InnoStars, RIS

New opportunities open for joint innovation with Europe’s leading pharmaceutical companies

14th June 2024

Partnering with two of Europe’s prominent pharmaceutical companies, Chiesi Group and SYNLAB Italy, EIT Health has launched the new InnoStars Connect programme.

Implemented in an open innovation format, the initiative aims to bring together start-ups, SMEs, researchers, universities, and hospitals in moderate and emerging countries and outmost regions, to collaborate on developing and implementing life-changing innovations. Through the initiative, the selected 10 organisations will receive access to the biggest health innovation network, funding and professional guidance from pharma industry leaders to pilot innovative solutions addressing pressing healthcare challenges. The top three teams will compete for the financial award during the EIT Health InnoStars Grand Final. The deadline for submitting applications is June 30.

What’s in it for innovators?

“InnoStars Connect perfectly embodies our often-said adage that no one can innovate alone. Through this exciting new programme, we are opening doors to resources, knowledge, and most importantly, connections within our network to develop promising solutions for the burning healthcare challenges,” said Sarah Haddadin, EIT Health InnoStars RIS Innovation Lead and the programme manager. – By leveraging the collective expertise of top-tier professionals and institutions, InnoStars Connect is not just a programme—it’s a transformative platform designed to propel healthcare innovation to new heights and foster a collaborative ecosystem for lasting impact.”

Challenge One – Chiesi Group

Chiesi Group is a global biopharmaceutical research-oriented group, driven by the desire to increase the quality of life for patients, their families, and their communities with innovative products and services. The company, together with EIT Health InnoStars, is seeking groundbreaking solutions in the areas of respiratory health (AIR), treatment of patients with rare and ultra-rare diseases (RARE) and products and services that support specialty care provided by medical professionals and consumer-facing self-care (CARE) related to:

  1. Innovative Therapeutic Approaches/Solutions
  • biomarkers (including digital ones for early diagnosis and monitoring)
  • medical tools and solutions able to improve patient journey and therapeutic adherence
  • innovative solutions and advanced devices to enhance inhaled drug delivery, as well as complex macromolecule delivery, and for CGT (Cell and gene therapies)
  • advanced biotech solutions for the production and delivery of more sustainable therapeutics as well as for therapy dedicated to RARE diseases
  1. b) Innovative Digital Health Solutions
  • to enhance patient care and the patient journey experience
  • to improve clinical trials (from identification of patients to management and eventual follow-up)
  • to develop a coordinated Real World Data collection, analysis, and use
  • to boost treatment outcomes and rehabilitation

“We are seeking exemplary, talented industry innovators among start-ups, SMEs, hospitals, universities, and research institutions in Italy and beyond to collaborate with us on open innovation opportunities. Our goal is to explore beyond the current boundaries, investigate new approaches, and develop better models. By combining our expertise with InnoStars Connect, we envisage pioneering solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and healthcare systems. Together we can face the challenges created by the interconnection of planet health and human health, fostering a healthier future for all.” said Fabrizio Conicella, Head of Chiesi Center of Open Innovation & Competence.

Challenge Two – SYNLAB Italy

SYNLAB Italy is Europe’s leading diagnostic company with a new “integrated” approach to medical innovation, prevention and healthcare in Italy – an approach aligned to the quality standards of excellence in Europe. Together with EIT Health InnoStars, they are looking for Advanced Diagnostic Biomarkers and Technologies:

  • to develop state-of-the-art diagnostic biomarkers and technologies to augment SYNLAB Italy’s services, including advancements in testing methodologies.

“We see tremendous potential for innovative diagnostic biomarkers and technologies to revolutionise healthcare delivery. Through InnoStars Connect, we are eager to partner with innovators across Europe to find creative solutions to enhance our services and improve patient outcomes. By joining forces with us, innovators can help us unlock new ways to deliver state-of-the-art diagnostics that will shape the future of healthcare for millions of European citizens”, said MAURIZIO FERRARI – CMO Chief Medical Officer SYNLAB Italy.

Who can apply and how?

Pan european Start-ups, SMEs, hospitals, universities, and research institutions   with innovative solutions relevant to the above challenges are encouraged to apply to the InnoStars Connect programme. Eligible applicants must have a solution with a maturity level between TRL 5 (technology validated in a relevant environment) and TRL 7 (system prototype demonstration in an operational environment) and be ready to collaborate within an open innovation framework. Individual organisations not currently partners of EIT Health must become EIT Health InnoStars partners. By joining the programme, they will gain access to an extensive network and resources, offering transformative collaborations with leading healthcare innovators.

Organisations interested in applying can learn more and apply at InnoStars Connect | EIT Health .

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