Do I need to mention that the health technology sector is a strategic one?
Strategic in terms of the market (100 billion euro just for the European market), in terms of jobs (65,000 employees in over 1,000 businesses in France), in terms of the commercial development of our research efforts, but also strategic given the development of the demand for care linked in particular to the aging of the population and management of dependence. And yet, the commercial balance in this sector is still in the red to the tune of several hundred million euro. We need to redress this balance – this is the ambition of the i-Care Cluster with the support of the Rhône Alpes Region. Being aware of their expertise and their expectations, the cluster supports regional health technology businesses by focussing on three structural axes: innovation, performance and international development, by including in their actions industrialists themselves, academic laboratories, healthcare organisations and territorial partners. The i-Care Cluster is a tool and a catalyst serving all the regional actors developing or using health technology and seeking excellence and competitiveness. To achieve this, innovation is required. This need for innovation is expressed by patients and doctors, answers are provided by academic and industrial laboratories and the latter transform them into powerful and reliable products. Calls for projects, themed workshops, and living labs steered by the cluster and its partners serve as a crucible for sharing these needs, these ideas and the solutions carried by each of them. The regional care network has all the necessary expertise to conduct the medico-economic assessment required by the international health authorities for these new products and services. It is from this collaborative work that new ideas will emerge, plus new ideas, new markets and a healthcare system, the quality of which is already acknowledged and which tomorrow will also rely on our technological excellence. The health technology industry will be in a position to become a flagship sector for our exports, making a positive contribution to our balance of trade. The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and all its stakeholders resolutely intend to do this, and the i-Care Cluster is one of the ways of doing so.