The first day of the working visit to the United States, chaired by H.R.H. the Hereditary Grand Duke and led jointly by the Minister of Health Paulette Lenert and Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot, started in Boston.
Historically focused on activities related to biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, the city of Boston decided, back in 2016, to invest in digital health with the ambition of building a dynamic ecosystem and becoming a world leader in this field. Luxembourg, which aims to position its health technology ecosystem as innovative, particularly in the field of digital health, is keen to draw inspiration from Boston's successful model.
The purpose of the working visit is to identify and understand the key factors of Boston's digital health ecosystem and best practices in terms of data governance and financing systems, among others. In addition, the visit aims to identify potential collaborations between Luxembourg and the United States in this field.
Accordingly, the day began with a breakfast with officials from Mass General Brigham (MGB), an integrated academic health care system, including both academic medical centers, hospitals, such as Mass General Hospital(MGH), a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care and long-term care services. MGB is the largest private employer in the state of Massachusetts and also associated with Harvard Medical School.
The delegation then visited the hospital's surgical amphitheater, which became famous as the "Ether Dome" in 1846, when the first surgical procedure using ether as an anesthetic was performed there in public. The delegation was then taken on a visit to the MGH Cancer Center, which was one of the first hospitals in the world to implement proton therapy in cancer treatment.
The delegation then learned how MGB funds research and innovation in the field of digital health. This included a presentation of the digital innovation and artificial intelligence investment fund launched by Mass General Brigham, followed by a presentation of Mass General Brigham Ventures, the venture capital fund created to invest in bringing innovations from MGB's clinical research to market.
The delegation was also received for a courtesy meeting by Charlie Baker, the outgoing Republican governor of Massachusetts.
H.R.H. the Hereditary Grand Duke and the Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot then visited FM Global with part of the delegation. FM Global, an insurer specialising in risk prevention in the industrial sector, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Luxembourg Institute of Technology (LIST) on October 26, 2022 on the topics of industrial automation and climate resilience. Following the Brexit, back in 2017, FM Global had decided to move its European headquarters to Luxembourg and has been expanding its operations there ever since.
During the visit to FM Global's Research Campus, a state-of-the-art facility where simulations and tests are conducted to help companies prepare and protect their facilities against fire, water, electrical and natural hazards, the delegation was able to witness fire, explosion and earthquake simulations. Then, Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot signed a joint declaration of intent with Kevin Ingram, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO of FM Global, outlining potential areas of cooperation between FM Global and Luxembourg in terms of R&D activities following the signing of the protocol with LIST.
The Minister of Health Paulette Lenert visited BlueCross, a non-profit organization that has the responsibility of health insurance linked to the responsibility of providing health care with the other part of the delegation. The purpose of the meeting was to study the best practices in place to accelerate preventive medicine.
Press release by the Ministry of the Economy and the Ministry of Health