Digital Innovation Hubs

DIH Profile

TechMed Innovation Hub

Hub Information

Hub Name
TechMed Innovation Hub
Local Name
Evolutionary Stage
Fully operational
Geographical Scope


The TechMed Innovation Hub is a non-profit collaboration of partners, coordinated by the TechMed Centre of the University of Twente that stimulates the development and implementation of technology for better healthcare. In order to realize true impact in healthcare and the medtech industry, the TechMed Innovation Hub boosts innovation and digital transformation by; 

  • connecting different stakeholders in its network and regional ecosystem, 
  • offering a wide diversity of services, 
  • stimulating new innovation projects with funds and voucher programs, 
  • and by offering our extensive experience in Tech Transfer.

The hub offers access to state of the art facilities, supporting activities in education (regular programs and tailor made life-long-learning approaches), research and innovation, and actively facilitates collaboration by organizing network events and facility sharing vouchers. The network of partners includes facilities such as production and testing labs for medical imaging, medical robotics, wearable technologies and translational physiology, experimental hybrid OR’s, simulated ICU’s, a variety of medical training-simulators, a CitizensScience lab to include future users, an eHealth lab where users can “try before you buy” and a broad range of specific technical medical research labs.

The Hub offers specific support to SMEs and larger companies to ‘future proof’ their companies, by means of free consultancy, access to student-employees and internships, funding advice, networking, matchmaking sessions and access to end-users. (future) Entrepreneurs are actively supported by innovation-brokers to discover the trends and technologies that dominate the industry of tomorrow, explore potential innovative opportunities and get started with tools and programs. 

Contact Data

Coordinator (University)
University of Twente
Year Established
Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede (Netherlands)
Contact information
Remke Burie
Contact information
Esther Rodijk


Organizational form
(part of) Public organization (part of RTO, or university)
Number of employees


  • Micro/nano electronics
  • Sensory systems
  • Photonics and imaging technologies
  • Robotics
  • Internet of things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Interaction technologies
  • Big data, data analytics, data handling
  • Virtual, augmented and extended reality
  • Simulation, modelling and digital twins
  • Gamification
  • Additive manufacturing

The TechMed Innovation Hub is supported by Regional and National governments in the domains of MedTech and Prevention (RIS3 Eastern Netherlands), including Key Enabling Technologies such as Health Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, eHealth and Sensors, Medical Imaging, Nano and Bio Technology applied to Healthcare. It aligns with the policy of the Dutch topsectors Life Science & Health, and High Tech Systems & Materials. Furthermore the TechMed Innovation hub is active on a European scale in the domains of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Sensors in Healthcare. 

Regional programs have been stimulating the TechMed innovation hub over the past 5 years: (i) the province of Overijssel co-funded the Center for Medical Imaging that has now been integrated in the TechMed Hub, (ii) the TechMed Living Lab initiative, (iii) the High Tech Knowledge Transfer project and (iv) the CMI Innovation cluster were all supported by the RIS3 strategy for the Eastern Netherlands (the European Fund for Regional Development, OP-Oost).

Via its coordinator, the University of Twente, the TechMed Innovation Hub is a member of the Dutch national startup ecosystem TechLeap. This network of Hubs, corporations and government strengthens the startup ecosystem by helping startups to scale, making The Netherlands One Single Connected Hub, supporting spin-off startups rooting from Universities, and making the ecosystem visible through data. 

European Union funded projects coordinated by the TechMed Innovation hub include DIH-HERO, MURAB, PAMMOTH, TLEMSAFE and the Council of Coaches. 

  • The TechMed Innovation Hub is the coordinator of DIH-HERO (Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics), this pan-European network of DIHs boosts innovation and implementation of robotics in healthcare via coordinated matchmaking in services, knowledge, standards and targeted funding for SMEs and slightly larger companies working with end-users. (Link:
  • In MURAB, an international consortium of large companies (KUKA, Siemens), Medical and Technical Universities across Europe (NL, Italy) and hospitals (NL) work together to revolutionize MRI and Ultrasound guided Robotic Assisted Biopsy. (link:
  • PAMMOTH (Photoacoustic Mammoscopy for evaluating screening-detected lesions in the breast) is a 9-partner project including hospitals, universities, spin-offs and larger companies who work together to develop, validate and begin exploitation of a diagnostic breast cancer imaging device. (link:
  • TLEMSAFE is an FP7 project and a collaboration between universities, institutes and companies in Europe to create and ICT-based patient-specific surgical navigation system. (Link:
  • The Council of Coaches project creates an autonomous virtual council that can assist people in achieving their health goals. To reach this goals, the consortium consists of Universities, Medical Centers, Technology Institute, and SME’s. (link:

In these and other projects, we collaborate/cooperate with many different partners, examples are:

  • RTOs / Universities: Dutch Technical and Medical Universities such as Radboud UMC, Radboud University, Utrecht Medical Centre, University Medical Centre Groningen, and international institutes as Fraunhofer(DL), DLR (DL), CEA (FR), ETH (CH), IRCAD/IHU (FR), MGH Boston (USA).
  • Industrial cluster: WTC Twente, MedTech Europe, EURobotics,
  • Incubators / accelerators: NovelT, Incubase, BRISKR, TechLeap
  • Big companies: Medtronic, Siemens Healtineers, Philips, Thales, 
  • SMEs: Micronit, DEMCON, Nedap, Laborie, XSens,
  • Start-ups: Lipocoat, EC Sens, IamFluidics, Qurin, MedSpray, Machnet Medical Robotics,
  • Governmental bodies: Health-Holland, EZK, Region of Twente, provinces of Overijssel & Gelderland, GGD, municipality boards, 
  • Vocational training centres: Saxion hogescholen, ROC
  • Cultural & creative industries: DesignLab, FabLab

Market and Services


  • Education
  • Life sciences & healthcare

TRL Focus

  • TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Collaborative Research
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Incubator/accelerator support
  • Voice of the customer, product consortia
  • Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
  • Education and skills development

Service Examples

Collaborative Research

a. Client Profile:

The company Vascutek is committed to helping clinicians enhance and save the lives of their patients by developing and manufacturing the world’s best performing range of cardiovascular implants. One of its products is the Annaconda AAA endovascular stent graft system.

b. Client needs:

Once implanted, it is hard to predict failure and to deduct relevant information from the actual implanted product that can be used for continuous improvement of the devices.

c. Provided solution to meet the needs:

Via the TechMed Innovation hub, a joint research project has been initiated, funded and executed between Vascutek, the University of Twente and a regional hospital, in which multiple patients have been monitored over a longer period. CT scan algorithms have been automated and 3D image analyses has been digitizated. Advanced computermodels have been build in order to improve prediction of failure, and resulted in improvements of next generation products.

Facility Sharing

a. Client profile:

Demcon Medical Robotics is part of the high tech mechatronic company Demcon. It develops high tech solutions for clinical needs.

b. Client needs:

Amongst others, Demcon works on MRI compatible robotics. New concepts need to be tested, evaluated and validated in a pre-clinical setting before actually implementing it in innovative patient care. For this reason, Demcon Medical Robotics needs access to a safe but realistic environment and access to expertise on current clinical practice in the MRI environment, in order to analyze safety, efficacy and visibility of the system on MRI images.

c. Provided solution to meet the needs:

Demcon Medical Robotics discussed the design setup and evaluation protocol with the expert researchers from the MRI facilities of the Experimental Centre for Technical Medicine, the clinical simulation facilitaties of the TechMed Centre. They tested the new prototype and adapted it to better performance. Based on the results of these initial MRI tests, the prototype system has been brought one step closer to patient care. 

Business Coaching / Startup Support

a. Client profile:

LipoCoat BV is a spin-off company of the University of Twente. LipoCoat has developed a revolutionary coating technology able to make (bio)material surfaces non-thrombogenic, non-fouling and resistant towards surface pollution of micro-organisms and proteins. The use of LipoCoat coatings can increase the performance, comfort and safety of medical device and can find uses in industrial applications.

b. Client needs:

As spin-off, the company required coaching, expertise and funding to start growing.

c. Provided solution to meet the needs:

Several partners withing the Hub contributed to the development of this startup. The startup received funding from the consortium NanonextNL, of which the University of Twente is a partner. The Technical Transfer Office Novel-T invested in protection of the technology through a patent filing process. The CEO of the company finished an ‘early business development’ training program and still receives coaching by the business development team from the UT’s TTO.

More details:

Business Coaching / Startup support

  1. Client profile:

NociTrack is a spin-off company from the University of Twente that develops technology for early pain diagnosis and management. 

b. Client needs:

The company has a TRL 6 handheld device that would need to show clinical functionality and market introduction to go to TRL 7.

c. Provided solution to meet the needs:

NociTrack joined the TechMed Centre’s Living Lab. The partners in the Living Lab supported this development with:

  • Interview guides & interviews to develop Critical to Quality guides. CTQ’s collect the key measurable characteristics of the product
  • User evaluations
  • Business development coaching sessions
  • Market analysis
  • IP strategy
  • CE plan

More details:

IP / Tech Transfer & Licensing

a. Client profile:

Tide Microfluidics is a high-tech company with strong ties to the University of Twente and the University of Sevilla, specializing in the development and commercialization of microfluidic systems for the production of monodisperse microparticles. These microparticles are used to improve contrast in early stage and targeted ultrasonic imaging and to a controlled drug release method for targeted drug delivery systems.

b. Client needs:

Tide Microfluidics is a spin-off from the University of Twente and needed protection of intellectual properties and expertise to start the company.

c. Provided solution to meet the needs:

The TechMed Hub with its service provider Novel-T contributed to the creation of this company by drawing up the IP licensing contracts and training of company’s employees via the early business development course.

Prototype Development

a. Client profile:

PA Imaging is a spin-off company of the University of Twente. The company develops the next generation of screening and diagnostic mammograms using photo-acoustic technology. 

b. Client needs:

Photo-acoustic technology and its application in human breast imaging was pioneered at a research group from the University of Twente. The spin-off PA Imaging translates this fundamental work to develop a medical diagnostic device that can be used for screening and diagnostic mammograms.  As a first step, the company needed to build a working prototype to validate the clinical assumptions on safety, efficacy and effectivitess.

PA Imaging needed access to knowledge and experience from the research group, as well as knowledge of clinical procedures and testing protocols. 

c. Provided solution to meet the needs:

PA Imaging works closely together with the TechMed Centre to continue development of the photo-acoustic mammography. The prototype that is currently used in the clinical validation procedure at the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital in Enschede, was co-developed and tested at the TechMed Centre. 

More details:


  • Horizon 2020
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • National basic research funding
  • National specific innovation funding
  • Regional funding
  • Private funding
  • Partner resources


Number of customers annually
Type of customers
  • Start-up companies
  • SMEs (<250 employees)
  • MidCaps (between €2-10 billion turnover)
  • Large companies, multi-nationals
  • Research organisations
  • Partners

    H2020 Projects

    • DIH-HERO
      Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics

      Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics

      DIH-HERO (Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics) will establish a broad-based pan-European network of Digital Innovation Hubs specialising in Healthcare Robotics. The network will focus on developing services that join business and healthcare stakeholders in developing innovative products and services for the healthcare market. DIH-HERO will develop channels between healthcare and technology providers that reduce barriers to adoption and which develop strong mutual understanding between robotics technology innovators and healthcare professionals. DIH-HERO will operate throughout the healthcare "pathway" that connects Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care as well as covering all aspects of hospital logistics and clinical services. It will also focus on home and care-based robotics addressing healthy aging and elderly care. The DIH-HERO consortium brings together a comprehensive network of partners reaching north, south, east and west across the European regions. The partners bring with them connection to their own regional networks and extensive expertise in healthcare innovation that ranges from surgical intervention to care at home. Each Hub partner delivers both technical and medical expertise to the consortium through their pre-existing operational relationships with hospitals and healthcare facilities. They couple in-built expertise in business development, access to finance and innovation to robotics technology and healthcare expertise in a network of hubs that will connect and stimulate robotics innovation in all aspects of healthcare. DIH-HERO is built on concrete plans to sustain the network beyond the time span of the project and to provide a long term network for innovators in healthcare. The network of Digital Innovation Hubs created and supported by DIH-HERO will ensure that robotics innovation in healthcare is accelerated, that SME can develop global reach and that the advantages of robotics based healthcare can be propagated across Europe.

    • RIMA
      Robotics for Infrastructure Inspection and MAintenance

      Robotics for Infrastructure Inspection and MAintenance

      Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) represents a huge economic activity (450 Bn€ market) spanning across sectors such as energy, transport, civil engineering. EU hosts over 50% of I&M robotics offer but there is a bottleneck connecting it to the market and high potential applications. RIMA is a 4-year project aiming to establish a network of 13 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) on robotics sharing best practices and providing services to facilitate uptake of I&M technologies.
      Our challenge is to reinforce this connection and to provide education and training on robotics I&M and to connect the value chain - research, technology companies, service providers, end users and investors- for accelerating economic growth in the field:
      - RIMA is building upon the network pioneered by SPRINT Robotics extending it to all relevant sectors across the value chain.
      - The RIMA network encompasses:
         o leading research organizations supporting one DIH per region aligned with regional policies and industry sectors.
         o Sectorial associations who will make a bridge with end users and industries.
      - RIMA will offer services including support to testing and technology transfer, coaching and training on robotics for I&M, process optimization and communication. 50.5% of RIMA’s budget will be distributed to SMEs to run experiments using FSTP
      - RIMA will advise on funding opportunities relying on the S3 Thematic Platform on robotics for I&M federating the common ambition of 13 EU regions.
      - Network sustainability will be ensured by adapting the SPRINT business model
      Expected results are (i) increased competitiveness of EU I&M Robotics, (ii) economic added value by increased productivity and availability of the critical infrastructure (iii) social and environmental impact through improved safety and less emission of hazardous substances (iv) the constitution of a sustainable and scalable (open to new members) DIH network aligned with the industrial and European policies and ambitions

    Last updated: 26/06/20 10:33