NHIC-AstraZeneca Open Innovation Collaboration

NHIC and AstraZeneca have established a first-of-its-kind collaboration that will provide Singapore’s clinical researchers with access to AstraZeneca’s drug compounds for use in new studies to improve the understanding of a range of diseases, with a view to developing more effective treatments. The partnership will support NHIC’s drive to stimulate healthcare innovation and translational clinical research in Singapore.

Clinical researchers will be able to submit research proposals to the NHIC, based on a curated list of AstraZeneca compounds. NHIC will judge the scientific quality and commercial potential of the applications and award funding through the Innovation to Develop (I2D) grant scheme.

The collaboration links the funding, expertise, resources and project management of AstraZeneca, NHIC and the successful research institution to provide a platform to explore novel disease pathways that would otherwise not be studied.

“We are seeking to collaborate with partners across all stages of drug discovery process – from the early idea through to early clinical development. These partnerships profit from the exchange of compounds, technology and/or knowledge to augment the research. For our partners and collaborators, working with AstraZeneca means access to optimized compounds, compound libraries, technologies, multi-disciplinary science, services and know-how, with the prospect of joint publications in high profile journals and, most importantly, the opportunity to see their ideas develop into treatments for patients.” AstraZeneca

Submission details

A 3 page NHIC I2D Pre-Proposal Application Form outlining the project (the novel approach, the development plan, any supporting data) and the specific AstraZeneca compound required. The compounds available under the scheme can be found here.

(Please note that a project outline proposing the screening of all compounds will not be competitive. For target screening, contact AstraZeneca directly through their portal).

Key areas of interest include cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology and neuroscience diseases.

NHIC I2D Pre-Proposal Applications must be endorsed, signed and submitted electronically by the Research/Innovation office of your respective Healthcare Cluster to the NHIC Grant Secretariat at grant@nhic.sg.

Following successful shortlisting, AstraZeneca will supply under confidentiality the accompanying information on the compounds to support the full application to NHIC.

Funding criteria

Funding is considered if the application satisfies the following criteria:

  • Novel approach targeting a new pathway/indication utilising an AstraZeneca compound;
  • Preliminary proof of-concept data in in vitro and/or in vivo research/laboratory models or other strong justification that the project has potential;
  • Detailed development plan highlighting future project work, milestones, endpoints.

Funding quantum

This category will provide a funding quantum capped at S$250,000 (inclusive of max. 20% indirect costs) awarded to the host institution (which will be responsible for reimbursing costs incurred by collaborating institutions and industry partners).

Funding Duration

The funding support is up to 12 months.


The Principal Investigator must hold a primary appointment in a public hospital/public health institution/national speciality centre/Academic Medical Centre/medical school in Singapore and be salaried by the institution. Project teams must contain strong clinical representation. All applications are judged on merit and eligibility is not limited to NMRC-funded research.

For any queries concerning eligibility, please contact the NHIC I2D Grant Secretariat at grant@nhic.sg.

 Terms and Conditions

For the Terms and Conditions governing NHIC grants, please see Terms and Conditions.

 Intellectual property

Intellectual property rights arising from projects using the compounds will be equitable and similar to those currently used in academically-led research. AstraZeneca will retain rights over the chemical composition of the compounds, which have taken millions of dollars to develop so far, and new research findings will be owned by the NHIC-funded host institution.

Transfer of the compound will be covered under a Material Transfer Agreement between AstraZeneca and the Host Institution. The reference template, used by AstraZeneca under its Open Innovation schemes with other institutions, is found here for review:

Grant Call

Closing dates for 2017 are:

  • 7th April 2017
  • 4th August 2017
  • 1st December 2017

(To find out more general information about the AstraZeneca Open Innovation scheme, please visit http://www.openinnovation.astrazeneca.com).