Creating innovative solutions for the healthcare sector

Published: 24 October 2022

Text: Newslab

Photo: Sigurd Reistad Klæva

Health2B is a new arena where public and private actors in the healthcare industry can come together to solve tomorrow's challenges.

"All recent research shows that something happens when you open up to new environments. The smart people are not just in one place," says Christian Skattum at Oslo University Hospital (OUS).

Birger Tufte Johansen, senior advisor at Norway Health Tech, and Christian Skattum, head of the innovation department at Oslo University Hospital, during the official opening of Health2B.

Together with Forskningsparken and Norway Health Tech, OUS has launched Health2B (H2B) - an arena and meeting place for actors from the public and private sectors within the healthcare industry.

Forskningsparken has had success with similar initiatives and meeting places, such as ShareLab, StartupLab, and Aleap. In Health2B, it is the healthcare sector's turn, with a common goal of creating solutions that we can all benefit from.

"At Forskningsparken, we have seen the importance of public-private collaboration. No one can save the world alone; we need talented individuals who can work together," says Hans-Peter Daae at Oslotech, which operates Forskningsparken.

He hopes that the office area in Forskningsparken will function as a melting pot.

"We need talented individuals who can work together," says Hans-Peter Daae at Oslotech, which operates Forskningsparken.

"This is not a regular office where you have to sit all day, but it is based on needs and projects. We hope that the parties will be there even when they are not working on something specific, to be part of the environment and participate in the unforeseen. Not everything can be planned; the collisions between people with experience and expertise may be what contributes to solving the challenges," says Daae.

Opening the door for those knocking on the wrong door

OUS is the one who initiated the collaboration. The university hospital is a massive organization with 25,000 employees and a turnover of 26 billion each year.

"We can solve most things ourselves, but here we seek help from outside," says Christian Skattum at Oslo University Hospital.

The hospital has been working for a long time to promote innovation and was looking for a dedicated space for development. The abandoned hospital premises at Ullevål were an option, but instead, Health2B has acquired premises in Oslo Science Park.


"We want to replicate what Forskningsparken has achieved with ShareLab, StartupLab, and Aleap, and the concept of more openness, innovation, and public-private collaboration. We must dare to be more open and willing to share."

As a large public actor, OUS is obliged to comply with the Public Procurement Act. However, Skattum believes that the results of H2B will provide OUS with more and better partners in the business sector, which in turn will lead to better healthcare services and more value for money.

"The plan is to work with partners and present projects and challenges to see if they can find solutions. The unique aspect of H2B is that within the system, we highlight issues and topics that we need help with. Many entrepreneurs and startups come to us with ideas that may not be what we need. We also want to be a door opener for those who don't know where to go and are stuck because they knocked on the wrong door," he explains.

Oslo municipality also participating

Health2B officially opened on September 27, and innovative projects are already underway. The hospital, for example, is working on an extensive project to establish a new and improved system for planning and implementing surgical operations, in collaboration with a consortium led by KPMG.

Victoria Marie Evensen, Commissioner for Business and Ownership in Oslo Municipality, during the official opening of Health2B.

"We have identified many failures there, meaning that the patient is not well enough for surgery, that we lack personnel, or that we are unable to operate for other reasons. Now we are working to create a system where we can coordinate information, which will be relevant for both the national and international markets. We hope it can be completed in two to three years," says Skattum.

While Oslo University Hospital represents the public side, Norway Health Tech represents the private side in Health2B. The cluster organization has nearly 270 members and works on industry collaboration between research, industry, and healthcare professionals.

"The goal is for Health2B to contribute to better and faster co-creation between those in need and the suppliers who have the solutions. This will lead to growth and scaling in the healthcare industry, which is an important new green industry, and faster implementation of new technology in the healthcare sector," says Lena Nymo Helli at Norway Health Tech.

She also mentions that Oslo Municipality recently agreed to participate in the collaboration.

"To accelerate development, it is equally important that both small and large actors are involved. We have set a three-year perspective and will maintain pressure and momentum to solve the major healthcare challenges. H2B also addresses the establishment of collaboration arenas, as demanded by politicians," adds Nymo Helli.