Economics Lecture

Succesful symposium on technological innovations

Fresenius, manufacturer of high quality medical products, is optimistic about the future, despite a difficult period earlier this year. Piet Bron, Managing Director at Fresenius HEMOCARE, said this during the Economics Lecture held at Springboard in Roden. He was one of three guest speakers at the meeting which had as theme "The impact of technological innovations on daily life '. The Province of Drenthe organized the event for the first time, together with Springboard (an association which focusses on medical technology) and the Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands (HANNN). About 150 business representatives, organizations and institutions with a special interest in the field of health joined government authorities in Roden.

Piet Bron, of Fresenius in Emmer-Compascuum, indicated that production came under pressure  as a result of the competetive ‘low-wage' countries. The international company focuses on products for the gravely and chronically ill, including products for blood transfusions and   and clinical nutrition. A package of measures for the coming three years has been embraced by the staff and this should result in a stronger business that is able to compete with low-wage countries.

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The second speaker was Sander Holterman of Care Innovation Forum (ZIF). This organization exists more than five years now and involves 22 parties.. Holterman discussed the role that innovation can play in creating accessible and affordable care. According to him care costs have doubled in the past eleven years but our aging society only plays a limited part in causing this increase. He emphasized that, in practice, technological innovations often prove difficult to implement. Good business plans are hard to put in place. Holterman gave further examples of initiatives that have resulted in positive experiences. For example, a project in which nurses, with the help of cameras, can see when they are lifting patients incorrectly.

Both speakers emphasized the importance of regional cooperation. According to Piet Bron of Fresenius we cannot do it all alone. He emphasised the  usefulness of the Northern Netherlands Network and applauded such meetings as the Economics Lecture, where stakeholders have the opportunity to make new contacts and exchange experiences. According to Sander Holterman parties can help each other and share solutions.

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Ylva Poelman, of the Bionics Innovation and Expertise Centre, opened the participants eyes to sustainable technological developments, all inspired by nature., Nature itself has been experimenting for almost 4 billion years! Some really interesting examples were shown, such as a train which was modelled on the Kingfisher. This bird is so formed that when diving into water he hardly causes a ripple. This inpspired a solution in Japan for the enormous noise caused by the shift in air pressure as a train enters a tunnel.  According to Poelman troubleshooting based on bionics follows three phases. Does the situation occur in nature? If so, how does that work? Finally, the solution should be converted into human engineering.

The afternoon in Roden was closed with a networking event and exhibition. Many people went on a tour at the invitation of IMDS, Interventional Medical Device Solutions, which is housed in theSprinboard building.

Laatst bijgewerkt op 5 November 2012.