European Health Summit

Interactive panels & exclusive interviews

to be live-streamed and recorded for over 3000 participants.


08:55 – 09:00


Arnaud Thysen
Director General
European Business Summits

09:00 – 09:10

Pandemic Preparedness & HERA

Stella Kyriakides
EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, European Commission

Kevin Whitelaw
Bloomberg Correspondent

09:10 – 10:15

Pandemic Preparedness & HERA

Marion Koopmans
Head of Erasmus MC Department of Viroscience 

Roger Connor
President Global Vaccines, GSK 

François Sandre
Head of Europe for Sanofi Pasteur

Sophie Bechu
Chief Operations Officer and Member of Philips Executive Committee

Giorgos Rossides
Chief of Staff to EU Commissioner for Health, European Commission

Kevin Whitelaw
Bloomberg Correspondent

HERA is intended to provide the strategic steering during health emergencies. When a health emergency is declared, HERA will assume specific and extraordinary powers to coordinate critical stages of R&D activity until the end of the emergency. In long term, by bringing together sciences, industry and public authorities, HERA will aim at harmonizing the European biomedical research and development landscape for pandemic preparedness and response capacity. This needs to provide a structural system to enable the EU to anticipate and tackle future pandemics. The high-level session will take stock of the discussion on the Commission’s proposal, published in the Fall of 2021.

10:15 – 10:30

Interview with Casper Klynge, Vice President, European Government Affairs, Microsoft

Casper Klynge
Vice President, European Government Affairs, Microsoft

Kevin Whitelaw
Bloomberg Correspondent

10:30 – 11:00

Belgium, the Health and Biotech Valley of tomorrow

Thomas Dermine
State Secretary for Economic Recovery and Strategic Investments, Belgium

Tineke Van Hooland
Deputy Secretary General, Essenscia Belgium

Sam Proesmans
Public Health Advisor to the Prime Minister of Belgium

Jennifer Baker
EU Correspondent

The Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Belgium is presenting the following initiative:

On the 26th of October 2021, representatives of the Belgian government, academia and the health and biotech industry signed at the initiative of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo a joint charter pledging to (further) strengthen Belgium’s position in biopharma R&D and production. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was also present.

By producing and exporting 700 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the rest of the world, Belgium has yet again demonstrated its leadership and expertise in health and innovation in recent months.

Today Belgium ranks third in biopharmaceutical exports, totalling €56 billion. The sector employs more than 40,000 people directly and many more indirectly.

11:00 – 12:00

Unlocking the capacities of health data space

Ana Gallego Torres
Director General  DG Justice, European Commission

Petra De Sutter
Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium

Elena Bonfiglioli
Regional Business Leader Health and Life Sciences EMEA, Microsoft

Thomas Kostera
Senior Expert, Bertelsmann Stiftung

Jack Parrock
EU Correspondent and Presenter

The potential of health data is indisputably revolutionary. However, data is often not yet accessible in many European countries due to various reasons. Furthermore, processing and analysing sheer amounts of data, as well as gaining trust with the public and healthcare providers when it comes to sharing it, is one of its greatest challenges.

How does the EU approach the initiative of building a home for health data?

When it comes to the legal framework, does the basis of GDPR ensure sufficient levels of trust?

13:00 – 14:00

Joining forces with Africa to foster health security

Jean van Wetter
Director General, Enabel

Luc Debruyne 
Strategy Advisor of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

Jaak Peeters
Special Envoy for Covid-19 Vaccine, Johnson & Johnson

Ebere Okereke
Honorary Senior Public Health Advisor to the Director Africa CDC

Kate Kelland
Chief Scientific Writer, CEPI

Stimulating cross-continental partnerships, beyond Europe, as part of forward planning strategy will live up to the famous saying of “No one is safe, until everyone is safe”. Our closest ally? The African Union. The continent`s misfortune with multiple outbreaks and infectious diseases should be a priority for the global community when it comes down to surveillance of emerging health threats. These unfortunate experiences entail existing local extensive expertise, which has not been put in practice due to lack of tools and infrastructure. With the right type of investment and cooperation, it could turn these practices into potential research centers and thus vaccine manufacturing and production hubs.

14:00 – 15:00

Gene therapy – the need for a paradigm shift

Andrzej Rys
Director at DG SANTE, European Commission

Reda Guiha 
Regional President Pfizer, International Developed Markets of Pfizer Rare Disease 

Yann le Cam
Chief Executive Officer, Eurordis

Paige Bischoff
Senior Vice President, Global public affairs, Alliance for Regenerative Medicine

Tamsin Rose
EU Correspondent

Gene Therapy is a new generation of medicine allowing us to target the underlying cause of a disease, potentially with just one treatment. These groundbreaking therapies will transform the treatment landscape globally within the next few years. However, the currently policy and regulatory framework is not set up to facilitate patient access. Changes in laws and regulations are urgently needed.

What are some of the key challenges gene therapy developers are facing?

What opportunities are ahead with the implementation of the EU’s Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe as well as national reforms?

This panel will bring together key policy-makers and stakeholders to ensure European health systems are ready to fully embrace this new generation of transformational medicines.

15:00 – 16:00

What role can gene therapies play in strengthening EU healthcare systems?

Jo De Cock
Chairman of the National Committee at RIZIV-INAMI

Mike Fraser
General Manager Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Novartis Gene Therapy 

Ondrej Knotek
Member of the European Parliament

Avril Daly
Chief Executive Officer, Retina International

Andrzej Rys
Director at DG SANTE, European Commission

Jennifer Baker
EU Correspondent

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown that resilient healthcare systems will be the backbone of a successful health, economic and social recovery, which will pave the way to more prosperous societies. In recent years, increasing numbers of gene therapies, with the potential to offer long lasting benefits, following a single administration,  have launched in Europe, most notably for cancer and rare diseases. While these interventions have been praised for the transformative benefits they bring to patients they have also at times been pointed out as a threat to healthcare system sustainability because of their higher one time costs. As more of these technologies enter the EU market, the discussions around pricing and sustainability for health care systems will certainly intensify.

How does the healthcare environment need to adapt?

What novel mechanisms could help solve the equation of maximising the benefits from gene therapies whilst still safeguarding healthcare systems?

16:00 – 17:00

Digital innovation in Global Health

Lorena Boix Alonso
Director at DG CONNECT, European Commission

Karin Kallaner
Senior Health Adviser, UNICEF & COVID Digital Health Centre of Excellence (DICE), UNICEF

Gerard Krause
Head of the Newly Founded Department for Epidemiology, HZI at Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

Carolin Bansbach
Head of Unit Health, Education and Social Development, GIZ

Rachel Toku-Appiah
Director, Program Advocacy and Communications, Africa, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bernhard Kowatsch
Head of World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator

Meabh McMahon
Euronews Correspondent

Well before the pandemic, digital innovation began to shape the healthcare sector in countries around the world. COVID-19 has invigorated this process. As part of a future pandemic response, innovation across public and private sectors will have an essential role to play. Appropriate support should be provided for countries globally, particularly to those who do not have the right tools and infrastructure in place to operationalize their national pandemic response plans, including vaccine development and production. However, this needs to go far beyond COVID-19 as we are moving towards future preparedness strategies. Embedding innovation at the heart of strengthened international cooperation will determine the resilience of our public health systems in the future.

17:00 – 17:05


Arnaud Thysen
Director General
European Business Summits

“For a successful digital transformation of the health care system an effective strategy, political leadership and a dedicated institution at national level are required.” 

Thomas Kostera

Bertelsmann Stiftung

“Anyone who uses data in the health care sector in Europe should be able to rely on jointly agreed regulations based on the basic data protection regulation.”

Jens Spahn

German Health Minister

“Fragmentation makes us more vulnerable. We need to pool resources, if we don’t pool resources we are weaker. There is now a realisation that nobody can deal with this public health crisis alone.”

 Stella Kyriakides