Regional innovation ecosystems for healthcare | Insights from CHERRIES webinar #4

How does RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) fit into Regional Innovation Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3)? How can European Regions leverage their diversities to boost innovation?

This question opened the 4th and last episode of CHERRIES webinar dedicated to “Regional innovation ecosystems for healthcare”, which took place on October 13th 2020, and saw Dr. Gaston Heimeriks (CWTS, Leiden University| Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University) and Anett Ruszanov (ERRIN) on stage.

Gaston Heimeriks opened its presentation with a reflection on how regions can shape not only smart innovation strategies, but also inclusive and sustainable – in other words, responsible smart specialisation innovation strategies. He then presented the role regional stakeholders play in enabling such a responsible approach: mapping regional policies and regional actors is a key starting point to shape regional innovation policies that can better address today societal challenges.

Anett Ruszanov then dived into the role regional ecosystems play in/for the healthcare sector. Diversity is a must at subnational levels, such as the regional one. Each region presents its own innovation ecosystem, with its model and processes. Anett spoke about the dynamism of innovation ecosystems that are in constant evolution and presented how different regions present different approaches to meet societal needs.

The session was closed by CHERRIES coordinator, Stefan Philipp (ZSI) who made some considerations on the main outcomes of the whole CHERRIES webinar series.

If you missed the session you can watch the recordings here.

You can also download the presentations here:

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The role of procurement in healthcare innovation | Insights from CHERRIES webinar #3

The third episode of CHERRIES webinar series -held last October 6th- tackled the topic of innovation procurement in the healthcare sector.

The first two episodes set the scene on demand-driven innovation policies and responsible healthcare ecosystems and in both occasions a question raised up: the innovation frameworks are changing towards more responsible and sustainable approaches, but are rules ready enough to support this cultural change? Is the regulatory framework advanced enough to cope with the complexity of the health sector?

Dr. John Rigby and Samuli Kauppinen debated these questions in their speeches.

Dr. Rigby stated that “innovation is a conversation” where different actors need to interact and exchange. In other words, procurement serves and articulates the demand side of the innovation chain and therefore greater connectivity among health stakeholders is needed.

He then brought some concrete examples from the UK context, with a focus on the Health Innovation Manchester experience.

Samuli Kauppinen spoke about the public procurement of co-created innovative solutions, and he built his speech around the current experience of Procurement of Innovation in the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District. He presented how the InDemand project kick started some reflections on how to support the adoption of solutions resulted from co-creation approaches, and the implications from a procurer’s perspective. Samuli presented the process the Hospital has designed and the plans for its actual implementation.

If you missed the live session, you can still watch the recordings here.

You can also download speakers’ presentations:

CHERRIES webinar 3_John Rigby_UoManchester

CHERRIES webinar 3_SamuliKauppinen_NOHD

Cherries_eu_webinar series_EP3

RRI practices in healthcare | Insights from CHERRIES webinar #2

Is the RRI framework advanced enough to manage the complexity of healthcare innovation ecosystems?

This question kick started the second episode of CHERRIES webinar series “Exploring Responsible Healthcare Ecosystems”. Held on September 29, this session focussed on RRI practices in healthcare and saw two experts on our “virtual stage”: Rosina Malagrida, Head of the Living Lab for Health at IrsiCaixa & Co-coordinator of the Barcelona “la Caixa” Living Lab, and Barbara Kieslinger, Coordinator of and Project Manager at the Centre for Social Innovation – ZSI, Vienna, Austria.

Two totally different approaches were presented during the webinar.

Rosina Malagrida spoke about the complexity that characterizes the healthcare sector and the need for a new problem solving approach where different stakeholders of the ecosystem are involved throughout the whole innovation chain, from challenge definition to solution implementation. In this context, RRI can help regional actors to act at ecosystemic level, rather than project level to generate a real impact with and for society, moving from an organisational perspective to a community one.

Rosina presented how linear thinking is not enough to embrace such a complexity, while systemic thinking can help identifying root causes and mapping interconnections. She also elaborated on the role intermediaries should play in establishing a dialogue between society and the R&I community.

Download here Rosina Malagrida’s presentation: 01_RRI_Cherries_Webinar_Sept2020_Malagrida

Barbara Kieslinger presented the platform, a mixed community of people and organisations committed to the co-design and making of open, personalised healthcare for everyone, born from the EU-funded collaborative H2020 project Made4You.

She presented how embedded key dimensions of the RRI framework in its methodology and practices, and the result is a set of “responsible making principles”:

  1. Make things that make sense: Create solutions that answer to real personal problems or needs.
  2. Co-design with others: Make space for diverse skills, competences, knowledge, and experiences to merge and come to new and meaningful solutions.
  3. Empower people: Teach others so that everyone can become more technologically literate and see the potentials.
  4. Share How You Make: Openly document the making of the project enabling its replication and choose the most appropriate licenses for your project.
  5. Be aware of limits: Consider any gaps of knowledge when you design for health and care, ask the people you design for and clinicians for support and feedback and follow quality and safety standards.

Barbara then elaborated on the legal and ethical aspects that influence the work makers do when developing healthcare and medical solutions/devices.

Download here Barbara Kieslinger’s presentation: 02_Cherries_Webinar_Sept2020_Kieslinger

This is in a nutshell what was discussed during the 2nd episode of CHERRIES webinar series “Exploring Responsible Healthcare Ecosystems”.

You can watch the full episode here

If you want to know more about CHERRIES and our webinar series download this presentation: Cherries_eu_webinar series_EP2


Next Episode is on October 6th at 14.30 CET, don’t miss it!

Episode 3. The role of procurement in healthcare innovation
With Dr. John Rigby (University of Manchester | Bibliometrica Ltd.) and Samuli Kauppinen (Oulu University Hospital)



SISCODE workshop | Co-creation as a method to bring RRI in the project

Our coordinator, Stefan Philipp (ZSI), will share insights about CHERRIES methodology during the upcoming workshop organised by SISCODE, an EU funded project aimed at stimulating the use of co-creation methodologies in policy design, using bottom-design-driven methodologies to pollinate Responsible Research and Innovation, and Science Technology and Innovation Policies.

This 2-hours workshop will take place on the 7th of October and it is aimed  to explore the meaning of integrating and conveying RRI into STI projects, reflecting on how co-creation can help integrating RRI aspects in research questions/projects, using co-creation as a leverage/catalyst for RRI integration.

During the workshop, the experience of two of SISCODE’s ten co-creation labs  (Krakow Technology Park and Thess-Ahall) will be showcased as a basis for the discussion, together with a brief overview on how coordinators of invited project tackled co-creation actions in their projects. A group discussion with the participation of European Commission policy and Project officers will follow, focusing on how co-creation can help operationalize RRI.

More details at 

The role of need in open and user-led innovation approaches in healthcare | Insights from CHERRIES webinar #1

On September 22, CHERRIES kick started its webinar series dedicated to the exploration of responsible healthcare ecosystems in Europe. Four episodes aimed at discussing with academic experts and innovation practitioners how the healthcare sector can approach a transition towards more inclusive, sustainable and responsible policies.

During the 1st episode “The role of need in open and user-led innovation approaches in healthcare” our speakers Wouter Boon (University of Utrecht) and Myriam Martin (ticbiomed | inDemand project) addressed some fundamental questions and aspects that will certainly find some additional answers and contributions in the coming episodes.

Moderated by Chiara Davalli (European BIC Network) and introduced by Stefan Philipp (ZSI | CHERRIES coordinator), the first episode aimed to answer the following questions:

  • What is the role of users in the healthcare innovation process?
  • How demand/need driven innovation approaches can result in improved healthcare ecosystems?
  • Which are the key issues to be considered when launching a co-creation process?

Wouter Boon spoke about Demand-based and User innovation policies (download PPT Boon (2020) Demand-oriented innovation policy – guest lecture_CHERRIES Ep.1).

In his presentation he first set the scene on how we moved from linear innovation approaches towards demand driven innovation approaches. He then proposed some interesting considerations on the reasons to involve users in innovation processes and the importance of demand driven innovation policies. He then closed his talk by presenting three main challenges that need to be taken into account when shaping and implementing demand driven innovation policies.

Myriam Martin presented her insights from the practitioners’ point of view (download PPT 20200922 Ticbiomed presentation_CHERRIES webinars Ep.1).

Coordinator of inDemand project, Myriam shared with the audience six key issues that need to be taken into account when launching co-creation processes in the healthcare sector: 1) securing an innovation culture within healthcare organisations; 2) facilitating bottom-up processes; 3) ensuring the alignment with healthcare management priorities; 4) optimising users’ experience by promoting demand-driven approaches to the definition of new solutions; 5) spending public funds in a more efficient way by steering innovation from the demand side; 6) promoting ecosystemic approaches to innovation in the healthcare sector.

This is in a nutshell what was discussed during the 1st episode of CHERRIES webinar series “Exploring Responsible Healthcare Ecosystems”.

You can watch the full episode here

If you want to know more about CHERRIES and our webinar series download this presentation: Cherries_eu_webinar series_Ep.1


Next Episode is on September 29th at 12.30 pm, don’t miss it!

RRI practices in healthcare – 29 September (12:30-13:30). Rosina Malgarida (IrisCaixa Barcelona) and Barbara Kieslinger (ZSI)


Explore Responsible Healthcare Ecosystems in Europe with CHERRIES Webinar Series 2020

CHERRIES Webinar Series 2020

The European healthcare sector is facing several challenges that are pushing for significant changes: aging population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, access to healthcare services in COVID-19 era, just to mention a few.

In this changing and challenging times for the sector, responsible and participatory approaches to healthcare innovation can offer interesting reflections.

CHERRIES project organises a series of four webinars to explore some aspects that can contribute to shape  more inclusive, accessible and sustainable regional healthcare innovation ecosystems –  Responsible Healthcare Ecosystems:

  1. the demand driven and user-led approach to healthcare innovation;
  2. how RRI can mitigate the complexity of healthcare ecosystems;
  3. the role of procurement in healthcare innovation; and
  4. how regional smart specialisation strategies can shape more inclusive and efficient healthcare ecosystems.

Thought for a diverse audience, including academic players, innovation-active actors, intermediary organizations and regional and health policy actors, each session will see the valuable contribution of our Advisory Board Members and other European experts addressing the main topic from different perspectives.

We will count on them to better understand these dimensions of innovation in healthcare and to get concrete inputs from different European ecosystems:

  1. The role of need in open and user-led innovation approaches in healthcare – 22 September (15:30-16:30). Prof Wouter Boon (University of Utrecht) and Myriam Martin (TicBiomed)
  2. RRI practices in healthcare – 29 September (12:30-13:30). Rosina Malgarida (IrisCaixa Barcelona) and Barbara Kieslinger (ZSI)
  3. The role of procurement in healthcare innovation – 06 October (14:30-15:30). Dr John Rigby (University of Manchester | Bibliometica Ltd.) and Samuli Kauppinen (Oulu University Hospital)
  4. Regional innovation ecosystems for healthcare – 13 October (14:30-15:30). Gaston Heimeriks (University of Leiden – CWST) and Anett Ruszanov (ERRIN)

Download the interactive flyer:Webinar series flyer – interactive V2  [discover more about the speakers and the session with a click!]

Join the conversation! Register to our webinar series for free!



CHERRIES | Responsible Healthcare Ecosystems is an EC funded project aimed to support Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) policy experiments in the healthcare sector in three European territories – in Murcia (ES), Örebro (SE) and the Republic of Cyprus (CY).

The CHERRIES experiments address opportunities and challenges associated with the role of demand at the crossroads of challenge-oriented, economy-enhancing, and sector-specific policy making within the healthcare sector, thereby addressing the SGC of health, demographic change and wellbeing.

The project aims to create more open, inclusive, and self-sustaining R&I ecosystems by ensuring the active involvement of all actors in the definition of needs, solutions and innovation policies of regional healthcare ecosystems in Europe.

Be part of CHERRIES community. W: | T: @CHERRIES_eu

CyRIC EU|BIC and Aretaeio Hospital working together to improve Responsible Healthcare Ecosystems in Cyprus

Science and technology are transformative forces that have granted humans the capacity to alter ecosystems, the Earth’s climate, and even the building blocks of matter and life itself. R&I have improved our world and our lives in many ways and will most likely continue to do so. However, parallel to the large positive impact on human welfare and wellbeing, science and technology sometimes create new risks and ethical dilemmas, fail in solving the problems they are meant to, and spur controversy (source:

Within the Health sector, there is a steadily growing number of new technologies being introduced in health systems (e.g. wearable devices, robotics, genomics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, mobile applications, etc.) that raise complex challenges for all stakeholders, including policymakers, regulatory authorities, payers, physicians and patients. The current ways in which new health technologies are being financed, developed and brought to market make health systems increasingly inequitable and unsustainable.

Cyprus, with a population of 1.17M population;  is the third largest Mediterranean island after Sicily and Sardinia, and a full EU member since 2004 and given the size of the island CyRIC EU|BIC maintains a national role in supporting and nurturing the ecosystem.

Alongside an ageing population, the calibre of health care is improving in leaps and bounds with new specialized medical services and research in Cyprus. It includes, among others, the long-anticipated implementation of a comprehensive national health care system, which is set to make the sector more streamlined, resource-efficient and cost-effective.

In 2013 Cyprus decided to establish a national health care system, introducing the General Healthcare System (GeSY) which is fully operational since June 2020. The Ministry of Health is responsible mainly for the organisation of the healthcare system and the provision of state-financed healthcare services. Besides its medical, public health, dental and mental health services, the ministry oversees Cyprus’ General Laboratory and Pharmaceutical Services.

As a small country with a highly centralised public administration system, public health services are provided through a network of hospitals, health centres, sub-centres and dispensaries. Most of the system’s organisational, administrative, and regulatory functions take place at the state level; the lower administration levels cooperate with the central administration primarily for the implementation of public health and health promotion initiatives. Yet, following recommendations, a reform of the Ministry of Health is underway. New departments are being established and the administration of public hospitals decentralised based on modern systems of management and medical audit.[1]

Simultaneously, the business, research and innovation ecosystem in Cyprus is described as “a young but fast-developing ecosystem”[2].  With the recent appointment of a Chief Scientist forming the Executive authority for managing all activities including Policies, Incentives and Funding to Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship seeks to enter a new era for research and innovation in Cyprus.

In Cyprus, the main territorial support actors of the business and innovation ecosystem are the privately-owned R&D centre CyRIC and its incubator Gravity Ventures. Cyprus Research and Innovation Center is a pioneering company with the strategic aim to become an important regional Innovation Center developing novel products for the world markets. Using continuously upgraded infrastructure and the scientific know-how of highly educated researchers and professional engineers, CyRIC also designs and executes Applied Research Projects for the development of Innovative Solutions.

CyRIC leads the CHERRIES work package which aims to establish the territorial experimentation process, prepare the stakeholder system for the RRI based demand articulation, experimentation and to the co-creation process. The objectives are:

  • Create an RRI toolbox covering organisational and institutional aspects of implementing RRI in the healthcare context
  • Establish the knowledge base for the territorial experiments
  • Train multipliers and key stakeholders in facilitating bottom up RRI and need articulation processes
  • Finalise the experiment design based on territorial preconditions and stakeholder landscape and publish a call for needs

The CHERRIES experiments address opportunities and challenges associated with the role of demand at the crossroads of challenge-oriented, economy-enhancing, and sector-specific policy making within the healthcare sector, thereby addressing the SGC of health, demographic change and wellbeing. It ensures bottom-up involvement of all kind of citizens, irrespective of their age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background. With CyRIC deeply rooted connection in the regional society, bringing together research, innovation, business and industry organisations utilising state of the art infrastructure, it is a role that well fits the Cypriot EU|BIC.

Notably, CyRIC’s function as coordinator of the Cyprus Digital Innovation Hub (CyDi-Hub) puts them as consortium partner in the ideal position for offering cutting-edge digital technology innovations and services to the manufacturing and health industry – bringing the fourth digital revolution in Cyprus.

The local industry partner collaborating with CyRIC in the healthcare ecosystem for CHERRIES is Aretaeio Hospital (AIK). AIK is a leading Private Hospital in Cyprus and a Medical Center of Excellence in the wider region. As the local Cypriot actor, it hosts the territorial experimentation, stakeholder’s engagement, and contributes to the co-creation of the solutions in Cyprus. Moreover, it engages in CHERRIES mapping exercise, provide evidence-base and stakeholder support for future regional development strategies (new S3).

Read the full story here



Bram Pawels, EBN (Communication Manager) @brampawels | @EUBIC

Moyses Moyseos, CyRIC (Operations Manager) @MoysesMoyseos | @Cy_RIC

Mapping science in the context of CHERRIES project

During the General Assembly that took place on June 16 -18, Leiden University represented by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies, shared the preliminary results from the Territorial mapping, as part of the development of Work package 2. This “chapter” entails the policy and stakeholder mapping and the Smart Specialization Strategy with a focus on Health and Innovation for the three pilot regions of Murcia, Örebro, and Cyprus.

The regional partners represented by the organizations CEEIM, OLL and CYRIC, communicated the ongoing work in relation to the collection and analysis of policy interventions and strategies, and an overview of the stakeholders’ identification process. This content was later on discussed during the breakout session, when the regions shared their considerations for the following steps, in relation to the engagement of territorial actors and the analysis of policy-related documentation.

Under the framework of the Smart Specialization strategy, the session continued with the presentation of Leiden University with a summary of the bibliometric analysis. These analyses consider the measurement of Knowledge production through scientific publications, in order to visualize the fields and subfields on which the 3 regions have strengths,  advantages, and opportunities for diversification. The data used for the analysis come from publications in journals processed for Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science database (WoS).

This way, using maps depicting the main Fields of Science (Figure 1 below), was possible to identify the subfield or topics emerging as relevant in the territories (represented by each node or circle). The bigger the circles, the larger the set of scientific publications in that specific subfield, considering all the publications produced in this field. As an example, one of the biggest circles, labelled with the code ‘3769’ in the Figure below from Cyprus, is associated to the subfield of nephrology. The same analysis for Örebro region showed mental health and Psychiatry as important, and for Murcia functional foods, were among the relevant subfields.

Furthermore, a scientific relatedness space was presented for each of the three regions. In these spaces the scientific fields were represented in which the regions have a relative high amount of publications compared to other regions in Europe. The closer these fields were placed together in these spaces the more often these fields are found together in the same European region.


Figure 2,  showed that Murcia has an all-round scientific representation with some fields that are not often found together in the same region. Cyprus showed a predominantly engineering scientific representation, while Örebro was more focused on health and environmental sciences.

Maps of science and analysis like the aforementioned, lead us towards the following steps on the identification of priorities for Smart Specialization. The final selection of topics within Health and Innovation, will be afterward integrated with qualitative data coming from interviews, analysis of economic indicators, and the study of innovation behaviour among other variables to incorporate in the strategy for the territorial mapping.


Author: Sonia Mena Jara, Leiden University – CWTS (MSc Researcher) | @cwtsleiden

Insights from CHERRIES General Assembly #2

16-18 June 2020. CHERRIES team gathered online for its second General Assembly.

After six months from the kick off meeting held in Vienna last January, consortium partners took this opportunity to take stock of the activities carried out so far and to plan the next steps.

CHERRIES | Constructing Healthcare Environments through Responsible Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship is an EU funded project aimed at enabling Responsible, Research and Innovation  policy experiments in the healthcare sector in three European territories – in Murcia (ES)Örebro (SE) and the Republic of Cyprus (CY).

As you can imagine, working with stakeholders of the healthcare sector in the last few months has not been so easy as they were fully absorbed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, partners turned this challenge into an opportunity, using those months to go deeper in the regional mapping exercises that the colleagues from University of Leiden are leading. You’ll read soon about the state of the art of CHERRIES mapping process, which is looking at the relevant regional stakeholders and policies in the healthcare sector (a dedicated news will be released in the coming days).

At the same time, partners have been working on the definition of the pilot procedures and supporting documents by looking at existing good practices and materials that could inform the CHERRIES methodology. K&I and CYRIC are working together with the other regional partners (in Cyprus, Murcia and Orebro) to get ready for the launch of the regional call for needs in early autumn.

After the summer break the three regions will call healthcare stakeholders to join dedicated awareness raising and training events that will kick-start the activities in and with the territories.

Follow us on our Twitter account and LinkedIn page to get latest updates from CHERRIES community and discover what is in it for you.

In the meantime, ZSI and EBN are working with the Advisory Board members to prepare a very interesting webinar series aimed at provoking some discussions and reflections around RRI, regional smart specialisation strategies,  the peculiarities of the healthcare innovation system and how demand driven approaches can lead to the procurement of innovative entrepreneurial solutions. We will be mixing academic insights with practical examples from public actors, businesses, funders, CSOs and business support organisations.

It looks like the upcoming months will be  quite busy for and with CHERRIES. Subscribe our newsletter, and make sure you do not miss our upcoming initiatives!


Author: Chiara Davalli, EBN (Senior Project Leader) |@ChiaraDavalli @EUBIC @EBNimpact






Challenges of taking an innovation system perspective on health

CHERRIES aims at improving the framework conditions for healthcare innovations in responsible manners. Naturally, before intervening in such complex systems of general economic and domain-specific policies one must take stock of what is already out there, what is working well and where there might be blocking stones within the systems. Therefore, CHERRIES is mapping the regional healthcare innovation systems and learning about regional specifics as a first step for transforming healthcare innovation policy instruments towards responsible and problem-oriented healthcare policies

CHERRIES will take an innovation system (IS) perspective on healthcare innovation in the mapping and throughout the project. Innovation systems are a guiding paradigm of innovation research and have strongly influenced innovation policy. At the core, IS state that innovation and diffusion of technology is both an individual and a collective act, which direction and rate is influenced by the actors, networks and institutions comprising the system. But while the IS approach has been dominating innovation research and policy in most sectors, it has rarely been applied for innovation in healthcare (however studies of specific sub-sectors like pharmaceutical or biotechnological industries have been influential in the IS discourse). Arguably, one of the reasons for that is the complexity of healthcare innovation systems.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines healthcare innovation as a means “to develop and deliver new or improved health policies, systems, products and technologies, and services and delivery methods that improve people’s health.” Whereby:

  • Health innovation responds to unmet needs by employing new ways of thinking and working with a special focus on the needs of vulnerable populations
  • Health innovation adds value in the form of improved efficiency, effectiveness, quality, safety and/or affordability
  • Health innovation can take place in preventive, promotive, therapeutic, rehabilitative and/or assistive care.

The challenge CHERRIES is facing is integrating all these aspects of innovation outputs (product, service, organisational, social innovations), subsystems (preventive, promotive, therapeutic, assistive care) and sources of innovation needs (patients, practitioners, payors and policy makers) into one analytical framework, that will allow for identifying variety in actor constellations, innovation dynamics, knowledge bases, innovation modes, geographical dimensions and the like.

The mapping guidelines – drafted by the CWTS team of the University of Leiden – provide a orientation on what information will help us in understanding the dynamics of the regional healthcare systems. Additionally, the ZSI team focuses on qualitative studies of specific innovations to understand their history – beyond the regional focus. The integration of these results and a reflection of these with regional stakeholder groups will allow us to capture present regional specialisations and specifics, understanding the innovation needs of regional actors as well as contributing to an academic understanding of healthcare innovation systems.


Author: Stefan Philipp, ZSI (CHERRIES coordinator) | @_PhilippStefan @ZSInnovation @zsi_fe