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Under the patronage of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub was established at the Medical Research Agency.

During today's ceremony at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, a joint project of the Medical Research Agency and global companies entitled the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub was inaugurated. This is the first initiative of its kind in Central Europe, which will combine the cooperation of the public sector with business in order to create innovative medical, technological and legal solutions for improving patients' health and increasing the efficiency of the Polish health care system.

At the invitation of the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the acting President of the Medical Research Agency, Radosław Sierpiński, PhD, the meeting was attended by leading representatives of the first four companies to join the project: Iskra Reic (AstraZeneca), Mark Loughran (Microsoft), Markus Sieger (Polpharma), Irma Veberič (Roche) and Jan-Philipp Beck (EIT Health).

During the meeting at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub was inaugurated and representatives of the companies signed a cooperation agreement. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the most important issues, common expectations and tasks for the near future.

- This is a huge event on a European scale. We have managed to get the business sector interested in cooperation, so that they would be willing to support Polish science, start-ups and innovations, and thus improve the quality of therapies and solutions for Polish patients. Thank you all very much for your involvement in this project and for your common willingness to carry out the tasks ahead of us. This is only the beginning of our activity - said Radosław Sierpiński, PhD, acting President of ABM.

The unique concept of WHIH will create conditions allowing for rapid transformation of ideas into products, processes and services, taking into account the development interests of the Polish biomedical sector and the need for Poland to be independent in terms of drug and medical product safety. It is also an opportunity to invest in Polish technologies and the best research teams from the country.

- I would like to congratulate President Sierpinski on setting up this very interesting initiative, the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub project, which is supported by the Polish Government. Our responsibility is to build strategic health partnerships in the public and private sectors. This is the lesson we learn from the pandemic. WHIH is the first platform of this kind not only in Poland but also in Central Europe. The potential of our researchers and companies as well as the experience of the global bio-tech sector will allow us to provide benefits to Polish patients. By supporting such initiatives we want to create good conditions for the development of the health care system in our country. In Poland we have more and more startups and scientific projects. This is a potential that cannot be wasted," said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

 No field is developing as rapidly as medicine. There are new treatment options, new molecules, medical devices, diagnostic tests that make it possible for us to treat patients better and more effectively. We believe that cooperation with the business sector within the WHIH will accelerate the implementation of many solutions in the healthcare sector in Poland, and the potential of our researchers, young start-ups will be recognized and properly implemented for the benefit of patients - emphasized Dr. Adam Niedzielski, Minister of Health.

An element supporting the WHIH concept will be its own programs created and financed by business partners aimed at creating medical and technological innovations serving the development of the Polish biomedical sector and the pragmatic use of innovations to raise the standards of healthcare services.

The operator of the strategic partners who will be responsible for the cooperation platform between the companies is EIT Health.

- The Warsaw Health Innovation Hub is an example of how, thanks to the open innovation formula, we can respond to key health challenges common to the whole of Europe, especially in the post-pandemic period. So far, EIT Health together with over 150 partners has implemented 118 innovative projects. This is why we see great value in ventures where business works hand in hand with government to strengthen the health care system. Within WHIH, EIT Health will support strategic partners in the coordination of pilot projects, in close cooperation with the Medical Research Agency and governmental institutions, says Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health.

Private partners, within the framework of grant funds established by them, will finance the creation of innovative and groundbreaking medical and technological solutions by Polish scientists and researchers in the most important areas from the point of view of the Polish health care system and patients' interests.

- AstraZeneca is proud to be a strategic founding partner and to participate in the inauguration of the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub, which will undoubtedly contribute to providing the highest quality healthcare services possible. This initiative marks a new chapter in public-business cooperation in healthcare in Poland and will set a pioneering example for the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The launch of WHIH is an important milestone in AstraZeneca's collective efforts to create a Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (aka PHSSR) to improve health among the world's populations, both in the wake of the COVID -19 pandemic, but also in the aftermath. I am very pleased that Poland was among the first eight countries to take part in this international cooperation. AstraZeneca will actively engage in projects initiated by the Hub to support access to innovation for patients and to build sustainable and resilient healthcare systems in Poland and other countries - says Iskra Reic, Executive Vice-President Europe & Canada at AstraZeneca.

- With over 85 years of experience in building successful business partnerships, Polpharma is ready to share its know-how and support initiatives that integrate scientific knowledge with business and public institutions. As the leader of the domestic industry, we can effectively support the needs of Polish patients, building added value for the health care system, especially in terms of increasing drug safety and meeting the objectives in accordance with the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe. Our vision and strategy to build an effective health care system includes: prevention, patient focus and collaboration on the entire value chain: from prevention to effective treatment. I am glad that we will co-create this initiative - Markus Sieger, President of the Management Board of Polpharma.

WHIH activities will address three strategic areas: pharmaceutical innovation including medical technology, medical device innovation, digital health solutions. The created project will be an opportunity for cooperation of Polish scientists and researchers with global companies in the field of biotechnology and innovation. Further development of the Hub will be aimed at creating a Polish Medical Valley following the European model.

- Establishing the Warsaw Healthcare Innovation Hub is a completely new approach to the development of healthcare in Poland. It is a combination of technology and human ingenuity that will result in innovations that serve us all. Microsoft's aspiration is to support the development of Polish Digital Valley, and digital transformation of the sector, being one of its key pillars, will bring benefits not only to the selected ones, but to all participants of the health care system in the country - explains Dr. Mark Loughran, general director of Microsoft in Poland.

-Roche Polska has invested nearly PLN 4 billion in Poland over the last 6 years. Every year we increase the scale of investment, which in 2020 reached over PLN 1 billion. We are also steadily increasing the number of clinical trials in Poland, with nearly 1,100 patients gaining access to cutting-edge therapies in 2019 alone. Together with the Oncology Center in Warsaw, we opened the first early phase research center in Poland. These are the elements of an ecosystem that we are trying to co-create in order to give impetus to further dynamic growth of innovative activity conducted in Poland. We believe that the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub will be another important element promoting the most innovative activities and pro-innovative changes in the healthcare system, and will ultimately improve the quality of life of Polish patients," says Irma Veberič, General Manager of Roche Poland.

The next step in the development of WHIH will be the first meeting of the WHIH Council, which is being appointed by the ABM President. The WHIH Council has an opinion-making and advisory character, meets at regular meetings and determines the most important issues concerning the functioning of the WHIH. During the first meeting of the Council, the priorities within which the projects prepared by the WHIH Strategic Partners will be implemented will be developed and adopted.



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