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imec.istart takes over startup-focused operations of HealthTech initiative Blue Health Innovation Center

As of July 1, 2023, BHIC will hand over its startup operation to imec.istart, under the name BlueHealth Innovation Center powered by imec.istart. The innovation services and formats are transferred to in4care vzw. This transfer does not affect the independent BlueHealth Innovation Fund (BHIF). BHIF continues to invest in young HealthTech startups and consolidates the collaboration with imec.istart and the BHIF partners De Cronos Groep, in4care vzw, UCB and UZA.

As a key player in digital innovation in healthcare, BHIC has supervised more than 400 projects in the past 11 years such as Fibricheck, Nephroflow,, Neuroventis,... The ecosystem consists of more than 20 organizations: governments, healthcare and academic institutions as well as industry partners.

Tom Braekeleirs, CEO of BHIC: “11 years ago, digital healthcare was something almost unimaginable. Now that the industry and healthcare has centralized around digital & innovation, it is time for the next logical step in the story of BHIC. With imec.istart we continue our work of excellent early startup coaching. With in4care we can continue to support healthcare in their journey towards innovation. We are super excited to take this next step. Our healthcare needs innovation and together we are much stronger.”

“BHIC has developed into a strong player in Flanders. In recent years we have worked hard operating from Genk, Antwerp and Ghent. And it is also the ambition to keep these 3 regions on board within this future story," adds Chairman Wim Dries.

Nico De fauw, CEO of In4Care continues: “The formats and methodologies developed by BHIC will be used to help healthcare and welfare actors as well as startups and other companies with various healthcare innovation processes. Through the integration of these services and after an earlier successful incorporation of the Limburg care testing ground Happy Aging, In4Care is positioning itself more and more as an indispensable player in the Flemish care innovation landscape.”

“In recent years, we have worked intensively with BHIC and its partners to provide a logical flow of support to promising HealthTech startups. By continuing the BHIC startup operation, we can continue this logical chain of support and continue to stimulate entrepreneurship in HealthTech in the coming years and help put the next generations of promising startups on track. We would therefore like to continue the open dynamics that BHIC has started,” concludes Sven De Cleyn, Managing Director of imec.istart.