Succesful ScanBalt Forum 2014

Succesful ScanBalt Forum 2014

The Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands had the honor to host the annual ScanBalt Forum, which took place from 8-10 October in the University Medical Center Groningen. As an EU reference site for Active & Healthy Ageing, the event focused on the scientific and bio-economic aspects of the demographic change taking place in Northern Europe.

During the opening event, John Jorritsma, King’s Commissioner of the Dutch province of Friesland, Prof. Dr. Folkert Kuipers,  Dean and Vice Chairman University Medical Center Groningen, and Dr. Wolfgang Blank Chairman of ScanBalt, welcomed about 230 international participants from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, northern Germany, north-western Russia and the Northern Netherlands.

On the Picture: In the middle the responsible organizer of ScanBalt Forum 2014, Professor Gerhard Rakhorst, HANNN, in discussion during a break.

The Dutch wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer (winning streak of 470 matches) inspired the audience with her personal story and attitude towards healthy ageing: Living a healthy life is like a top sport. You not only need the right technique, but also innovative products. And since we are constantly challenged by our environment we should always be able to count on top level support by the people close to us. Resting hard is as important as working hard!

That evening an inspiring dinner was held in the Martini Church (of which the foundation dates back to 1220 AD), in the city center of Groningen. Håkan Emsgård, Ambassador of Sweden in the Netherlands, spoke about the celebration of four hundred years relations between both countries, after Sweden opened its first embassy in the world in The Hague in 1614. Max van den Berg, King’s Commissioner of the Dutch province of Groningen, emphasized the importance of cross border cooperation, as a motor for innovation. And Prof.Dr. Sibrand Poppema, President of the University of Groningen, gave an overview of 400 years of excellence, celebrating the establishment of the University of Groningen in 1614.

The scientists, businessmen and politicians from the Scandinavian-Baltic health and bio-economy communities met up and exchanged their ideas in parallel sessions: a scientific program, a business development program and the matchmaking event of the Healthy Ageing Campus Netherlands.

In the Executive Committee meeting of the ScanBalt organization, Daan Bultje was appointed as vice chairman. The Northern Netherland’s position on Healthy Ageing is confirmed once more and additionally strengthened by participation in several European calls.

On the Picture: New ScanBalt vice chairman, Daan Bultje, CEO of HANNN, speaking to the audience during ScanBalt Forum 2014.

Summarising the ScanBalt Forum 2014 was a resounding event. Without doubt the ScanBalt regions do possess about high-level expertise in fields such as biotechnology, medicine, and clinical research. By cooperating, the members can benefit from each other’s best practices, focus on scaling-up strategies and facilitate the implementation of innovation in order to tackle nowadays societal challenges.

Download presentations from ScanBalt Forum 2014 here.

ScanBalt members: