The Sanofi iDEA (innovations in Data Exploration & Analytics) Awards initiative provides seed funding to top research centers across North America to help solve some of R&D’s biggest challenges in drug design and clinical development. Collaborating with experts in data science and analysis enables us to leverage cutting-edge innovations to support smarter decision-making that adds value to our pipeline.

Launched in 2018, the iDEA Awards initiative provides competitive, 1-year seed-funding to award recipients. Currently, there are ten projects completed (2018-2019 & 2019-2020 cycles) and five projects ongoing (2020-2021 cycle). The award recipients for the current cycle are:

  • Tal Arbel, PhD & Doug Arnold, MD, McGill University, in partnership with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and International Progressive MS Alliance
  • Manisha Desai, PhD, Stanford Medicine
  • Christopher Forrest, MD, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Research Institute & PEDSnet
  • Dina Katabi, PhD, Emerald
  • Fei Wang, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Jennifer Wilson, PhD, Stanford University

For a complete list of current and past award recipients, click here.

Funding opportunities include developing and testing cutting edge approaches to design better therapeutics, predict and follow disease trajectory and drug performance, enrich clinical trials with the right patients, and establish objective clinical outcome measures.

Funded investigators come from research centers across North America, where innovation in data science for health improvement is at the forefront and constantly evolving. Investigators bring a breadth of experience across the disease areas of interest to Sanofi and applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) modalities, which is further strengthened through internal cross-functional support and access to internal priority project resources. In addition to testing new data sources and linkages through these partnerships, we can provide funded investigators access to Sanofi data sources.

The iDEA Awards initiative represents the first multi-institutional partnership for Sanofi to de-risk new AI tools and leverage new data sources for application to Sanofi projects. Selected projects receive seed-funding of up to $150,000 for one year.  In addition to funding projects, the initiative can lead to larger strategic partnerships, like our cross-sector engagement with the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Continued investments in public-private partnerships like the iDEA awards, position us to explore new AI tools and technologies, accelerate our learnings, and bring new solutions to our projects while also strengthening our expert networks and relationships.

To see how Sanofi partners with research centers and start-ups through the iDEA Awards, click here.