Two Organizations Come Together to Strengthen Support for African Health Technology Entrepreneurs
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Two Organizations Come Together to Strengthen Support for African Health Technology Entrepreneurs

By CIOReview | Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The AstraZeneca-Academy partnership aims to strengthen both organizations’ work by connecting Africa Prize entrepreneurs to A.Catalyst Network and the AstraZeneca supply chain and broader ecosystem (including investors).

FREMONT, CA: With an aim to nurture local talent and strengthen healthcare creativity and innovation on the African continent two organizations come together for a distinct partnership. AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company, and the Royal Academy of Engineering (the Academy), UK’s national academy of engineering, recently established a new relationship to connect African healthcare innovators with AstraZeneca’s A.Catalyst Network of over 20 global health innovation hubs. The joint company aims to accelerate the development of technical solutions that can address local concerns, with a focus on health technology.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, an annual award that grants crucial commercialization support to ambitious innovators across Sub-Saharan Africa, was founded in 2014 as part of the Academy’s commitment to building international partnerships and solving global challenges. The Africa Prize alumni network already includes over 100 inventors. The AstraZeneca A.Catalyst Network brings together R&D, digital, and commercial resources to envision the future of healthcare by collaborating with partners to co-create solutions and build integrated, powerful health systems that improve the entire patient experience.

Aleksandr Bedenkov, VP, Medical International at AstraZeneca said, “We want to offer entrepreneurs in emerging markets like Africa the same kind of platform and opportunities that their counterparts in other countries would benefit from. A.Catalyst Network offers exciting opportunities for health tech entrepreneurs to connect and collaborate with a truly global network of expertise and experience, helping to accelerate innovation and ensure that more patients can get access to the latest health tech solutions.”

AstraZeneca will join the Prizes network of expert mentors as part of the agreement, providing training support for Africa Prize entrepreneurs and providing them with access to specific expertise and experience to help them develop their concepts. AstraZeneca will also participate in a webinar series for the Africa Prize alumni network and current cohort, where they will share their knowledge and ideas on health technology and other topics.

Ana Avaliani, Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development at Royal Academy of Engineering, said, “Our partnerships are crucial to delivering the breadth and depth of support we can offer, which in turn allows the program to accelerate African entrepreneurial capacity, producing scalable, local solutions to global challenges. We believe that while one innovator can change a community, a network can transform a continent, and the Africa Prize network truly represents the brightest minds tackling the greatest challenges.”