Ángel Lanuza is senior Advisor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Internationalization & Innovation Department of FENIN, as well as Coordinator of the Spanish Innovation Platform on Healthcare Technology
FENIN is most active in the Health vertical. Can you tell us how robotics can disrupt this vertical?
Healthcare has been constantly evolving throughout the course of history. Robotics is an especially useful facet of tech when it comes to healthcare because of its extensive list of capabilities and benefits. They can give us presence into the lives of our elderly ones, give assistance to people with disabilities, help to make surgery less invasive or the ability to perform procedures remotely. Robots have opened a multitude of doorways in healthcare, and the positive benefits they bring are still on the rise. In 15 or 20 years from now, when we look back at hospitals, we might wonder how we accomplished so much without robots or artificial intelligence.
What type of startups are you looking to target in this programme?
Healthcare industry has slowly started accepting the reality that automation and digitalization has turned out to be the next technological disruption. The healthcare industry is in the transition phase of this movement. We are looking to support and scale-up, SMEs and startups working in Surgical Robots, robotics to pharma and medication management, Exoskeletons, robots for an effective systematic disinfection of any space within a healthcare facility; telepresence robots or Robots with telemedical devices and Robotic Companions
Why should startups apply to the programme? What will FENIN be offering them?
Robot Union offers a fantastic opportunity to SME and startups working in robotics to get in touch with top leaders on research in robotics but also to engage with well and long established medtech industries seeking to incorporate disruptive solutions and services to the market. It is not only about the mentoring or the financial support. It’s also about building the business case, getting the MVP, attracting companies and end users. We offer our knowledge of the market, the regulation pathway and our contacts with industries and administration
Have you been involved in an acceleration programme before? If so, any success cases to talk about?
We have different acceleration programs in other healthcare technologies as In vitro Diagnostics, Digital Health or Medical Imaging. We’ve been working on supporting SME, Startups, Spin-offs and research groups to validate their project and business models, getting finance and reaching market. We’ve been successful with several projects on AI applied to medical imaging and novel liquid biopsy test in IVD
How did FENIN get involved with the initiative?
We were invited by Tecnalia, one of the members of the consortium due a long and prove relationship with them on different national research projects. We saw the opportunity to enter to a technology sector that is changing how we understand healthcare today and to offer our knowledge, contacts and expertise to companies willing to enter healthcare.
What’s the number one advice FENIN can give startups interested in applying to the programme?
Have a strong and solid business case, do not forget to regulation and work to have asap a MVP to test with your potential end users to get their feedback. Show a solid business management and strategy. Technology is important, but we’re talking about scale-up a company to run business. Many times we forget the user till the end, and robotics is about user experience and acceptance. Do not leave to the end.