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The opportunity to pitch to global health leaders, networking, investment opportunities and various prizes will be on offer at the WISH 2024 summit

4 March 2024. Doha, Qatar: Web Summit Qatar 2024 provided the stage for the announcement of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) 2024 Innovation Competition. Hosted at the Qatar Research Development and Innovation Council pavilion, the WISH session, “Innovating in Health: Pathways to Success”, updated delegates on how they could apply to take part in WISH 2024 and the benefits of doing so.

The panel discussion featured presentations from WISH 2022 grand prize winner Katarina Hedbeck, CEO and co-founder of a startup called “Tada Group”, alongside Professor Mahmood Adil, Ministerial Advisor at the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar, who highlighted the role of the government and other key partners in building a healthcare innovation ecosystem for the uptake and dissemination of innovation in Qatar. Sultana Afdhal, CEO of WISH – a member of Qatar Foundation – completed the lineup.

The competition will be open to visionary entrepreneurs and early to mid-stage health-focused startups and innovators wishing to showcase groundbreaking solutions that address the world’s most urgent healthcare challenges. Winners selected through a judging process will be invited to exhibit at the prestigious WISH 2024 international healthcare summit, set to take place 13-14 November in Doha, Qatar, at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

Setting out her own journey, Hedbeck said: “Tada Group is passionate about providing innovative solutions to unmet health needs. We were therefore delighted to showcase our ReLink medical device at WISH 2022. ReLink tackles the challenge of accidental disconnection of IV (intravenous) therapy, providing greater safety and better outcomes for users. The platform provided by the WISH Booster competition has given us invaluable exposure, and I would urge anyone looking to promote their own startups to take part.”

In addition to an invitation to showcase their innovations ​at ​WISH 2024​,​​ ​which ​will ​bring together healthcare providers, ministers, insurers, investors, and industry experts, winners will receive an investment award. Key companion benefits of the program include networking opportunities with ​like-minded​ startups, health experts, investors, and local incubation cent​res​; and access to ​sessions with ​industry experts to learn about marketing, social media, presenting, and pitching to investors.

Setting out the positive role played by governments globally, Professor Adil remarked: “As policy makers, regulators, and commissioners of healthcare services for our populations, it is vital that we encourage the continued exploration and adoption of innovative ideas to address today’s health challenges. The platform provided by WISH is an excellent way of bringing health innovators, commissioners and policy makers together. We all strive towards shortening the innovation cycle and bringing life changing opportunities to communities.”

Speaking ahead of the session, Afdhal said: “WISH is delighted to announce this year’s Innovation Competition at the inaugural Web Summit Qatar. With its globally renowned focus on groundbreaking solutions, as well as connecting innovators from across the world, it represents the perfect launch pad.  We hope that once again, the WISH Innovation competition serves as a catalyst for startups across the globe to bring their innovative ideas to the very people and organizations who can transform them into scalable and transformative solutions.

The WISH Innovation Award Program was launched in 2013 and has supported a total of 148 innovators from 36 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 register their interest via www.wish.org.qa/innovation-competition-2024/  Applications will open shortly, with the deadline being 30 May 2024. Shortlisted projects will be announced in July/August 2024.

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