The overarching objective of VELES is to foster an environment where smart health innovations thrive, creating excellent innovation ecosystems within the participating countries. Aligned with the Regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) in healthcare, VELES aims to leverage cutting-edge technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) to enable personalized medicine, informed decision-making, and enhanced disease prediction.
VELES was established as a consortium composed of 15 partners, representing both the four widening countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Cyprus) and three developed countries (Sweden, Spain, and Germany). The consortium includes prominent organizations such as GATE Institute, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (coordinator), Telelink Business Services EAD, Health & Life Sciences Cluster Bulgaria, and the Ministry of Electronic Governance from Bulgaria; Hellenic Digital Health Cluster (HDHC) and JOIST Innovation Park from Greece; North-East Regional Innovative Cluster for Structural and Molecular Imaging (Imago-Mol) and the Executive Agency for the Financing of Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI) from Romania; CYENS Centre of Excellence, National eHealth Authority, 3AE HEALTH, and STEGI EVGIRIAS ARCHAGGELOS MICHAEL KAIMAKLIOY from Cyprus; CHALMERS INDUSTRITEKNIK from Sweden; INSOMNIA Consulting from Spain; and International Data Spaces EV from Germany.
The Hellenic Digital Health Cluster is responsible for Work Package 2 that focuses on analyzing the current state of play, identifying challenges in each ecosystem in the 4 widening countries and defining a strategy to strengthen Smart Health innovation ecosystems for the benefit of all stakeholders, by developing a novel transformative framework to foster development of new, sustainable Smart Health service. Simultaneously, HDHC will actively participate in the implementation of all other Work Packages in Greece, by providing its expertise in the digital health sector.
The hub strives to elevate the level of innovation excellence in South-East Europe by establishing a sustainable place-based innovation ecosystem, enabled by the Regional Smart Health Data Space. This comprehensive framework includes a research and investment strategy, as well as an action plan for the development and adoption of secure and innovative digital solutions that support the delivery of sustainable healthcare services. VELES will showcase the capabilities of the Regional Smart Health Data Space through the implementation of four interconnected pilots focusing on cancer treatment (Greece), Alzheimer (Bulgaria), cerebral tumors (Romania), and dementia (Cyprus).
The RIS3 strategies of Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Cyprus emphasize the urgent need for digitalized healthcare solutions based on advanced technologies. The strategies also highlight the importance of increased funding for research and investigation, policy coherence, and the development of innovation strategies that transcend borders. VELES aims to facilitate regional and national health data-sharing strategies, prioritizing improved clinical practices, safeguarding patient privacy, and empowering citizens with access to innovative, secure, and data-driven digital health services.
As VELES’ consortium embarks on this transformative journey, it aspires to reshape the smart healthcare landscape of South-East Europe, revolutionizing healthcare practices and ultimately improving the well-being of the region's population.
The Hellenic Digital Health Cluster was founded in March 2021 by the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) and includes 30 innovative and dynamic companies of the Greek digital health ecosystem, that aim to include Greece among the leading countries in the field of digital health internationally.