GATE Institute is the coordinator of the new EU funded project VELES, which 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. It 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.
“We are honoured to head the smart health innovations acceleration in the VELES Countries. VELES is an essential next step in GATE’s endeavour, as an International Data Spaces Association Hub, to boost the national and regional data-driven economy through the initiation of Data Spaces in strategic sectors such as Healthcare“, sais Prof. Sylvia Ilieva, Director of GATE Institute, the project coordinator.
VELES includes 15 partners from 7 countries, with a focus on Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Cyprus. Partners from Sweden, Spain and Germany will participate in the process of transfer of experience and good practices. Beside GATE, the project includes another three Bulgarian participants – Ministry of Electronic Governance, Telelink Business Services EAD, and Health & Life Sciences Cluster – Bulgaria.
The four-year project is funded by the Horizon Europe program. It was launched on June 28-29, 2023 in Sofia. The project kick-off meeting was hosted by the Ministry of e-Governance. In his welcome to the participants, Mr. Boycho Popov, director of the Strategic Communications Directorate, emphasized that the Ministry is a natural partner in such projects in view of the open and spatial data policy and sees in this an opportunity to accumulate knowledge, experience and good practices in the field of smart healthcare.
The participants were also greeted by Karina Firkaviciute, EU Policy Officer, DG Research and Innovation. She pointed out that excellence hubs as VELES are very important part of the new European Innovation Agenda which aims to accelerate innovation across the EU and to overcome the innovation divide in Europe.
In her capacity of a project coordinator, prof. Sylvia Ilieva, Director of GATE Institute, made an overview of the project focusing on the project vision and workplan. The meeting continued with presentations of the project partners and work packages.
VELES develops novel methodologies and pilots to enable new collaboration opportunities and smart health innovations. These include 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).
As VELES’ consortium embarks on this transformative journey, it aspires to reshape the smart healthcare landscape of South-East Europe, revolutionizing healthcare practices, boosting the uptake of innovative technologies and ultimately improving the well-being of the region’s population.