AstraZeneca and the Royal Academy of Engineering have announced a new partnership to establish connections between African healthcare innovators and AstraZeneca’s A.Catalyst Network. The partnership seeks to drive the development of engineering solutions that have the potential to address local challenges with a focus on health tech.

As part of its commitment to building international partnerships and solving global challenges, in 2014 the Academy founded the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. The annual award grants crucial commercialization support to ambitious innovators across sub-Saharan Africa. To date, over 100 innovators are part of the Africa Prize alumni network.

AstraZeneca’s A.Catalyst Network brings together digital, R&D and commercial resources to reimagine the future of healthcare. The network works with partners to co-create solutions and establish integrated and strong health systems that benefit the whole patient experience. By connecting Africa Prize entrepreneurs to A.Catalyst Network, as well as the AstraZeneca supply chain and wider ecosystem, the AstraZeneca-Academy partnership hopes to further strengthen the work of both organizations to nurture local talent and strengthen healthcare innovation.

As part of the collaboration, AstraZeneca will join the Prize’s network of mentors to offer training support for Africa Prize entrepreneurs. This will give them access to tailored expertise and experience to help them develop their projects. AstraZeneca will also take part in a webinar series for the Africa Prize alumni network and current cohort, sharing knowledge and insights on health tech and other subjects.

Commenting on the partnership, Aleksandr Bedenkov, VP Medical International at AstraZeneca said, “We want to offer entrepreneurs in emerging markets like Africa the same kind of platform and opportunities that their counterparts in other countries would benefit from. A.Catalyst Network offers exciting opportunities for health tech entrepreneurs to connect and collaborate with a truly global network of expertise and experience, helping to accelerate innovation and ensure that more patients can get access to the latest health tech solutions.”