AstraZeneca & Slush to generate new opportunities for developing healthcare innovation in 2021



Alex Bedenkov, VP International Medical and Global Health Innovation Hubs Network, AstraZeneca

Following a year of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, industry stakeholders from across government, academia, industry, finance, logistics and tech are increasingly open to working together towards achieving shared goals. These relationships have helped to ensure that many markets may rely on a high-functioning healthcare system with the capacity to respond to new challenges, as well as increased demand.

At AstraZeneca, we’re committed to a fundamentally different approach to healthcare, maintaining and building on these value-creating collaborations to drive breakthrough innovations within the sector. For some time now, our focus has been on further strengthening such relationships, to better respond to the needs of patients, and prepare for what the future holds.

Following its creation in 2020, AstraZeneca’s partnership with Slush, a global start-up movement and a not-for-profit community, set out to provide innovative start-ups and organisations operating within the field of healthcare with direct access to our resources and existing networks. To date, this partnership has allowed us to forge a variety of new connections between healthcare innovators and ecosystem partners, providing guidance and direction, as well as dedicated mentoring, to scientific, digital and medical companies worldwide, supporting them in the co-creation of patient-focused solutions that target unmet need, and address existing gaps in diagnosis, treatment and access.

In 2021, the next phase of the AstraZeneca & Slush global partnership will enable us to provide continued, dedicated mentoring to start-ups and entrepreneurs through digital content and virtual events, with guidance on partnerships, the ecosystem approach, digital and artificial intelligence, reverse innovation and government relations. This knowledge will support these new partners to develop their own capabilities, accelerate progress, and begin to make their ideas a reality for patients around the globe.

As we move forward, Slush will facilitate relevant opportunities for start-ups to connect with AstraZeneca both online and offline throughout the year. The online events will be hosted on the Node by Slush digital platform in September and October, with roundtable sessions hosted by AstraZeneca available to health and biotech professionals, start-ups, investors, and researchers. Future offline activities will be disclosed this year at a later date.