22 Apr 2024

EACTS hosts Paris Innovation Summit 

Fund established to drive innovation in cardiothoracic surgery 

Featured News

International experts from Europe, the US and Asia convened in Paris on 19th and 20th of April for the second EACTS Innovation Summit.  

EACTS, the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic (CT) Surgery, launched a brand-new Innovation Hub at the summit, which will champion investment in innovation to support the development of cardiothoracic surgical treatments and improve outcomes for patients. This reflects the fact that innovation and opportunities for improving patient care by implementing upcoming disruptive techniques in CT surgery are of central importance to EACTS. 

At the Innovation Summit, engineers, chemists, molecular biologists, AI and robotics specialists, surgeons, industry leaders and policy makers discussed new technologies, pioneering treatment pathways and future surgical developments. Participants heard some of the very latest disruptive ideas in cardiothoracic surgery, including how AI and immersive technology are changing and will continue to change the entire field of CT surgery, including cardiac ultrastructure imaging, the future of robotic surgery and the engineering and distribution of Super-Organs. 

Global specialists were also able to discuss other priority topics, including:   

  • Principles of innovation 
  • Leveraging ChatGPT4 in Cardiac Surgery 
  • Heart valve of the future 
  • Extracorporeal circulation (CPB, ECMO, ECLS, hibernation, hypothermia and organ repair) 
  • Artificial Intelligence for CT surgery 
  • Lymphatics in CT surgery. 

Speaking at the Innovation Summit, past EACTS President (2022) and Co-Chair of the summit, Friedhelm Beyersdorf, said: “Emerging technologies and artificial intelligence are changing cardiothoracic surgery. We know that innovation often takes place at the borders between specialties and that is why we brought together delegates from across disciplines. Our second Innovation Summit with clear action from the discussion groups alongside the creation of our new Innovation Hub provide a clear message that EACTS is serious about innovation.” 

As part of the new Innovation Hub, launched at the summit, EACTS members will be able to apply for grant funding to stimulate research and advance innovation in cardiothoracic surgery. Grants will be awarded from a fund that EACTS has recently established. The grants will be available to EACTS members only, through a competitive process over a five-year period. EACTS will be particularly interested to see applications that focus on the priority topics from the Innovation Summit and that are likely to create real-life opportunities to improve patient outcomes. The grant application process is set to launch in October 2024. 

The grants will be overseen by EACTS’ new Innovation Committee made up of research, academic and industry experts. Past EACTS Presidents Friedhelm Beyersdorf and Mark Hazekamp have been appointed Chair and Vice Chair, respectively. Recruitment for additional members is underway. 

Past EACTS President (2021) and Co-Chair of the Innovation Summit, Mark Hazekamp, said: “The Innovation Hub will stimulate new concepts and support inventors and creators to bring their ideas to clinical use. Using, implementing and further developing these upcoming opportunities is a priority for us at EACTS in order to further improve outcomes for patients with heart and lung conditions now and in the years ahead.” 

Interest in innovation is high with EACTS members submitting 55 high quality abstracts for presentation at the Innovation Summit. Fourteen abstracts were selected alongside four exciting ‘wild card’ submissions.   

Due to the number of high quality submissions, a further ten of the highest rated abstracts will be shared with delegates during one of two innovation sessions at the 38th EACTS Annual Meeting, taking place in Lisbon, Portugal this October. Four keynote presentations specially selected from this year’s summit as the most innovative and thought-provoking will be presented in a second innovation session.  


For media enquiries, please contact Sam Verrinder – [email protected] / 0044 7931 217863 

Notes to Editors 

  • Register for the 38th EACTS Annual Meeting, taking place in Lisbon, Portugal from 9th – 12th October 2024: https://www.eacts.org/annual-meeting/  
  • The launch of the new investment fund follows the publication of EACTS’ new five year strategy which outlines five new strategic goals, including one “to invest in research & innovation”. 

About EACTS 

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) is a global membership organisation for the cardiothoracic surgical community. EACTS exists to improve outcomes for patients with heart and lung conditions by supporting the global surgical community with education and learning opportunities and informing best practice with journals, clinical guidelines, a quality improvement programme and research.