. This iterative approach allows for ongoing refinement and improvement based on the insights gained throughout the implementation of project activities. By emphasizing learning and evaluation, the project ensures that the outcomes are informed by evidence and continuously optimized to achieve the desired goals.
For Halland, the project aligns with the strategic objectives of Smart Specialisation Halland 2021-2028. These objectives share a strong emphasis on health innovation, IT, AI, and digitalization, which are central themes addressed by the project CareWare Nordic 2. By contributing to the regional strategy, the project actively supports the advancement of these key areas and reinforces the regional focus on fostering innovation and technological advancements in the healthcare sector.
Building a solid foundation together
Region Halland’s healthcare services are highly ranked in terms of cost-effectiveness, quality indicators and accessibility in Sweden. This has been achieved through strategic decision-making and strong collaboration with Halmstad University and Leap for Life. In CareWare Nordic 2, Region Halland’s participation as one of the partners is twofold. The Research and Development unit is involved in building an Innovation Platform, while the Business Development Department is responsible for the Smart Specialisation Strategy, with Future Healthcare as one of the areas of specialization, focusing on information-driven healthcare. Whilst Leap for Life has a coordinating role – creating collaborative processes between academia, regions, and businesses, with a focus on generating benefits, innovation, and long-term impact nationally with health innovation, bringing together the necessary ecosystem of expertise, healthcare development, business development, and research – required to collectively drive Halland’s initiative in information-driven healthcare.
Peter Uppman, Innovation Strategist at Region Halland, says: As a new partner in the CareWare Nordic collaboration, Region Halland is looking forward to the upcoming years. We are excited about the opportunity to engage in dialogue, exchange experiences, and receive valuable input within the project. Our focus is on building a solid foundation for fostering innovation, both internally within the region and in collaboration with academia, businesses, and municipalities.
To meet the future demands of healthcare and caregiving, a dedicated focus on health innovation and welfare technology is essential. CareWare Nordic 2 together with the involvement and ambition from Region Halland, Leap for Life, and its partners, is an integral part of this initiative, driving advancements and transformative solutions in the field.
Interested in knowing more or collaborating with Region Halland and Leap for Life? We are open for new collaborations!
Get in touch with us:
Anna Maria Mårtensson
Leap for Life
Högskolan i Halmstad/Halmstad University
*The project CareWare Nordic 2 is a collaborative project between Halmstad University (Leap for Life), Region Halland, Central Denmark Region, Aarhus Municipality, Viborg Municipality, SOSU East Jutland, Technology in Practice, and Business Viborg.