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Ferrer launches third edition of Ferrer 4 Future program

Barcelona, Spain, 17 June, 2021 – Ferrer, a privately-held Spanish pharmaceutical company who aims to make a positive impact in society, today announces its continued commitment to digital health with the third edition of its innovation program Ferrer 4 Future (F4F). The open innovation program aims to empower entrepreneurs and digital health businesses, to develop disruptive health solutions – using digital technology. Participating start-ups can propose digital healthcare solutions, using new technologies, against the latest challenges set by Ferrer, via an online platform.


The purpose of the F4F program is the co-development of technology-based healthcare solutions, between start-ups and Ferrer. The collaboration begins with a careful selection process of proposed solutions, against two challenges posed by Ferrer. Following an initial scoring process, the start-ups present and defend their solutions before the start-up advisory board, who then pick the winner. The winning start-up participates in the program, which includes the possibility of piloting the solution on a real life case study and holds the potential to explore commercial alliances and collaborations with Ferrer in the future. The collaboration agreements are customized – according to the nature and maturity of each project. The duration of the co-development varies between 3 and 18 months, during which time, access to Ferrer mentors and experts, combined with access to internal resources, is guaranteed, and speeds up the creation of the solution.


“Through this innovative program, we embrace the collaborative path to promote future projects with value, for patients and stakeholders alike within the healthcare system,” said Tatjana Naranda, Ferrer’s Chief R&D Officer. “We believe in the key role that digital health plays in the present and will play in the future when it comes to building a more efficient healthcare system – one that is accessible to all sectors of the population.”


Ferrer’s F4F 2021 program offers two challenges to participating start-ups:

  • Challenge 1: Is there a digital solution that may help screen people with mild cognitive impairment and distinguish if there is a pathological evolution in cognitive functions, to allow long-term monitoring of the disease and provide the appropriate treatment?
  • Challenge 2: Is there an easy-to-use digital solution to maximise independence in the daily tasks of patients living with mild cognitive impairment, through personalized cognitive or motor rehabilitation?


The challenges require patient-centric solutions which facilitate the daily activity of healthcare professionals who are supporting patients with neurological disorders, whilst in primary healthcare settings or specialized neurology clinics, as they care for people with mild cognitive impairment. The solutions should also provide the healthcare professionals with precise follow-up tools and features.


“The empowerment of patients and doctors with digital health tools to address some of the concerns around cost, equity and access to healthcare is aligned with the company’s vision and the purpose of Ferrer’s digital health department; to build a healthier society through digital technologies and contribute to the sustainability of healthcare systems”, added Gemma Estrada, Head of Digital Health in Ferrer.


Previous winners of the F4F program:


2019: Wellthy Therapeutics (Mumbai, India) and Ferrer co-developed a CE marked digital solution to support patients with a chronic complex clinical condition. The medical device software enhances patients’ autonomy in the management of the disease, provides both structured training and access to health coaches. Currently, the solution is being tested in a clinical study to measure its impact on clinical outcomes and the quality of life of patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.


2020: Portabiles Healthcare Technologies (Erlangen, Germany) and Ferrer share an interest for neurological disorders that involve gait disturbances and are working together in improving the monitoring and generation of objective parameters to enhance therapies that improve the quality of life for patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease.


Program: at a glance

  • 16/06/2021 Applications open
  • 29/09/2021 Application deadline
  • July-September 2021: If shortlisted, participants will deliver initial pitch
  • October-November 2021: If successful, participants are given the chance to present to expert panel, lasting one hour
  • Early 2022: Program initiation


Program benefits for the winner

  • Mentorship & training
  • Partnership
  • Access to resources
  • Investment


About Ferrer

Ferrer aims to make a positive impact in society. While our core business focuses on improving health and the quality of life, we are aware of our responsibility to the world around us, which is why we are strongly committed to social responsibility and environmental and economic sustainability. Founded in Barcelona in 1959, we are currently present in over a hundred countries and have a team of 1,830 people. Ferrer offers trusted and innovative solutions, primarily in the areas of the central nervous system, pulmonology, cardio-metabolism, pain, dermatology and self-care, with a specific focus on interstitial and vascular lung diseases and neurological disorders. Through our work, we aim to obtain sustainable growth, through a job well done and a responsible value chain.

Ferrer, for good.

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Last Updated: 17-Jun-2021