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SMART Confluence: the Valais’ ecosystem for innovation in health and sport

Business environment

3 May 2022

A genuine pole of competence, the SMART Confluence ecosystem aims to promote innovation in health and sport in Valais.

Founded in 2021, the SMART Confluence ecosystem (also spelled S.M.A.R.T. Confluence) aims to foster the development of tomorrow’s health by promoting innovation in health and sports in the canton of Valais.

The initiative focuses on the “S.M.A.R.T.” fields, with five strong areas of expertise from its community of regional partners and stakeholders: sports, medicine, ageing, rehabilitation and traumatology.

The project’s ambition is to stimulate and support innovation in health and sport by bringing together experts and sharing knowledge, promoting the development of innovative projects and creating synergies between key players from the clinical, scientific and industrial sectors.

The SMART Confluence community is open to all the players and innovators in the fields of health and sport.

An ecosystem, key players and multiple projects

As a dynamic platform of competences bringing together different players from the fields of health, sport, R&D and the economy, the S.M.A.R.T. Confluence community is already active in the development of innovative solutions.

Led by the HES-SO Valais/Wallis, in collaboration with the HUG and the CHUV, the “AMBER” clinical trial aims to study the effectiveness of serious games, using virtual reality, to improve vision. It also focuses on the consequences of amblyopia (attentional and motor deficiencies), the effects of the intervention on these motor functions and ultimately, to what extent these improvements are related to concentration.

Additionally, the Holster project, created at the Clinique romande de réadaptation (CRR), is an innovative device for walking. It aims to support the affected upper limb after a stroke, thus allowing the patient to limit the energy expenditure during his movements.

Last but not least, researchers at the Idiap Research Institute have developed a research project, called Dusk2Dawn, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, which aims to collect objective data on alcohol consumption among young people. The project aims to shed light on the alcohol-related night-time behavior of young people in Switzerland.

The above examples merely provide a glimpse of the work undertaken by the members of the S.M.A.R.T Confluence ecosystem. The network facilitates the development of many innovative projects by offering easy access to key players in the region to co-develop, test, validate and deploy solutions that will meet the health challenges of the future.