The activities of the health technology accelerator have ended, and the strategic development plan for the sector has been developed
In October, the nearly two-year-long science accelerator for health technology research teams and startups initiated by SmartCap and led by the University of Tartu came to an end. The goal of the accelerator was to support the establishment and development of health technology deep tech startups.
Fourteen companies went through the accelerator program, several of which have significantly advanced their products or services and managed to raise the necessary capital for their development. According to Mari Vavulski, a board member of SmartCap, the results of the accelerator program demonstrated the high potential of cutting-edge research conducted in Estonian universities to enter the market effectively.
“The goal of establishing the accelerator was to provide the participating companies with know-how, a network of contacts, and a small capital injection for developing research-intensive business ideas,” said Vavulski. “The accelerator attracted and allowed participation for developers of novel and innovative health technologies with strong business potential. These companies have since made significant progress in their product development cycles, acquired necessary international contacts, and secured capital, providing a strong foundation for entering the market,” Vavulski described.
Additionally, as part of the agreement, a plan has been formulated for the development of the health technology sector for the period 2023-2025. The ambitious plan aims to have two hundred companies operating in the health technology field by the end of the decade. The action plan includes the development of technology transfer programs at universities and other research and development institutions. Furthermore, closer collaboration between hospitals and universities, the development of new and clear regulations, support for exports, increasing the number and skills of professionals in the field, and improving funding opportunities are also planned.
The purpose of creating the accelerator and the development strategy was to provide targeted services to research-intensive startups in the health technology sector and the ecosystem as a whole. The health technology accelerator was led by the University of Tartu, with the involvement of TalTech, Tartu Science Park, and Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol.
In October 2021, SmartCap announced the procurement for the creation of knowledge-based technology accelerator and development of ecosystem in Estonia. Two bids were submitted, and the winner was consortium led by University of Tartu.
The contract between SmartCap and the University of Tartu amounts to €686,100 (excluding VAT). The project was funded through the European Regional Development Fund under the “Startup Estonia” program (No EU60971).