The aim of the Future Internet CHallenge eHealth (FICHe) accelerator has been to challenge European startups to develop innovative applications in the eHealth market building upon the FIWARE technology. In the recently ended two-year program, through three phases and altogether 6.24 MEUR funding, the 20 finalist startups, out of the initial 300+ applicants, developed their ideas into successful new eHealth solutions.
According to FICHe Project Coordinator Satu Väinämö, University of Oulu, Finland, FICHe has been a boost as it has accelerated the overall process, planning and fostering the visibility of the product and companies. The added value of FIWARE technology comes from providing a large set of components and an active community which supports and maintains it. The combination of funding, coaching and testing solutions with real end users accelerated the development of the SMEs’ solutions. As Jordina Arcal, from FICHe finalist HealthApp, Spain, puts it: “it was a real incubation process…everyone helping each other.”
By being part of the FICHe program SMEs and startups gained significant growth. With the support of FICHe, the 20 finalists created 150 new jobs, got new customers and partnerships as well as raised extra public and private funding. FICHe program itself has been essential seed funding allowing the startups to set off the ground.
FICHe finalist Netictech, Poland, developed a real-time audio-video communication solution for medical professionals. According to Piotr Pawlowski, Netictech, FICHe program was “the best thing to happen” for their company: they had the opportunity to transfer from research project to markets, and to receive funding, mentoring and acceleration.
The finalists valued the most the network expansion, support received from the mentors and feedback gathered from real users in living labs, besides of the funding. According to them, testing and validation in living labs is the first requirement that an e-Health startup should accomplish in order to get access to the international markets. Different coaching sessions, business webinars and events have also sharpened companies’ view on the business potential beyond the borders of their countries.
The FICHe project partners from Finland, the Netherlands and Spain consider the program as a remarkable opportunity. Myriam Martin from TICBioMed, Murcia, Spain, says FICHe has provided SMS (Servicio Murciano de Salud) a unique tool to boost innovation and competitiveness through piloting and testing the innovative solutions from seven FICHe companies in Murcia living lab. Martin sees that there are clear benefits of the use of innovation and testing labs as they support regional development of healthcare and social welfare. This in turn will increase the quality of healthcare and social welfare services, as well as make the services more affordable.
OULLabs participated Smart City Seminar in Oulu, May 2015.
In addition to exhibition booth, OULLabs was involved in a panel in Living Lab workshop organized durig the seminar.
View OULLabs director Satu Väinämö’s interview in Smart City Seminar:
OULLabs participated the ENoLL Open LivingLab Days in Istanbul, August 2015. In this international conference OULLabs presented and collected Living Lab experiences and good practices.
OULLabs provides services for user driven development in EU funded FICHe (Future Internet CHallenge eHealth) Accelerator project, coordinated by OULLabs Director Satu Väinämö, University of Oulu, Center for Internet Excellence. 80 European eHealth SMEs have been selected among 300+ applicants to the 18 month project where aim is to develop eHealth applications. The applications will exploit the new European FIWARE technology.
In the first phase of the project PATIO service, provided by OULLabs (www.patiolla.fi) will be used for testing and evaluating the ideas as well as collecting feedback from users. In the FICHe bootcamp held in Oulu users and SMEs were brought together to discuss and get feedback of the ideas.
OULLabs and additionally two other Living Labs from Amsterdam and Murcia are involved in FICHe. Living Lab part of Oulu in the project is managed by OULLabs team.
MAINIO project where OULLabs is being developed further, conducts in cooperation with the City of Oulu a multi-channel survey related to Hiukkavaara sports and recreational facilities.The survey and online discussion are open on the PATIO forum and UBI hotspots 1.-14.4.2014.
OULLabs is now available in the XiPi online portal for Future Internet infrastructures. Read more about XiPi here.
OULLabs participated in the 4th ENoLL Summer School conference in Manchester on 27-30 August 2013.
The City of Oulu (wellbeing services, wellbeing of the elderly) won an award in a competition held by the European Innovation Partnership Network, in the category of Active and Healthy Ageing. Deputy Mayor Sinikka Salo accepted the star diploma awarded to the City of Oulu in Brussels in early July. The innovations that ranked the highest were TT Kaakkuri Product Testing and the Living Lab. Story in Kaleva newspaper
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