Novartis launch health tech contest

A new health tech-based initiative – backed by the UK division of the global healthcare giant Novartis – has been launched to help promote innovation.

The Novartis BIOME UK HealthHub 21 Challenge has been launched in partnership with KQ Labs, the data-driven health accelerator of the Francis Crick Institute, and LifeArc, the charity helping to turn promising science into benefits for patients.

According to a statement released by Novartis today, HealthHub 21 will provide, “mentoring advice, partnership opportunities and sustainable investments to data-driven start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” as well as “solutions for digitising patient pathways and advancing remote care in a COVID-19 era.”

Chinmay Bhatt, Country President of Novartis UK, added: “We are delighted that the Novartis BIOME is collaborating with KQ Labs…and LifeArc for this year’s HealthHub programme. As a result of our combined expertise, successful health tech companies will receive expert support in scaling-up their organisations.

“Building on the success of our 2019 and 2020 HealthHubs, companies will be given the unrivalled opportunity to co-develop and deliver innovations that create real solutions for patients and the healthcare system.

“At Novartis, we are passionate about digital health innovation as we recognise it will allow us to unlock the potential of the UK life sciences sector – enabling us to reimagine medicine for the benefit of patients across the world.”

The participants in the challenge will receive £50,000 in funding from LifeArc, and entrants must be small to medium-sized SMEs who aim to improve digital patient care and upscale digital adoption.

Andrew Farquharson, Executive Director of LifeArc, commented: “LifeArc has over 25 years’ experience as a charity partner helping scientists and innovators progress early-stage ideas into tangible health benefits. 

“With digital and data-led solutions holding so many exciting new possibilities for improving health and healthcare systems, we are delighted to be part of HealthHub 21 and to fund early innovation in this space.”

SME’s that specialise in advance remote monitoring are welcomed, as the pandemic has increased the demand for remote solutions.

Konrad Dobschuetz, Head of Digital Innovation and BIOME Lead at Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK, said: “It is an exciting collaboration and will help us to further the health tech agenda in the UK. By taking part in the HealthHub 21, start-ups can benefit from the BIOME UK’s enablement network of investors, mentors and innovation leaders across the health sector but also other industries such as finance, FMCG and data.”