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- Bayer and HKSTP Announce Grants4Apps® Finalists to Spur Health-Tech Innovation in Hong Kong
Bayer and HKSTP announce the 5 finalists in the Grants4Apps® Accelerator Programme, which encourages health-technology innovation and the business development of local start-ups.
Celina Chew, President of Bayer Group Greater China
Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP
Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP and Celina Chew, President of Bayer Group Greater China activate the Grants4Apps® Hong Kong Accelerator Programme together.
(Hong Kong, 14 December 2017) - Bayer and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) today announced a major milestone in the Grants4Apps® Hong Kong Accelerator Programme to strengthen the local health-technology innovation ecosystem and promote healthy ageing.
From 23 high-quality applicants, 5 start-ups have now been selected to receive coaching and mentorship to bring their innovative ideas to market. Start-ups were chosen for the Grants4Apps® Accelerator Programme based on their potential to deliver intelligent and scalable solutions that improve patient care and self-care for the elderly.
Hong Kong’s Grants4Apps® is part of a global Bayer programme to promote digital healthcare solutions that improve health outcomes or pharmaceutical processes. As an international leader in life sciences, Bayer created Grants4Apps® Accelerator Programme as a channel to engage in open innovation and share its expertise with talented entrepreneurs. The programme is being brought to Hong Kong as the first healthcare incubation initiative under HKSTP's Global Acceleration Academy (GAA). The Academy offers thematic acceleration programmes for technology start-ups through the partnership of HKSTP and international industry leaders in different fields.
“Bayer is passionate about innovation and ideas that can make a real difference in the lives of patients and the healthcare community,” said Celina Chew, President of Bayer Group Greater China. “We recognize that many health-tech start-ups are founded by scientists and engineers without healthcare or business experience. With HKSTP, we are bringing market insight, technical support and business coaching to help health-tech start-ups refine and commercialize their ideas and use digital technology to improve life in our ageing society.”
Bayer supports HKSTP’s vision of Hong Kong as a vibrant hub of health-tech innovation and its approach to intensive incubation under the GAA. Providing access to infrastructure and specialised support services, HKSTP strives to give entrepreneurs the resources they need to turn innovative ideas into marketable solutions. Hong Kong is an ideal testbed for health-tech innovation, with a rapidly ageing but tech-savvy population.
“With the growing need for elderly care, Healthy Ageing has become a key technology of HKSTP. In the healthcare industry which is highly specialised and highly regulated, we see opportunities for Hong Kong to evolve into a health-tech hub, capitalising on the city’s world-class medical system, and clinical trial data accepted by global regulatory and research institutions. The partnership of HKSTP and Bayer under the GAA is one of our programmes to accelerate start-up development in conjunction with industry partners. It is vital that we support these health-tech start-up innovators by ensuring that their projects truly align with industry trends and market needs. By working with industry leaders like Bayer, we look forward to helping more participating start-ups turn their ideas into reality, and inspiring more technology innovation in Hong Kong,” said Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP.
Grants4Apps® puts shortlisted teams through a solid 13-week acceleration programme led by Bayer and HKSTP. The start-ups will receive coaching from experienced managers from Bayer and HKSTP, as well as intensive mentoring by external entrepreneurs. This will help them advance their technologies, conduct prototype trials, explore new business models, and solve business challenges.
The Grants4Apps® winners will be decided at a Demo Day in April 2018, when all five teams will pitch their business ideas before an expert judging panel. The Grants4Apps® Hong Kong champion start-up will receive a grant of HK$50,000 to support its business growth. Two runners-up will receive $30,000 each.
The five shortlisted start-ups in Grants4Apps® Accelerator Hong Kong are:
acesobee is on a mission to help create an affordable and efficient digital healthcare system that supports caregivers and empowers 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. Its aim as a Grants4Apps® participant is to improve the pharmaceutical support available via its solution and to scale up TeamCare® for regional and global markets.
BACHcode is pioneering a personal health improvement platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and persuasive technologies to help people live healthier lives and minimize their risk of chronic disease. Its key product is ReHealthier: an intelligent health coach that designs personalised health plans for users and motivates them to make compliance easy. It is seeking to gain market and consumer insights to enrich its solution and better serve users.
Using patented technology developed by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, HVB is building a cloud-based automatic retinal image analysis platform that will accurately assess the risk of various chronic diseases. The process is completely non-invasive and can be done anywhere in a matter of minutes. HVB’s first product provides fast and convenient stroke risk assessment for the general public. It is developing new applications to assess the risk of dementia and age-related macular degeneration.
Growing out of the Medical Image Analysis Laboratory at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Imsight Medical Tech develops state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology platforms for the automated processing of medical images. The company is expanding rapidly, with offices in Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Beijing and collaborations with several leading hospitals in China. Its latest product enables the early detection of cancer from CT imaging.
Mindfio is developing a revolutionary digital platform that uses biofeedback technology to guide users in mindfulness practice to improve their mental wellness. Mindfulness is non-intrusive and proven to effectively reduce stress, improve resilience, enhance focus and work performance, and much more. Mindfio has developed a unique algorithm to collect bio-data via a wristband device. By participating in Grants4Apps®, the company strives to validate its solution in the corporate world.
Bayer has so far launched local chapters of Grants4Apps® in Barcelona, Italy, Moscow, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, Tokyo and Toronto, as well as Hong Kong, with each chapter focusing on local or regional healthcare challenges.
Ideas submitted include tools to improve diagnostic efficiency; wearables which empower the elderly to take charge of their own health and apps to improve medication compliance and better manage chronic conditions.
East Asia will be the world’s fastest-ageing region in the coming decades. The number of Hong Kong residents over the age of 65 increased from 12% in 2006 to a new high of 16% last year. The Hong Kong Government expects this population will reach 31% by 2036, equivalent to 2.37 million people versus 1.16 million today.