Entrepreneur Jan Van Hecke, who owns the Boone International furniture business, recognized the growing and challenging need for space-saving furniture and other room utilities for the European senior care industry. Yet the homecare market is difficult to enter due to its complex regulatory nature. So Jan searched for possible partners with a thorough knowledge of, and/or experience with, this particular market. Innovation was clearly going to be a team effort. In response to the challenge he set himself, namely ‘creating an innovative, future-oriented healthcare industry’, Jan attracted a variety of actors from a range of industries (profit/non-profit, healthcare, manufacturing, lightning, architects, students …), bringing them all together for a mass brainstorm. Even though these actors came from very diverse organizations and industries, they shared an interest in addressing the challenge. Very quickly, they set up partnership agreements. Goals were discussed and adapted, until every partner agreed and was willing to sign an NDA. The collaboration ended up being no less than 70 partners strong. Their first concrete output came in the form of a prototype of the patient room of the future.
At the moment, the PRoF project is already well into its fifth innovative project for the care industry, together with over 300 partners. Each of the previous projects opened up new insights and networking possibilities, which developed and expanded the partners’ initial business model towards uncharted directions in the healthcare market.← All cases