This year - from September 2016 to August 2017 - Medical Delta is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Time, then, to evaluate ten years of medical cooperation - to take stock, and consider to what extent we have achieved the ambitions we set ten years ago. Time, also, to define our plans and directions for the years ahead.
The primary ambition of Medical Delta is to become the leading regional healthcare innovation network in Europe. Bringing together innovators in the life sciences, health and technology, our specific aim has been to add value to healthcare against the backdrop of tightly constrained costs.
An objective view
To ensure appropriate objectivity, the evaluation was carried out by four eminent international experts from outside our organisation. Together, they formed the Medical Delta Evaluation Committee:
- Prof. Dr. S.W.J. Lamberts (Chair), Director of International Affairs, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam Prof. Dr. E. Hafen, Deputy Head, Institute for Molecular Systems Biology (IMSB), Zürich
- Prof. Dr. A.F. Frangi, Centre for Computational Imaging & Simulation Technologies in Biomedicine (CISTIB), University of Sheffield (USFD)
- Mr. C. Sprouse, President/CEO of EurekaConnect LLC, Institute of Biomedical Entrepreneurship, Ipswich, Greater Boston Area USA
The Committee collected input for the evaluation from Medical Delta board members, professors, staff and business partners, during a visit to the site on 11 and 12 April 2017, comparing its findings with the Medical Delta Review 2006-2016.
Culture of collaboration
The Committee sees Medical Delta as a unique and successful initiative. It has achieved a high level of success with very limited resources, and has thrived as a self-organising process - clear testimony to the quality of the people involved in it. The Committee also witnessed excellent interpersonal relations and a culture of collaboration and trust.
The academic link
The Committee is convinced that one of the key factors in Medical Delta’s success has been the joint appointments of the Medical Delta Professors. These provide the initiative with academic empowerment and recognition. They also praised the joint educational programmes, noting that they are already having a very strong impact on the training of new generations and are providing unique networking opportunities for the faculty involved.
The various research institutes within Medical Delta are complementary and the geographical setting facilitates synergies and creates opportunities. The Committee has made a number of recommendations regarding governance and leadership skills at different levels, the representation and connection of stakeholders, Medical Delta’s joint educational programmes, and projects within larger programmes.
The Board of Medical Delta is currently discussing the Committee’s recommendations concerning its strategy for the coming years. Medical Delta operates in an environment where the Dutch government has specified the directions for research in the Dutch National Research Agenda, and the academic medical centres publish their research agendas in the Sustainable Health Agenda. These agendas will form the basis of the Medical Delta Agenda (2018-2022).