The Deans' Health and Life Sciences Challenge
Application (online) deadline: Sunday, March 3, 2013 (11:59 p.m.)
Harvard Office of Technology Development Funding Opportunity
Click here for complete information on this opportunity.
A message from the Deans:
Dear Members of the Harvard Community:
Delivering affordable health to the global population is among the world's most pressing problems. To make progress, we will need to work across boundaries, bringing together people, ideas, disciplines and perspectives from across the globe. We can think of no better place than Harvard to assemble the teams that will rise to this challenge.
We are pleased to announce the launch of the Deans' Health and Life Sciences Challenge, which will encourage students from across the University to find entrepreneurial solutions to the task of delivering affordable health. By leveraging the resources available through the Harvard i-lab-from educational programs to mentors-the Challenge will give students concerned about global health an opportunity to translate ideas into action.
We have identified four areas of focus for this Deans' Challenge:
Redesign of Health Delivery
The healthcare system is a highly evolved ecosystem that has developed over decades and is plagued by high costs and perverse incentives. We seek new ideas about how to deliver affordable health, not healthcare. Developing new ways to help patients understand and manage chronic conditions and deal with end-of-life decisions are key priorities.
At any point in time, an individual's health is affected by numerous factors including genetics, social and economic status, the effectiveness of the healthcare system, and behavior. Certainly, we need to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system, but that will not solve the problem. Without behavior modification, health will be compromised and healthcare costs uncontrollable. We need new ideas about personal incentives and ways to encourage healthy lifestyles, while discouraging certain behaviors that are detrimental to health.
Computation and Data Analysis in Therapy Discovery, Personalized Medicine and Public Health
The cost and effectiveness of existing drug discovery and delivery is deteriorating even as we understand more about genetics and biology. We have to discover and implement new ways to identify and deliver cost-effective therapies to individual patients and broader populations. Doing so will require new applications of computation and data science technologies, new regulatory ideas and new business models.
Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Recent advances in stem cell science offer great promise for enhancing our ability to understand human disease and aging, and to develop and deliver new therapies. We are interested in supporting promising new ideas and discoveries based on this evolving science.
To support the Deans' Challenge, there will be a series of programs including networking events, focused educational programs, and access to mentors from the worldwide Harvard Community. Teams will submit plans on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013, after which a panel of judges will select up to eight finalist teams. Each of those teams will receive $5,000 to help them develop their ideas and work with mentors. The finalist teams will participate in a "Demo Day" in mid-May. The winners will be announced in late May. A grand prize winner and up to three runners-up will share $75,000 to help them make their plans a reality. The grand prize team also will be awarded space and full access to the resources of the i-lab for the summer of 2013.
The Challenge, co-chaired by Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School, and Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Harvard Medical School draws on expertise in science from across the University. You can learn more about the resources, timeline and requirements on the pages linked above.
We believe that the Challenge will spur new ideas and new ways of enabling those ideas to reach the wider world. We are excited to follow the progress of the initiative and encourage you to get involved.
On behalf of the Deans and Provost of Harvard University, we thank you for your support, interest, and collaboration.
Dean of Harvard Business School
Chairman, i-lab Advisory Board
DR. JEFFREY S. FLIER
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
Harvard Medical School