The HealthTIES Virtual Reference Region

The virtual reference region (VRR) is a tool developed by the HealthTIES consortium as part of her EU FP7 Regions of Knowledge project. To this purpose a new model was developed that would provide us a benchmark of and with insights into our innovative innovation systems. The regional innovation organizations from Medical Delta (The Netherlands), Debrecen (Hungary), BioCat (Spain), Oxford (UK), Zurich (Switzerland) asked themselves the following questions that led to the creation of this new useful tool.

  • What do we need to do to stimulate innovation in our region?

  • What is our scientific strength?

  • How much companies spin out of our universities? In what disciplines?

  • How much products do our companies put into the market?

  • How much do we spend on R&D in our region? Is that sufficient?

These questions and more are difficult to answer for any regional innovation organization, technology transfer office or government. Until now, as the HealthTIES consortium built and published this Virtual Reference Region.  The model’s characteristics are:

  • Quantifiable but relevant data (sufficient detail to substantiate new actions)

  • Straight forward model (Input – Innovation System – Output)

  • Simple to reproduce in order to monitor progress over the years

  • Easy access to data (public databases, university year reports etc.)

  • Possibility to benchmark with other regions

  • Possibility for other regions to use and in the end contribute to the systemtem?

We used our insights to setup SWOTs per regions from which we will extract (Joint) Actions. Over the years to come, we will track the developments in our ecosystems with this Virtual Reference Region.

The Virtual Reference Region for you

So, we invite you to browse through the system and see what data we found of our regions and how we found it (definitions). If you are interested to use the Virtual Reference Region for yourself, please register for an account (this functionality is scheduled to be operational in Spring 2012) so you’ll get access to the fill-side of the VRR and you can benchmark your region to HealthTIES. Your data will not be added automatically to the HealthTIES benchmark, but if you feel that your dataset is complete and correct, you can contact us. We will expand the benchmark once/twice per year. We are looking forward to feedback that will improve our VRR via You are free to use all the information and pictures from this VRR as long as you mention the source.