Fast Forward, Merck’s innovation office, challenges to design Artificial Intelligence AI-based solutions to improve cancer care

Merck, the science and technology company, through its new innovation office “Fast Forward”, invites startups and innovative teams to develop AI technologies that facilitate the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of cancer to facilitate the daily work of healthcare professionals and caregivers and improve the well-being of patients with this disease.

Fast Forward was born with the goal of harnessing internal and external talent and accelerating the process of generating ideas to find sustainable solutions that improve people’s lives. “We are convinced that Artificial Intelligence has great potential to accelerate and simplify the care processes of people with cancer. That is why, at Merck, we are firmly committed to constant innovation that allows us to explore new technological avenues and solutions that improve the world in which we live,” explains Montse Jansà, director of Merck‘s Oncology Unit in Spain.

The number of new cancer cases will continue to increase over the next two decades. According to data from the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), it is estimated that the figure will rise to 29.5 million in 2040[1]. To address this reality, Merck will make its experience, knowledge and resources available to the selected projects so that proposals with the potential to cover unmet needs in the area of oncology materialize as soon as possible.

In the words of Alejandro Expósito, Director of Innovation at Merck in Spain, “Fast Forward reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation. With this collaborative project, we want to leverage the existing talent in our society to accelerate quantum leaps and develop solutions that respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow. Together we can turn great ideas into sustainable realities that have a positive impact on our environment”.

The startups and teams participating in the first Fast Forward challenge must present projects that are sustainable for the healthcare system, both economically and in terms of maintenance; scalable, so that they can be easily adapted to different healthcare organizations; and useful for healthcare professionals, among other criteria.

All European companies already incorporated can apply for this first call until April 8, 2021 at 13h CET here