Health technology is a new strategic focus area for IRIS. Over the course of 2016, several new projects were initiated in this field, where i.a. multi-phase flow models were used for the simulation of the spread of cancer, simulation of blood flow in coronary arteries, and interpretation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. The latter application was part of an application for FRINATEK funds together with UiB. The application was granted and this project “Flow based interpretation of dynamic contrast imaging data,” thus became the first health technology project in IRIS receiving support from the Research Council of Norway. The health technology projects are based on the transfer of technology, methods and expertise from oil and gas to medicine. This is the core activity of the Norway Pumps & Pipes project, which was established in spring 2016 with financial support in the amount of NOK 5 million from the Ministry of Health and Care Services (HOD/MOH). Norway Pumps & Pipes will contribute to securing new innovative solutions and support in the field of medical and social care as a priority area of focus as a matter of industry policy, in line with the HelseOmsorg21 strategy.
The project is a cooperative project between Stavanger University Hospital (SUS), IRIS, UiS, Greater Stavanger and the business community. Portions of the financial support from the Ministry of Health and Care Services (HOD/MOH) have been used to initiate a preliminary project based on ideas obtained via meetings between professionals. Several health technology projects in IRIS have received financial support from Norway Pumps & Pipes. It is an objective that these projects will seek further funding from funding agencies/innovation agencies. In order to achieve a close professional collaboration between oil & gas and medicine, it is essential to establish meeting venues for professionals in these two sectors. This has been done by arranging seminars and thematic workshops. Norway Pumps & Pipes has signed a cooperation agreement with Houston Pumps & Pipes, which is an initial good foundation for further developing the relationship between the region and the professional community in Houston. Professional cooperation via pilot projects has resulted in both master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.
This may lay the foundation for the establishment of PhD project topics in the PhD Programme in Science and Technology at the University of Stavanger (or at other universities in the region). It can also be a starting point for the establishment of new profiles in an existing master’s degree programme, such as health technology profiles within the existing master’s degree programme at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Stavanger.