Launch of the EUHA Innovation Network coordinated by Vall d’Hebron and Karolinska University Hospital

On the 2nd and 3rd of June, the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA) celebrated its 5th anniversary with a symposium at University Hospitals Leuven.


On the 2nd and 3rd of June, the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA) celebrated its 5th anniversary with a symposium at University Hospitals Leuven. During the symposium EUHA looked back at what it has achieved in the past 5 years in many different fields, ranging from scientific and clinical collaboration, to improving patient care, interaction with the European commission and tackling common problems together. Even more importantly, we looked at the future; together we identified emerging problems that we will address such as the healthcare workforce shortage. We also decided to strengthen the EUHA central structures and meet more frequently to support better the multiple existing and newly initiated projects.  

In this sense, Dr. Albert Salazar, manager of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital wanted to insist on “the importance of taking advantage of the synergies of all the members so that the professionals of different fields of specialty of Vall d'Hebron can realize stays or exchanges in the different centers of the EUHA”.

By Vall d’Hebron, in addition to Dr. Salazar, attended the meeting  Joan Comella, director of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR); Antonio Roman, healthcare director of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital; Fátima Núñez, Deputy Director of the VHIR; Alejandro Piris Giménez, head of the scientific coordination area of ​​the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO); Laia Arnal, director of the VHIR’s Business Development area; María de Valles, director of the Human Resources and Legal area of ​​the VHIR; Núria Gavaldà, director of the Strategy area of ​​the VHIR; Mireia del Toro, coordinator of the Vall d’Hebron Minority Diseases Commission; Meritxell Álvaro, of the Technical Secretariat of the VHIR; Sílvia Martín and Xènia Villa, from the VHIO.

During the meeting, the latest network created within the EUHA was presented, the innovation network, that is coordinated by Vall d'Hebron and the Karolinska University Hospital (Sweden) and that adds to the existing ones, such as networks of research leads (coordinated from the VHIR), rare diseases and ERNs, digital data and Health, and nursing, or working groups on cancer cell and gene therapy (EUCCAT), and in clinical trials. 

The EUHA Innovation Network

“The EUHA Innovation Network is a good opportunity to challenge ourselves on our priorities when choosing the path ahead. Being able to discuss innovation strategies among leading university hospitals will be an extraordinary value in the common goal of transforming our hospitals into competitive and dynamic innovation ecosystems”, explained Laia Arnal, Business Development Director.

The healthcare system is facing great challenges with increasing demand. “Our role as University Hospital is to lead and drive transformation of healthcare delivery to meet these challenges and give the best treatment to our patients”, said Jeanette Duval, head of Innovatiom at Karolinska University Hospital. New breakthroughs within medical research and technology are constantly being made. Still, there are many gaps that need to be addressed so that the healthcare system can embrace these new improvements and evolve to the better. This is what innovation within healthcare is all about.

The main goals of these new recently created EUHA Innovation Network are sharing knowledge, sharing best practices and foster concrete projects in the area of innovation; influencing friends by driving policies that enable innovation throughout all our hospitals; shape the future of healthcare through innovation; foster technology transfer, knowledge valorization and entrepreneurship; and finally, encourage innovation culture.

The EUHA Innovation Network has established some areas of priority and common interest. “Within the Innovation Network we are going to foster together projects, initiatives and actions in the areas of technology transfer and intrapreneurship; set up industry collaboration and new collaborative models based on co creation and co development; foster together training programs in order to create and retain talent in the area of innovation; impulse some initiatives in the area of funding and new funding models; foster together projects and initiatives in the area of implementation, reimbursement models, or market access initiatives. And last but not least, very important, we are going to foster together initiative that will deeply impact on creating a new innovation culture”, said Laia Arnal.


In 2017, the leaders of 9 university hospitals met in Barcelona to discuss how they were managing academic medicine and the challenges facing European healthcare systems.  All were convinced of the need and the potential of more interaction between their institutions, and they decided to start the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA). Fast forward 5 years later, EUHA involves over 200 professionals from the 9 members that interact regularly across a wide diversity of different projects.  

These professionals with clinical, research or educational roles share best practices in patient care and hospital management fields, align on strategies to challenges in academic medicine, try to find common ground in the complex European landscape of differing national regulatory and legal context or collaborate in joint research and development projects.

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