Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) announced today that the European Commission has selected Massachusetts to hold an October conference on the US-EU Memorandum of Understanding on eHealth. The conference, the first of its kind outside of Washington, DC, stems from the work to promote collaboration done through NIMAC – the Northern Ireland Massachusetts Connection – an informal organization formed in 2009 which includes Massachusetts, Northern Ireland, Finland and the Catalonia region of Spain.
“This underscores Massachusetts role as a leader not just in the nation, but in the world in health care, connected health, life sciences and biotechnology,” Senate President Therese Murray said. “When we formed NIMAC, these were the opportunities we were looking to seize upon which allow Massachusetts to be the health care technology gateway for European companies looking to set up shop here. Providing this kind of spotlight for Massachusetts gets companies interested in our state, and that in turn has the potential to create a significant amount of jobs.”
“We in the European Commission are delighted to be coming to Boston and to be involved in these events. We are aware of the leadership in Massachusetts which has positioned the State as a leader in legislation and innovation in the eHealth space. The EU-US MOU is designed to bring Health and Economic benefits to the citizens of both the US and Europe by the exchange of information, policy convergence and connecting like-minded companies, research institutions and others,” said Pēteris Zilgalvis, J.D., Head of Unit, ICT for Health Directorate General Information Society and Media, European Commission.
This two-day event will take place October 23rd and 24th and will include a business marketplace that will provide opportunities for companies, health providers, research institutions and others from both sides of the Atlantic to encourage business relationships, research and other collaborations. The event is designed to generate real business and create lasting, effective relationships to provide EU to EU, EU to US, and US to US introductions and to supply market intelligence on the size, structure and potential opportunities of the joint market of more than 800 million citizens.
Northern Ireland, Finland, England, Spain, Scotland and France to have committed to participate and bring significant delegations including businesses, academics and public officials, and it is expected to have several other European countries and regions to sign on.
The second day of the conference will provide opportunities to hear from high ranking EU and US officials on the MOU and the potential for collaboration this agreement provides.
“Health IT is becoming a cornerstone of our innovation economy,” said Pamela Goldberg, CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “This international conference provides a terrific opportunity to showcase the Commonwealth’s leadership around health technology. We’re grateful for Senate President Murray’s initiative and vision in this area.”
“This week of eHealth activity is coming to Boston in recognition of the investment of time and effort by many in Boston, led by Senate President Therese Murray, and the efforts of NIMAC and its members in promoting Massachusetts as a gateway for eHealth to the US,” said Brian O’Connor Chair of NIMAC. “The selection of Massachusetts was an easy and obvious one given the longstanding commitment of its leadership to international collaboration and the recognition that eHealth can bring both health and economic benefits not only to Massachusetts itself but create economic opportunities for export to the rest of the US and to Europe.”
NIMAC was formed to help create connections on the research, academic and business level to promote mutually beneficial economic opportunities. NIMAC members also include: the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Invest Northern Ireland, Tekes (Finland), VTT (Finland), BioCat (Catalonia) and several universities and research institutions in each member region.