German multinational chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences company, Bayer, has announced that applications are now open to local digital health startups for its Grants4Apps programme.

Grants4Apps is an open innovation framework where Bayer aims to collaborate with innovative digital health startups and connect them with industry experts. The programme will offer startups an opportunity to become part of an economically inclusive market where innovation is not only encouraged but appreciated as a catalyst for expanding both economic and social growth.

The Grants4App platform has been operational for a number of years and since inception, it has borne over 3,000 ideas found in approximately 60 countries. Currently, there are over 10 projects running between Grants4Apps startups and Bayer functions.

“With innovation at the heart of Bayer, we fully appreciate the role that open innovation can play in the healthcare environment. This is particularly important in the African context where the challenges in healthcare differ to the rest of the world,” said Head of Communication for Bayer in Southern Africa, Tasniem Patel.

“Grants4Apps also represents a unique opportunity for South African innovators to take their work to the next level with the support of Bayer. We are looking for start-ups beyond the ideation phase in developing health technology or IT solutions that can connect and empower patients or healthcare stakeholders,” continued Patel.

Applications are now open for intrepid self-starters with highly innovative digital health solutions. Interested applicants can now apply for either the Accelerator and Dealmaker programmes:

Accelerator Programme 2017

The Grants4Apps Accelerator is a mentoring programme for digital health startups which will be taking place in Berlin. This year up to five startups will be hosted in Berlin with the programme running from September until November 2017.

Entry into the programme offers health startups an opportunity to get mentoring by entrepreneurs and Bayer experts, office space for 100 days, and funding of €50,000. Accelerator is open until 31 May 2017 for early stage startups.

Dealmaker Programme 2017

This programme calls for all mature teams, startups and companies that have a solution that is ready to go and could close a possible deal. Applications to Dealmaker will stay open until 30 June 2017.

“More than just another meaningless initiative, Grants4Apps is a clear opportunity and commitment to anchor our conversations in a territory which drives debate, involvement and meaning – providing scientific answers that are intended to help improve people’s lives,” said Patel.

“There is real excitement about the new opportunities that this year’s programme will create for the successful startups. We have been encouraged by the responses received in previous calls for applications and would like to encourage all the innovative health startups in South Africa to visit to take advantage of this opportunity as they stand a chance to have their work showcased on a global scale,” concluded Patel.

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