Celina Chew, President of Bayer Group Greater China (right) congratulates Imsight Medical Technology Co. Ltd. for winning the grand prize at Bayer’s Grants4Apps® Hong Kong programme.
The panel of judges and all participating start-up companies exchanged views on the development of healthy ageing solutions in Hong Kong at the Grants4Apps® Hong Kong Demo Day.
The Grants4Apps® Demo Day offered an ideal platform for the start-up community in Hong Kong to share their innovative solutions for healthy ageing and connect with industry experts in the healthcare field.
Hong Kong, April 23, 2018 – Bayer has recently partnered with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) for the completion of Bayer’s Grants4Apps® Accelerator programme in Hong Kong. The programme aimed to advance the growth of healthcare start-ups and the development of innovative solutions for healthy ageing in the territory. Five start-up companies are now well-equipped to make a contribution to the health-technology innovation ecosystem. After the 13-week intensive course of coaching and mentorship exercises, four of these start-ups showcased their solutions to a panel of judges on the programme’s final Demo Day.
Imsight Medical Technology Co. Ltd., a startup with members from the Image Analysis Laboratory of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and joined HKSTP’s Incubation Programme in 2017, emerged as the overall winner of the Hong Kong programme. Their LiverSight Liver Analysis and Reporting Platform is an Artificial Intelligence system that helps medical professionals standardise the acquisition, interpretation, reporting and data collection of Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance (MR) liver imaging of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The commercialisation of LiverSight will help facilitate the diagnosis and staging of HCC, and assess treatment responses.
The company received a grant of HK$50,000 from Bayer to further its development of the solution and support its business growth. Tsougenis Efstratios, Overseas Technical and Business Director of Imsight Medical Technology Co. Ltd., said, “We achieved much more than we have expected from the Grants4Apps® Accelerator. Our acceleration goal was to test out the feasibility of our new product concept. With the extensive coaching and mentoring of the programme, we ended up producing a prototype of the product in such a short period of time. The programme allowed us to get access to invaluable advice and guidance from industry experts, doctors, university professors and business consultants, which is vital in expediting our product development efforts.”
Launched in 2013, Grants4Apps® is a global Bayer programme to promote digital healthcare solutions that improve health outcomes or pharmaceutical processes. The programme was brought to Hong Kong last December as the first healthcare incubation initiative under HKSTP's Global Acceleration Academy (GAA). GAA is a partnership between HKSTP and international industry leaders offering thematic acceleration programmes for technology start-ups.
“As one of the top 50 most innovative companies in the world, Bayer sees a wealth of exciting digital health ideas and solutions in the start-up community. The Grants4Apps® programme gives innovators a chance to learn and fine-tune their ideas and to successfully take their ideas to market, from sharpening their value proposition and gaining market insights to finding investors," said Celina Chew, President of Bayer Group Greater China. "We are impressed by the quality and originality of ideas submitted by the start-ups in the Grants4Apps® Hong Kong chapter, and their spirit of entrepreneurship. We are delighted to work with an experienced incubator like HKSTP to help start-ups turn their innovative ideas into reality, and bring new solutions to the pressing challenges of our rapidly aging population.”
Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP said, “HKSTP is pleased to partner with Bayer for our GAA initiative. We are excited to see many innovative healthcare solutions developed by local technology start-ups. With this partnership with Bayer, we aim to provide participating start-ups with international perspective, updated market information and needs as well as tailored business skills. According to the latest official statistics, 31 percent of our population will be aged 65 and above by 2036. We hope the joint efforts with industry leaders will inspire more start-ups to develop innovative products and solutions that can support an ageing population and be beneficial for mankind.”
In Hong Kong, five start-ups were selected in December last year to receive the 13-week intensive programme led by Bayer and HKSTP, which included coaching from experienced managers from both organisations and mentoring by external entrepreneurs on business skills. The programme helped the participating start-ups advance their technologies, conduct prototype trials, explore new business models and solve business challenges.
The programme asked the start-ups to develop solutions that can improve patient care and self-care for an ageing population. For the final round of pitching, distinguished guests from Bayer, HKSTP and external healthcare professionals assessed the technology innovations based on three broad criteria - team competence, market understanding, and the originality and practicality of the solution. The other start-ups showcased in Demo Day were:
acesobee develops affordable and efficient digital healthcare systems to support caregivers and empower patients. Its flagship product, TeamCare®, is a mobile Personal Point of Care (POC) and Personal Care Plan (PCP) app that facilitates team-based, 360-degree nursing care. Through the Grants4Apps® programme, acesobee hoped to promote patient empowerment and medication compliance in the Bayer network and enhance the accessibility of pharmaceutical support of its solution for regional and global markets.
BACHcode’s ReHealthier is a personal health improvement platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and persuasive technologies to help people live healthier. Applying AI deep learning technology into the prevention of chronic diseases, ReHealthier features an AI-powered health coach who will engage and guide people’s health behaviour change in an interactive and engaging manner. The company has launched a free trial version of the platform upon the completion of the Grants4Apps® programme.
Mindfio is developing a revolutionary digital platform that uses biofeedback technology to guide users in mindfulness practice and improve mental wellness. With the acceleration goals of optimising the solution and validating it for the corporate sector through Grants4Apps®, Mindflo has successfully built the full-function hardware prototype and finalised the user interface of the solution. A trial programme of the platform would be rolling out among 50 to 100 employees in Bayer Germany’s office in Lyon.
Other than Hong Kong, Bayer’s Grants4Apps® (https://www.grants4apps.com/) programmes are running in 13 countries, with each chapter focusing on local or regional healthcare challenges.
About Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion.
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About Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
Comprising Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is a statutory body dedicated to building a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem to connect stakeholders, nurture technology talents, facilitate collaboration, and catalyse innovations to deliver social and economic benefits to Hong Kong and the region.
Established in May 2001, HKSTP has been driving the development of Hong Kong into a regional hub for innovation and growth in several focused clusters including Electronics, Information & Communications Technology, Green Technology, Biomedical Technology, Materials and Precision Engineering. We enable science and technology companies to nurture ideas, innovate and grow, supported by our R&D facilities, infrastructure, and market-led laboratories and technical centres with professional support services. We also offer value added services and comprehensive incubation programmes for technology start-ups to accelerate their growth.
Technology businesses benefit from our specialised services and infrastructure at Science Park for applied research and product development; enterprises can find creative design support at InnoCentre; while skill-intensive businesses are served by our three industrial estates at Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long.
More information about HKSTP is available at www.hkstp.org.
Bayer Grants4Apps® is a global open innovation initiative, launched in 2013 as a crowdsourcing program. It provides financial support to developers and startups for their software, hardware and technology projects, which contribute to improving health outcomes or pharmaceutical processes. In 2014, the crowdsourcing program was expanded with an accelerator, as a new model of open innovation in the digital health field.
Bayer offers experienced managers as coaches to the startups, in addition to intensive mentoring by external entrepreneurs. Thereby, the Accelerator / Incubator create an ideal environment in which to advance cutting-edge technologies in healthcare and underlines Bayer’s engagement in collaboration with young entrepreneurs. More information is available at www.grants4apps.bayer.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at http://www.bayer.com/. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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