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The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) has opened applications for the 2022 cycle of its Innovation Award Program, an initiative supporting promising innovations that address the world’s most urgent healthcare challenges.

All early to mid-stage health-focused startups are eligible to apply, and innovators selected through a judging process will be invited to exhibit at the WISH 2022 international healthcare summit, set to take place later in the year  in Doha, Qatar.

The WISH Innovation Award Program comprises two categories; “Spark” for early-stage startups and “Booster” for established startups that are looking to scale. Out of the innovators selected as part of this year’s competition, one grand prize winner from the Spark category will be awarded USD 5,000, and one from the Booster category will be awarded USD 10,000.

Other benefits of the program include access to all the sessions at the WISH 2022 summit, and the opportunity to network with investors and global health leaders, policymakers, and the other innovators at the event. Additionally, innovators will be given the chance to be part of WISH’s media outreach activities for up to a year and participate in workshops and mentoring sessions on topics such as business modeling, gaining customer traction, and marketing. Finally, they will be given the opportunity to participate at the Web Summit 2022; one of the world’s largest annual technology conferences in Portugal.

Mahmoud El Achi, Head of Innovation, WISH, an initiative of Qatar Foundation, said: “In line with our vision to create a healthier world through global collaboration, our Innovation Award Program sets out pathways to promote local and regional partnerships and connect the innovators of tomorrow with the right people to grow their startups. The program empowers startups that share our dream of achieving an inclusive, accessible, and equitable healthcare system, through harnessing the power of innovation and digital technology.

“Investing in healthcare innovation is now more crucial than ever before. As a global society, we must ensure that healthcare systems are more resilient, accessible, and equitable. Such goals can only be achieved if healthcare entrepreneurs are given the right opportunities that enable the commercialization of novel products and services faster.”

Proposals can involve solutions addressing any area within the industry, including care delivery, disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and rehabilitation. The organizers are particularly keen to hear from innovators whose projects fit within the themes of the 2022 WISH Summit: disability, the legacy of COVID-19, sports and health, and wellbeing.

The WISH Innovation Award Program was launched in 2013 and has supported a total of 128 innovators from 25 different countries to date. Among those innovations supported are practical devices, design-based solutions, and integrated software applications, all aimed at making global healthcare more affordable, sustainable, and accessible.

Innovators are encouraged to apply via wish.org.qa/innovationaward . Applications are open until May 31, 2022, and the shortlisted projects will be announced on July 20, 2022.

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