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AstraZeneca and IBM collaborate in order to strengthen digital health expertise

AstraZeneca BioVentureHub

AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub has entered into a new collaboration with IBM Sweden.

The collaboration gives small and mid-sized companies connected to IBM Sweden or AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub access to each others’ open platforms for innovation. The collaboration aims to stimulate growth of small and mid-sized companies, to support knowledge exchange between life sciences and digital technology, and to strengthen digital health expertise.

Knowledge and expertise exchange between life sciences and digital technology

AstraZeneca is increasingly working with computer science, AI and machine learning technologies in order to advance a deeper understanding about diseases, increase R&D productivity and to provide patients with better medicines faster. With that goal in mind BioVentureHub wants to, together with IBM Sweden, facilitate knowledge and expertise exchange between life sciences and digital technology, states AstraZeneca.

“We are seeing more and more life science companies going digital and digital companies going life science; and there is often a lack of complementary skills and know-how. Our exciting collaboration with IBM will provide small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) and research groups with a unique, non-competitive, collaboration environment that can contribute with both pockets of expertise and foster breakthrough digital health solutions. Besides supporting growth strategies for Swedish SMEs, we also hope the collaboration will help attract international digital health companies to Sweden,” says Magnus Björsne, CEO, AstraZeneca BioVentureHub.

Digitalize business ideas

The collaboration means that BioVentureHub will become a selected partner to IBM’s “Startup with IBM” program. Companies at BioVentureHub will have the opportunity to receive support and guidance in how to digitalize business ideas, including up to 120 000 EUR each year in free credits. These credits may be used for hosting and development on IBM’s cloud platform as well as for getting access to digital services such as Watson, Blockchain, Watson IoT and security solutions. In a similar way technology focused SMEs connected to the IBM Business Parter program will get access to life science infrastructure and expertise through the BioVentureHub.

“We want to drive change through innovation and digital transformation. BioVentureHub plays an important role in enabling knowledge exchange and promoting growth in the Swedish ecosystem for life sciences. To be able to share our expertise and solutions within digital technology at an early stage gives us a unique opportunity to help SMEs on their journey within digital health,” says Ola Brogårdh, Head Digital Officer, IBM Nordic.

Improve the healthcare sector

AstraZeneca founded BioVentureHub in 2014 as an open ecosystem for innovation and with the goal to further strengthen competitiveness within the Nordic life science industry. At BioVentureHub biotech companies and academic groups from Sweden and abroad get access to AstraZeneca’s research resources and facilities. A competence/expertise shift becomes reality through a close collaboration with AstraZeneca and with each other. Today, there are 29 SMEs and one academic group at BioVentureHub.

“I am very pleased with this collaboration and its potential for science and for developing companies within life sciences and technology. AstraZeneca prioritizes digital health as part of our global strategy. An important part is collaborations with digital technology companies which can help us improve the healthcare sector with the overall goal of improving patient care,” says Cristina Duran, Chief Digital Health Officer R&D, AstraZeneca.

Photo: BioVentureHub