The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), the global health initiative of Qatar Foundation, has selected the 30 winners from 11 different countries for two of their Innovation Award programme competitions. 

The competitions – Spark (for early stage startups) and Booster (for startups looking for scale-up) – recognise and support global innovative solutions that can improve healthcare delivery and make healthcare more cost-effective.

Among the Spark winners are SOSO CARE (Nigeria), a low-cost social enterprise using recyclable garbage as financial resource to enable access to micro health insurance; QABY (Qatar), a biotech start-up focused on Parkinson’s disease; Biliblanket (Bhutan), which provides phototherapy to treat jaundice in newborns; and digital patient care platform ZEDOC (New Zealand).

Winners of the Booster competition include Robin (Russia), an assistive technological device for the blind; On Track (UK), a remote digital rehabilitation platform for stroke survivors; FindANurse (Lebanon) which helps families find dependable and professional caregivers; and the NoDK (US), an inexpensive dental treatment device.

WISH 2020 summitAll winning projects will be showcased in this year’s virtual Innovation Hub, which will be a unique, 360° environment, home to discussion spaces, a cinema, a photo gallery, and a wellness room, where visitors to WISH 2020 can engage directly with the winners, among several other activities.

The winning innovators will showcase their work to global health experts and policymakers at WISH 2020, to be held virtually from 15 – 19 November under the theme, ‘One World Our Health’. The slogan emphasises WISH’s vision to welcome all partnerships under a common banner, striving for a common goal of creating a healthier world.

The two competitions invited local, regional, and international entrepreneurs to apply, and this year WISH received the largest number of applications to date – close to 500 from 43 countries in different regions, from as far as Japan, New Zealand, and Australia in the east, to the US and Brazil in the west.

Due to the exceptionally high calibre of innovations received, WISH has also announced that two Grand Prize winners will be chosen, one from among the 15 Spark innovators, who will receive US$5,000, and one from the 15 Booster innovators, who will be awarded US$10,000.

WISH has partnered with several renowned local and international innovation hubs. Winning innovators will have the opportunity to receive expert mentorship, training workshops, and one-on-one interactions with potential investors from these hubs during the summit.

Winning innovators will also receive other benefits, including access to media support from WISH for up to 12 months, invitations to other summits and events, and becoming a WISH innovation programme alumni ambassador with mentorship and championship for up to a year.

Speaking on the winning projects, Mahmoud El Achi, Head of Innovation at WISH, said that this year’s winners provide an exciting look into how innovative thinking is being used around the world to break the constraints that the healthcare industry currently faces.

He said that innovation in healthcare can take many forms, and they are once again delighted to provide a platform for technologies, therapies, and care delivery systems that can improve and save lives.

We look forward to seeing these extraordinary innovations during the summit, as well as witnessing how they will help achieve the goal of transforming global healthcare in the near future. Well done to each winner.

WISH 2020 will take place virtually on 15-19 November. Registration to attend the summit for free is open via wish.org.qa. Follow this LINK to learn more about the 30 Innovation Award programme winners.