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Whitespace, Pfizer UK and IBM to launch Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Histopathology Tech Innovation Challenge

Whitespace, the innovation engineering studio, has today announced the launch of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Histopathology Tech Innovation Challenge. Whitespace, in partnership with IBM, is seeking a new generation of AI solutions from across EMEA to help Pfizer Healthcare Hub:London address the challenge of bringing histopathology innovations to healthcare services and accelerate digital pathology development.

Currently, much of the analysis and reporting in pathology laboratories is being performed manually. This can be an expensive, labour-intensive and time-consuming process for healthcare organisations. The development of an AI/Machine Learning (ML) Vision solution could be a potential approach in addressing such issues.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Histopathology Tech Innovation Challenge invites fast growth technology start-ups and SMEs to help develop an AI solution that can streamline processes, identify specimens and effectively assist histopathologists in reviewing and reporting individual cases. The developed technology may even have the potential capability to be used for future training and quality assessments of histopathology services.

Applicants are given the opportunity to access IBM tools and support to create their prototypes, such as IBM Watson, Cloud object, file and structured databases, development tools, code patterns and of course IBM Cloud Platform. The successful applicants will be selected by Pfizer and IBM in November to collaborate with Pfizer on developing a proof of concept for NHS engagement in 2021.

“As a well-recognised global biopharmaceutical brand, Pfizer is able to provide expertise to engage and collaborate with various sectors of the healthcare industry in the UK,” says Dr. Hamish Graham, Pfizer Healthcare Hub:London Manager. “By combining IBM’s support for SMEs and their technology expertise with Whitespace’s knowledge of innovation engineering, we are well-positioned to take on this exciting challenge. Our goal is to find high potential technology companies with relevant experience in digital pathology and histology, or that have a background in developing ML Vision technology for healthcare and related industries, that want to work with pathologists to help address such challenges in the UK. The successful applicants will be given the opportunity to showcase their product to the NHS and associated data hubs.”

Deborah Threadgold, Vice President Next Generation Ecosystem, EMEA at IBM, adds: “IBM is passionate about supporting collaboration amongst technology providers.  We have seen time and again that there is no challenge too great if we combine the right capabilities and technology from partners across the ecosystem. We are proud to be working with Whitespace and Pfizer on this Tech Innovation Challenge and look forward to a new breed of advancements in AI in the UK Healthcare industry from those who take up the challenge.”

Andrew Webber, Chief Marketing Officer at Whitespace, concludes: “As is becoming increasingly the case in this day and age, ambitious and high growth technology companies have a crucial role to play in collaborating with corporates to support technological innovation. It is extremely encouraging that Pfizer and IBM share this vision as global leaders in healthcare and technology.”

For more information about this challenge, please visit:

About Whitespace 

Whitespace builds innovation for companies. We do this by creating innovative technology, innovation programmes and innovation communities. We draw on our extensive team’s expertise but also the expertise and insights we have learnt from our innovation community of over 200 companies and nearly 1000 innovation leaders from across the World. For more information, visit

About Pfizer

Pfizer: Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. In the UK, Pfizer has its business headquarters in Surrey and is a major supplier of medicines to the NHS. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at or follow us on Twitter (@Pfizer_UK), Facebook (@PfizerUK) and Instagram (@pfizeruk). Please find the Pfizer privacy policy here.

About IBM

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