Novartis launches Innovation Prize to support the multiple sclerosis community


Applications are now open for The Novartis Innovation Prize: Assistive Tech for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which identifies and embraces technology that aims to improve mobility and daily life for people living with MS and other mobility-limiting disabilities.

Launched in partnership with WIRED Brand Lab, alongside other collaborators such as and Techstars, the Prize invites innovators, design experts, entrepreneurs and engineers from a wide variety of disciplines to showcase pioneering ideas, while sparking a broader conversation about the future of accessibility technology.

The winner will showcase their pioneering design at SXSW and receive $250,000USD, with the runner-up to receive $50,000.

John Tsai, Head of Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis, said the initiative recognises the potential of assistive technology and aims to further investment and conversation surrounding it.

“Every day, patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) face difficult and unique mobility challenges that can make regular activities such as walking, speaking, and living out comfortable lives extremely difficult,” Mr Tsai said.

“Novartis is deeply invested in this community, and it is our hope that through this Innovation Prize, we can help reimagine care for people living with MS by encouraging new technologies addressing some of the challenges faced by those living with MS and their loved ones.”

MS is a chronic disorder of the central nervous system which disrupts the normal functioning of the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord through inflammation and tissue loss.

Richard Tew, General Manager of Novartis Pharamceuticals Australia and New Zealand said the illness affects around 2.3 million people worldwide and an estimated 25,600 Australians.

“Novartis are committed to reimagining the everyday lives of people affected by MS,” he continued.

“We are excited to see how the Novartis Innovation Prize will spark new ideas and conversations across Australia to help address the challenges faced by the MS community and others living with mobility-limiting conditions.”

The applications will be accepted until January 10, 2020 at 17:00 ET and the winners will be announced at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas on March 13, 2020.

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