Boston, 7 October 2020: The Pistoia Alliance, a global, not-for-profit alliance that works to lower barriers to innovation in life science and healthcare R&D, today launched its new Innovation Seed Fund to finance early stage concepts in biopharma and healthcare. It aims to fund three to four new projects per year into research, prototypes, and proof of concepts (POC), lowering the risks of innovation for all stakeholders, while accelerating pre-competitive collaboration in R&D.


“The Innovation Seed Fund enables us to help organizations bring together the skills and funding they need to start new initiatives in healthcare and biopharma R&D regardless of their size, lowering the risks for the whole industry,” commented Dr. Steve Arlington, President of the Pistoia Alliance. “This is a great opportunity for us to support companies and patient-led groups exploring new ideas and will give Pistoia Alliance members visibility of unique and interesting initiatives. By enabling more POCs to be created from early stage ideas we hope it will allow many to reach the point where they can go on to gain venture capital investment or further momentum within our community. Currently, countless great ideas never reach fruition as innovators don’t have the initial funds to develop a POC.”


The Innovation Seed Fund will concentrate on ideas that align with one or more of its strategic areas of focus, including: empowering patients, emerging science and technology, R&D productivity and data standards and regulatory. The Pistoia Alliance Innovation Seed Fund has already received a number of innovative proposals that help patients gain more control over their healthcare journeys. Innovations such as new ways of conducting clinical trials are in demand by industry and patients alike; for example initiatives like wearable devices for clinical trials; connecting patients directly to clinical trials and the pharmaceutical industry as a whole; diagnostics in the home, and telemedicine aids. Projects such as these highlight the importance and value of the Alliance’s connected ecosystem of biopharma and healthcare members.


“The Innovation Seed Fund is to help advance ideas, develop strong business cases, and drive wider membership engagement into these projects,” commented Kathy Gibson, Innovation and Investment Advisor at Pistoia Alliance. “In this digital age there are so many opportunities to enhance the patient experience, this fund helps to make these initiatives feasible, lowering the risk and costs for individual businesses. On average, a quarter of startups fail in the first year, the Alliance is dedicated to preventing this from happening to innovations that can empower patients and improve healthcare and biopharma for all.”


The Pistoia Alliance has a great track record of helping innovative startups through its President’s Challenge. In the past four years, 20 finalists have gone on to raise more than $45 million in funding and employ over 200 people in the life sciences industry. To find out more about the fund or to pitch your idea please contact Kathy Gibson via


About The Pistoia Alliance:

The Pistoia Alliance is a global, not-for-profit members’ organization made up of life science companies, technology and service providers, publishers, and academic groups working to lower barriers to innovation in life science and healthcare R&D. It was conceived in 2007 and incorporated in 2009 by representatives of AstraZeneca, GSK, Novartis and Pfizer who met at a conference in Pistoia, Italy. Its projects transform R&D through pre-competitive collaboration. It overcomes common R&D obstacles by identifying the root causes, developing standards and best practices, sharing pre-competitive data and knowledge, and implementing technology pilots. There are currently over 150 member companies; members collaborate on projects that generate significant value for the worldwide life sciences R&D community, using The Pistoia Alliance’s proven framework for open innovation.

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