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Isabel Muntané

The Medical Technology Innovation Network (ITEMAS) is a Thematic Network for Cooperative Research (RETICS) created in 2010 with the aim of boosting innovation units in hospital centers in the non-pharmaceutical sector, thus making the public healthcare system more sustainable. After nearly two years, ITEMAS is looking to incorporate new healthcare centers and medical technology companies to improve results and promote collaboration between the public and private sectors.

ITEMAS was created through an initiative of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) to boost the creation of innovation-support units in hospitals and establish a network for communication among participants in the medical innovation process: hospitals, universities and industry. The network, coordinated by Dr. Manuel Desco, director of the Innovation Unit at Gregorio Marañón General University Hospital in Madrid, is made up of innovation units from 14 Spanish public hospitals, including 6 from Catalonia:

The network, according to spokesperson Julieta Pereda, “provides up-to-date information and creates useful tools to learn about the hospital technology innovation panorama in real time.” At the same time, it promotes the establishment of contacts and alliances among the various partners in order to forge synergies and improve the results of all innovation units. ITEMAS now aims to expand its network by including different types of organizations that wish to collaborate to identify areas of improvement in order to develop a culture of innovation in the sector. These groups may be hospital innovation units, research and technology centers, scientific societies, companies, research groups, etc. New members, as collaborators, will be able to participate in the network’s various activities, in work groups focusing on topics like internationalization, or in establishing the network’s strategic plan.

With these new incorporations, ITEMAS will be able to offer a more global vision of the healthcare-technology innovation system and take steps forward in making the public healthcare system more sustainable, advising administrations on the its needs related to the legal framework and funding for innovation and technology-transfer activities.

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