Astrid Skreosen (NO)
FOUNDER & CEO, ASAP-NORWAY AS, SKIEN — 2007–PRESENT
- Developing and manufacturing of super absorbent micro-thin polymer sheet specifically engineered for medical and sanitary use in a wide variety of applications. www.asap-norway.no
- Extensive sales throughout Norway. Initial sales processes in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Australia. Initial sales processes in North America.
CHILDRENS NURSE, THE HOSPITAL IN TELEMARK, SKIEN — 2000–2008
- Midwife assistant at the maternity ward, assisting midwives in the delivery of babies.
- Focus on maintaining a sanitary delivery room environment by cleaning, prepping and sanitizing.
- Saw firsthand the difficulties that are common in delivery rooms all over the world and decided to do something about it by creating ASAP Norway.
FOUNDER & PARTNER, ELVEBREDDEN KAFE AS, PORSGRUNN — 2014–PRESENT
- Start-up in November 2014, founded on the principle of “Everyday Luxury in pleasant surroundings”. www.elvebreddenkafe.no
Training and Education
2013 – 2014: Bachelor’s degree; Project management and negotiation skills.
2013 – 2013: Babson College; Global Entrepreneurship Training; International Growth.
1993-1994: Notodden High School; Advanced courses nursing assistant.
Qualifications and Engagements
- Independent distributor of wellness and nutritional products.
- Requested speaker in e.g. nutrition and active lifestyle, innovation in healthcare,
- Candidate for « Entrepreneurial Woman of The Year » (Norway) in 2012 and 2013.
- Recipient of various innovation prizes in the health sector.
- Extensive experience in networking and relationship building.
How should governments promote public sector innovation?
To meet future challenges in the health sector, the latest government parties have all focused on innovation in this sector. It’s lately been awarded countless of millions to promote innovation both by stimulating the private sector, but also by facilitating the employees in the health sector to take hold of their own lives and develop new services and products.
Very often, the undersigned included, the inventor has to quit the job to develop the product or the service. These are important contributions to innovation.
The big challenge comes when the product is fully developed, ready-proven and ready to be used.
The “Public Procurement Act” sets strict requirements to purchase routines, to ensure equal rights for all suppliers.
It should be required for all health departments that some part of the yearly budgets has to be used for innovative products or services. The results should be measured and reported annually to the hospital management and other authorities - similar to National Tests in primary schools.
Examples of successful innovations?
One of the main changes in the health sector for the past 20 years is the introduction of the PC as a working tool for every employee. We all remember the first time we pressed the PC button “ON” and touched the keyboard - highly dubious about the whole thing…
Resistance to spending time learning “log in / log out” was strong and the process needed time. Today there is no doubt that it was a cost-effective innovation.
Another major innovation in the health sector has been the transition from reusable to disposable equipment; initially syringes and catheters, later safety equipment, absorbent mats and diapers. As an example, Johnson & Johnson used 4 years on the transition process from reusable to disposable in the surgical department from 1988 to 1992.
Creating innovative culture
Who is the real decision maker when innovation should be adopted?
- The purchasing department?
In the past, purchasing departments in the health sector have been under intense pressure to improve the purchasing processes and make them more cost-effective. As a result, the new “Innovative Procurement Procedure” has been implemented. It gives no “right to” but provides the opportunity to adopt new products or services without a complete bidding process. The purchaser is responsible for assessing the options.
- Department Head?
As responsible leader, this person usually makes decisions whether to change procedures. In case of larger economic consequences, decision need to be taken together with Section Head.
- Employees at the department?
The employees know the department and the system and procedures very well. Many people think things can be done differently, but most want to do processes at virtually the same way as usual.
Needs are reported to the department head which in turn informs the purchasing department. Products subject to tender will be selected; otherwise exceptions may be done if special needs.