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Delegation from Louisiana gets acquainted with Flemish life sciences ecosystem via Health Campus Limburg DC

Today, the governor of the American state of Louisiana, together with the Secretary of Commerce and a delegation of American CEOs and academics, is visiting Limburg at the invitation of POM Limburg. The purpose is to get acquainted with the Flemish life sciences ecosystem.

The visit to Flanders takes place at the invitation of the Provincial Development Agency (POM) Limburg, following an acquaintance at a conference in San Diego last year. The delegation includes Governor John Bel Edwards, Secretary of Commerce Don Pierson and some 20 leaders from 11 different American life sciences organizations. Together with Flemish partners such as Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), cluster organization and innovation cluster Medvia, the organization put together an extensive program to highlight the strengths of the Flemish and Limburg life sciences ecosystem.

Flanders as European leader
The southern American state of Louisiana has a strong focus on knowledge economy, with the life sciences sector being an important spearhead. There is considerable interest in Flanders, which profiles itself as a European leader in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Several Belgian companies, including Solvay and Oxyde, opened facilities in Louisiana. Consequently, the ecosystems in both Flanders and Louisiana share many common characteristics. “Life sciences investments can not only create jobs and stimulate economic activity – they can literally save lives,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “That is why support for bioscience research and development has been a pillar of Louisiana’s economic development strategy since the early days of my administration. Louisiana’s unique assets in life sciences can provide new and exciting opportunities for established life sciences leaders in other countries. We’re grateful for our Belgian hosts’ willingness to collaborate, which has the potential for long-term positive impact.”

Primary care center
Prompted by POM Limburg, Governor of Limburg Jos Lantmeeters welcomed the delegation and his counterpart in Limburg. He stressed the importance of internationalization: “High-quality healthcare is a universal need. It is essential that we work together to address the challenges in healthcare. Think, for example, of cooperation in research and translating it into practical applications, such as digital health or remote patient monitoring. The United States is a strong partner in this area.” Flanders has an impressive reputation in the field of life sciences. It is therefore no coincidence that the visit takes place in Limburg. Commissioner for Economy and Chairman of POM Limburg Tom Vandeput: “Limburg is becoming the center for primary care in Flanders. With Health Campus Limburg DC, our ambition is to create a new leading location for healthcare innovation, both within Flanders and beyond. We will do this through a fruitful collaboration between education, research and companies.” Since Louisiana has one of the largest women’s hospitals in the United States, the topic of women’s health care comes up. The future Remote Clinical Monitoring Center at UHasselt will include work on high-risk pregnancies. In that context, concerns will be expressed about the impact of the state of Louisiana’s strict abortion laws on women’s well-being.

Extensive program
The delegation will be treated to an extensive program, including a tour of Corda Campus and a visit to Bokrijk. A networking reception is planned at Bokrijk Castle, where key stakeholders from across Flanders will be in attendance.


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