6 May 2020

Procurers and companies discuss innovative medical solutions that respond to COVID-19

In response to the current public health crisis, the EIC Accelerator and ICLEI Europe organised an online market engagement event to support getting necessary medical solutions to the cities whose residents need them.

On 30 April, public and private procurers from across the European health sector discussed their needs in the face of the current coronavirus crisis with 23 selected European Innovation Council (EIC) companies. The health procurers expressed a need for better personal protection equipment, reliable test kits, new telehealth devices, and more efficient ways of managing their supply chains.

A representative from the University Hospital Halle (Germany), for example, shared concerns: “On the demand side, there is no general database for all hospitals. We don’t have a national health service. Every hospital is working on its own when it comes to databases,” he said. “We need something that makes it easy to take [an] Excel [spreadsheet] and to share it.”

Participating EIC companies then pitched their solutions to provide medical supplies, such as personal protective garments, medication, test kits and respiratory machinery, as well as innovative technologies such as tele-medicine, remote solutions, and artificial intelligence used for data analysis and forecasting.

Among the innovative solutions pitched, for example, was "EyeControl," a wearable device that uses eye tracking tech to enable communication between medical staff and ventilated patients, including those diagnosed with COVID-19.

Prior to the event, ICLEI collected and analysed procurers’ needs and selected relevant companies from the pool of over 5,000 top companies based on the needs expressed. To make the start-ups and SMEs more familiar with public procurement, ICLEI also developed and conducted procurement training.

Thanks to the high demand from procurers from across Europe and beyond – including Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Luxemburg, Slovakia, Spain and Romania, the UK, and Colombia – a follow-up event will be organised in July.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) connects public buyers with innovation needs with a community of more than 5000 leading innovative SMEs and start-ups. All suppliers go through a demanding selection procedure and receive EIC funding. ICLEI Europe supports partnership-building between the EIC community members and public procurers interested in working with EIC SMEs; manages the on-boarding of private and public procurers interested in working with innovators on the EIC Community Platform; and motivates their active participation in the EIC Community.

For more information, click here.