The annual external Innovation Think Tank Exhibition (eITT 2021) showcased best practices and outcomes from ITT global locations of Siemens Healthineers and partner universities, hospitals, venture capitalists and start-ups. During the last year alone, ITT has received 12 invitations to set up ITT programs, 10 new ITT activity locations were implemented and over 1000 participants took part in various ITT programs. From an open call for projects, 7 finalists were chosen and the top 3 received awards.
The compact program enabled participation from various time zones and short speeches were held to benefit from the vast experience during the exhibition and to foster new projects. In the welcome address Prof. Sultan Haider thanked the partner institutions for their trusted partnerships.
“The circumstances in the last year taught me to appreciate everything around me. Before pandemic also we were working in a global environment however it was considered essential to meet people in person for most of the decisions. This limited the number of interactions and projects and changes which could be implemented even during a work life span. Most importantly our trusted relationships helped us in these difficult times to further work on joint projects, define new focus areas, create local innovation infrastructures that address challenges of the host institutions and create new partnerships between various institutions.”
The exhibition’s first welcoming speech was done by Dr. Peter Schardt, CTO of Siemens Healthineers. Dr. Schardt gave an inspiring speech and talked about the importance of innovation in healthcare.
“I think it is impressive how ITT has developed, from the early days, which I have also witnessed, into really are a global brand to ideate and also co-create for future products and solutions. And what is really most important, is not primarily looking at what is the next future business, it is about what the next pressing medical need is, which we really have to address together in order to give relief not only to the healthcare systems globally, but in particular the patients.”
Dr. Christoph Zindel, Member of the Managing board continued the welcoming speeches focusing on the challenges faced by the healthcare systems and the role of partnerships
“We do not innovate for the sake of innovation. It needs to support quality of life for the patients and cost reduction for the healthcare systems. Thus, I’m very happy to welcome you to today’s Annual Innovation Think Tank Exhibition. It’s really great to see that the ITT community – along with its co-creation labs and programs – is continuously growing. This is for sure a community that is characterized by many friendships. I also hope that I will have the pleasure to see many of you at next year’s Annual Innovation Think Tank Exhibition – in person! I’m convinced that innovation is fueled by personal interactions.”
Inspiring keynotes by the key opinion leaders on the role of innovation and our partnerships
In the program, with the speeches made by the pioneers of the health world, information on the health sector and innovation in a global sense was conveyed.
Başkent ITT, the partnership of Başkent Hospital Group and University, with the pioneering projects and programs they have carried out since 2017. The first speaker of the event, Başkent University Rector Prof. Dr. Ali Haberal talked about the strong partnership with Siemens Healthineers and ITT.
"As Başkent ITT, which is carried out in cooperation between Siemens Healthineers and Başkent University and Başkent Hospital Group, we have been serving the purpose of implementing innovative medical products and ideas since the day it was founded. I am happy for the continuity of our cooperation and the implementation of business ideas, including the development of start-up projects, in order to ensure repeated and sustainable development in the field of medicine with Başkent ITT”.
Ms. Arzu Fırlarer, who is the director of a Baskent Technology Transfer Office and our ITT coordinator at Baskent ITT continued the keynote, presenting the best practices Başkent ITT has showcased throughout the years.
“In partnerships with ITT, we are developing different ideation programs. Now we are especially focusing on the health technologies, but with the development of Baskent University Biotechnology Development Center, we are also developing different projects for the biotechnology field, which can be related to Innovation Think Tank group… eITT is a very great chance for us to meet all global ITT locations. And we hope that after today, we develop new projects with ITT worldwide and get other grants to realize our dreams and ideas.”
“When you think about what EndMed’s goal is and what our mission is, it just aligns so well with the Siemens Healthineers Innovation Think Tank is doing. When we first introduced to this concept, we got very excited about working with them and collaborating with them… We actually had our first event a couple of weeks ago and actually went really, really well. So our goal is 50 student participants per year as we go forward and so we really look forward to advancing the program.”
“I am very happy to say that the that Innovation Think Tank that we have established is actually doing very well. We are having joined PhD students now, with some clinical partners. We're actually having relatively high impact journal papers that we wrote together. So, all the things that I did not believe would be possible to do with such a big company are actually happening with such a great setup… I think we'll do a lot of good things in the future and I'm looking forward to that as well.”
In April 2019, Innovation Think Tank at South Carolina University was established. The ITT Lab at UofSC is the first Innovation Think Tank Lab affiliated with a U.S. university and is an innovation hub where participants including researchers, faculty members, and students can think outside the box to solve issues in healthcare. One of the directors of ITT at UofSC, Ms. Dilek Akgün expressed her views regarding innovation during the pandemic and collaborations with ITT.
"Siemens Healthineers Innovation Think Tank has critical strengths which can inspire a lot of people around the world with its access to the talents all around the world. ITT provides opportunities to multiple people from different backgrounds to work on the same problem. That's why I find this initiative very important. And I feel, personally, very lucky to be part of this network since 2015, to see how it progresses and how it continues to create the impact of innovation to solve real world problems."
“It was a great honour to participate last year as the inspirational speaker, for the Georgia Tech Innovation Think Tank Program. The quality of the work presented there inspired WakeMed to start the journey of initiating an Innovation Think Team at our institution and we're early in that but we are looking forward to that. WakeMed Health and hospitals entered last year in September of 2020 into to a collaborative agreement with Siemens to create a new method of partnership to Advanced Imaging Excellence.”
Acıbadem ITT program, which has achieved significant successes together with Acıbadem Healthcare Group and University, is supported by program director and Acıbadem University Faculty of Engineering Dean Prof. Ata Akın. Emphasizing the ongoing activities despite the pandemic conditions, Prof. Akın stated that he was excited to develop projects related to the selected neuroscience focus area in the coming periods and to contribute to the scientific world in close partnership with Innovation Think Tank and Siemens Healthineers.
“The medical engineering program at Acibadem University, in Istanbul was developed on the idea that we teach our students, the ways of biodesign from Stanford University, which we were inspired a lot, but there was something missing. I think with Sultan we found that missing pieces. He's a person who inspires and motivates everyone. Together with Sultan and Siemens Healthineers Turkey teams, we immediately understood what should be done in Turkey, with regards to our medical engineering program. And throughout these last four years, we have done many activities together. It was obvious that, engineering ways and coming up with wonderful ideas, didn't actually work all the time. So we had to go back and talk with these people and this is what we learned from ITT. So in a sense, we also evolved in our understanding of innovation, in clinical settings.”
Dr. Osama Abdullah is an MRI physicist at the New York University of Abu Dhabi and is a very experienced researcher who is working on multiple research projects at New York University, Abu Dhabi in partnership with Siemens Healthineers, Cleveland Clinic, and other key institutions in the region. As ITT, we’ve had strong engagement with Dr. Osama during a visit to ITT HQ. New York University, Abu Dhabi was the first institution in UAE to set up ITT program and so far, have successfully organized 2 ITT certification programs in the region.
“We are pleased to host next year with an ITT event at Imperial College. I'm in the department of bioengineering there and we have one of the largest departments of bioengineering in Europe and it would probably be top 10 in the States. We have 55 academics and each one coming up with fantastic ideas that can really have a lot of societal impact, if we can figure out how to get these technologies from the laboratory into the marketplace, which is occupies a lot of brain power sitting in the room right now virtually. We're very proud to be able to welcome ITT to London next year “
Mr. Ufuk Eren, has been a valuable partner for ITT through the years. After Mr. Eren’s years of experience at healthcare leading institutions, he has founded Volitan Global, a company that focuses on management and investment in health and technology business scales.
Dr. Fatih Mehmet Gul, who is the chief executive officer of the Fakeeh University Hospital and is one of the key opinion leaders in the region.