What is an Innovation Academy?

The W21C Innovation Academy is a fast-paced scientific and business pitch competition. Participants showcase their novel and creative strategies that have the potential to stimulate significant change related to innovations in health care and health systems delivery.

The W21C Innovation Academy at the University of Calgary is an international partnership event with current sites Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the University of Geneva in Switzerland and St. Mike’s Hospital in Toronto. The winners from each of these Innovation Academies will be sent to compete at the third Global Healthcare Innovation Academy to take place August 29-30, 2018 in Hong Kong.

Previous Innovation Academies

The idea for the first Innovation Academy originated from the 2011 International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control in Geneva, Switzerland. The original Innovation Academy was used to promote innovations in the practice of infection control and prevention of antimicrobial resistance. The event was a resounding success and helped network local innovators with industry to commercialize the products presented and bring them into the health care setting.

In 2013, W21C hosted its first W21C Innovation Academy. The top three winners were invited to compete at the inaugural World Innovation Day in Geneva, Switzerland on Aug 28-29, 2014 against competitors from an international network of innovation competitions in Hong Kong, Pretoria and Geneva. The Calgary teams took first, third and fourth place in the World Innovation Day competition.

The second W21C Innovation Academy took place on September 24, 2015 at MacEwan Hall, University of Calgary and saw 11 health care innovations compete for three spots at the Global Healthcare Innovation Academy. The global competition took place in Calgary, Alberta on August 25-26, 2016 where LifeVest from Toronto, Ontario took top prize.

The international network of partner sites are currently in the process of hosting their own local innovation events throughout 2017, where the top teams will compete at the 2018 Global Healthcare Innovation Academy in Hong Kong scheduled for August 29th – 30th.

Check out what our 2013 competitors have been up to since the first W21C Innovation Academy and 2014 global competition in Geneva.