Research, health and innovation: from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan the guidelines for the Italy of tomorrow

The first edition of the international accelerator dedicated to Healthcare and Biotech is coming to a close with the Summit held in Rome at the presence of Government officials, corporates and startups.

The piloting phase of the Health&BioTech Accelerator which has seen 6 national and international startups work side by side with Deloitte Officine Innovazione and the program’s Corporate Partners to develop and launch 5 pilot projects, will reach its conclusion in July. The acceleration program, coordinated by Deloitte Officine Innovazione can count on the collaboration of corporate partners such as MSD Italy and Intesa Sanpaolo RBM Salute, alongside some prominent private hospital groups like Gruppo San Donato.

Rome, July 19, 2021 – Today in Rome took place the Health&BioTech Accelerator Summit, the closing event for the first edition of the Accelerator dedicated to the world of healthcare and biotechnology. The event, organized by Deloitte Italy, MSD Italy and Intesa Sanpaolo RBM Salute revolved around one key topic: “Research, health and innovation: from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) the guidelines for the Italy of tomorrow” and saw the participation of Government officials, of the Accelerator’s Corporate Partners and of the 6 startups that have been selected in the first edition of the Health&BioTech Accelerator (Cardiolyse, ECG247, Kither Biotech, MicroMesh, Vaxxit, Wearable Robotics).

In particular, after the opening remarks by Fabio Pompei, CEO Deloitte Central Mediterranean, the event’s stage hosted prominent public figures such as Senator Maria Domenica Castellone (Member of the Commission for Hygiene and Health), Mattia Mor (Member of the Commission for Economic Activities, Chamber of Deputies), Luigi Nicolais (Research Policy Advisor at the Ministry of University and Research), Ettore Rosato (Vicepresident of the Chamber of Deputies), Giovanni Tria (Economic Advisor of the Ministry of Economic Development), Nicoletta Luppi (President and CEO, MSD Italia), Marco Vecchietti (CEO and General Director, Intesa Sanpaolo RBM Salute), together with numerous other speakers from the world of private healthcare (such as Gruppo San Donato), research (such as the Italian Institute of Technology), university (such as the University of Milan) and finance (such as Panakés Partners).

Throughout the day the discussion touched many important topics for the world of healthcare and for Italy such as Open Innovation and innovative care models, now even more interesting in light of recent events and of the opportunities presented by the PNRR, all within the Health&BioTech Accelerator’s framework, the largest Open Innovation Program in Italy dedicated to healthcare and biotech. The Accelerator, which started on December 10th 2020, is supported not only by the Corporate Partners MSD Italia and Intesa Sanpaolo RBM Salute, but also by the clinical partners Humanitas and Santagostino, by the Italian Institute of Technology, the University of Milan and IFOM as scientific partners, by the supporting partner Life Science District and by Smau, Digital Innovation Days,, Makinglife and InnovUp as ecosystem partners; while Panakés Partners, Digital Magics and Italian Angels for Growth are supporting the program as investment partners.

During its first edition, the program saw the participation of over 350 startups from 36 countries around the world. An in-depth process based on 3 selection gates made it possible to choose the 6 startups that gained access to the piloting phase, the real focus of the Accelerator.

In fact, a distinctive feature of the Deloitte Officine Innovazione accelerators is the design and implementation of pilot projects shared between the Corporate Partners of the program and the startups selected by them, with the support of the entire ecosystem of Accelerator partners. These projects – that can range from the pilot roll-out of innovative devices on patients to strategic support programs for the development of biotech drugs – represent a unique opportunity for both startups, which interact in a structured and goal-oriented way with large companies with a real chance to expand their business, and for corporate partners, who can directly assess the solidity of the innovative solutions and the teams behind them.

The selected startups are the result of a careful process of scouting and analysis, which involved over 350 startups and scale-up candidates. We have dedicated a particular effort to identifying those solutions with the best features and business potential to bring quality innovation to the market, while responding to the main challenges of two of the most promising and active sectors when it comes to innovation: Healthcare and Biotech”, says Francesco Iervolino, Partner of Deloitte Officine Innovazione. “We are very satisfied with the startups we have identified and the 5 pilot projects we have built together with the Corporate Partners, all with the precise aim of making innovation real across the whole value chain“.

Another added value is precisely the distinctive feature of the Health&BioTech Accelerator of being a multi-partner program that encompasses all the value chain, which can therefore facilitate the creation of focus groups and discussions between different players within the same industry around concrete technologies and solutions, comparing different points of view thus identifying the most promising technologies more effectively and also unlocking the possibility of designing multi-partner projects that would have been more difficult to generate in other contexts.

The pandemic has brought about a moment of transformation for the industry. We have witnessed a stark acceleration of some macro-trends, which in turn set in motion a strong push towards innovation, and which we will all have to keep increasingly in mind in the future: rethinking the workplace, accelerating digitization, setting up commercial models tailored to the customer, develop collaborations and innovative clinical trials, shorten drug development and review times. It will therefore be crucial to act within an ecosystem with other partners and create new collaborations and partnerships“, adds Valeria Brambilla, Life Sciences & Health Care Industry Leader at Deloitte.

The first edition of the Health&BioTech Accelerator will officially end in July, but the Accelerator will return after the summer with a new edition.

These are the 5 pilot projects presented at the event directly from the selected startups and developed with the support of Deloitte Officine Innovazione.

Cardiolyse – ECG247. Project that involves two international startups, Cardiolyse, a Finnish startup that has developed a cloud data analytics platform for remote monitoring in the cardiac field and ECG247, a Norwegian startup that has patented the “ECG247 Smart Heart Sensor”, an innovative wireless device for remote cardiac monitoring. The two startups are working together with one of the largest Italian hospital groups to test an innovative combination of their technologies, creating a new model for cardiac remote monitoring.

Kither Biotech. During the acceleration period, Kither Biotech, a preclinical biopharmaceutical startup that develops new therapies for rare lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis, worked with the continuous support of the MSD Italia team on some areas of strategic interest for the startup. In particular, within the program, the startup received support in identifying the best approach to regulatory agencies and in identifying the right strategy for the design of phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials.

MicroMesh. MicroMesh, a research project of the Italian Institute of Technology which is developing a polymeric plant for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), has focused within the acceleration program on product optimization, on the definition of the best strategic approach to clinical trial and on the structuring of a preliminary business plan. During the course, MicroMesh had the opportunity to interact with the MSD Italia team, and with experts from the San Donato Group who provided strategic and targeted support to the startup.

Vaxxit. The startup Vaxxit, an Italian biopharmaceutical company that develops vaccines against HIV, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and M. Tuberculosis, worked during the project weeks alongside the MSD Italia team on some areas of particular importance for its growth, such as optimization of the preclinical experimental path, the sizing of the patient population and the identification of the best clinical strategies to reduce the time-to-market.

Wearable Robotics. A project involving Intesa Sanpaolo RBM Salute alongside Wearable Robotics, an Italian spin-off startup of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa which has developed an innovative robotic exoskeleton for post-stroke neuro-rehabilitation. The project focuses on the creation of a new insurance coverage for these cutting-edge treatments, to be provided through a network of partner healthcare facilities selected within the Accelerator.