Joining forces to create a supercluster in health

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In a consultation input to the Parliament, the four health clusters join forces to create a super cluster within health.

The hearing took place on 16 April, and was about Nasjonal helse- og samhandlingsplan 2024–2027 (Meld. St. 9, 2023-2024).

In the input, the four cluster leaders write: “The clusters are well positioned to contribute with 530 members throughout Norway; companies, municipalities, healthcare organisations, user organisations, research and educational institutions and investors.”

The four national health clusters Norway Health Tech, Norwegian Smart Care Cluster, The Life Science Cluster and Oslo Cancer Cluster are behind the consultation input. The role of the clusters is to build a stronger ecosystem within health that reinforces public-private cooperation and good growth conditions for the health industry within the clusters’ various areas of interest.

From top left: Ketil Widerberg (Oslo Cancer Cluster), Lena Nymo Helli (Norway Health Tech), Arild Kristensen (Norwegian Smart Care Cluster) and Hanne Mette Kristensen (The Life Science Cluster)


















Needs a clear signal

The input is in line with the Government’s own “Roadmap for the healthcare industry”, which states that “the clusters support and develop private and public cooperation, and have solid international networks.” The clusters cooperate well and are considering forming an all-encompassing “super cluster”.

– The roadmap points to the clusters, but we need a clear signal whether the Parliament and the Government want further investment from the four clusters. We have justified and proposed this in our input to the committee, says CEO of Norway Health Tech, Lena Nymo Helli.

The cluster leaders believe that the Parliament should include the following wording in its submission to Nasjonal helse- og samhandlingsplan: The Parliament asks the government to plan for further, long-term and strengthened funding that ensures that a supercluster in health can make a better and more coordinated contribution to the health services and the health industry in Norway.

– The health clusters are currently collaborating on the major issues within the health industry, such as financing, export and digitalisation. With a super cluster collaboration, we can take this to the next level, and at the same time focus on further developing the unique innovation potential in Oslo Cancer Cluster, says Ketil Widerberg, general manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster.

The general manager of the Norwegian Smart Care Cluster emphasizes that a super cluster will speed up the transition:

– We must speed up digitalisation in the health services, and the public-private partnership the clusters have established plays an important role here, he says.


The values they can create

Together with Menon Economics, the clusters have designed a document that goes into depth on the value they can create. Here, among other things, it is stated that “the health industry contributes to increased quality in the health care system through innovation, technology and new methods, and to reduced expenditure on health and care by increasing productivity, preventing illness or reducing the need for expensive hospitalization. Increased quality and productivity in the healthcare system is extremely important for Norway, because there are already 390,000 people working in the healthcare system, and because Statistics Norway’s forecasts indicate that the number will increase by 760,000 people in 2060 if we do not succeed in increasing productivity.”

Furthermore, it says about the clusters that:

“The members of the four clusters are located all over the country and cover the entire value chain from research, via the production of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and e-health products, to health and care services – within all major disease groups. The cluster organizations are tools for the members’ common needs; they are collective action agents.”


Wants public-private financing

In the consultation input to the Parliament, the cluster leaders write:

“Our meeting places create connections and build trust, we provide infrastructure and equipment for testing and development and make companies equipped to respond to both national and international needs, thereby also building an export industry. Many of the companies are already closely connected to global markets, and our job is also to create more breakthroughs for Norwegian exports. The potential is great, and with the right funding, this work will be able to be done at greater speed and on a larger scale than is done today. The result will be several good solutions.”

The common starting point for a supercluster collaboration is four mature clusters within health technology and life sciences, which over almost two decades have produced results through new solutions for health Norway, and more exports and new jobs in the industry. In the consultation input, the clusters also agree on viable further funding:

“Our next step is about concerted efforts to more effectively contribute to our members based on the in-depth insight and specialization we have professionally, technologically and towards different sector areas. If we are to succeed, there must still be binding public and private cooperation, also when it comes to financing. In practice, this means that our funding should come 50% from public and 50% from private.”

“The Parliament report highlights digitization and technology development as important for solving the challenges. The report to the Parliament also correctly points to the importance of testing and developing new technology for better healthcare services faster and easier. As the report shows: If we do not succeed with digitalisation, we will have a staffing problem and challenges with quality in the services”.

“The clusters represent the entire ecosystem. We have with us patient and user organisations, municipalities and hospitals that will adopt new solutions – and we have with us the universities and research environments that, together with companies and investors, come up with ideas for new solutions.”

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