Innovation Award Header Image

Vesalius Innovation Award

by Karger Publishers

"From the third time on, it's tradition!"- True to this principle, Karger Publishers is pleased to invite innovative companies with a focus on Open Science and Health Sciences to participate in the 3rd Vesalius Innovation Award in 2022 once again.

Eponym Surgeon Andreas Vesalius not only revolutionized anatomy when he published De Humanis Corporis Fabrica in 1543. His work also took typography and illustration to a new level, laying the foundation for an entirely new view of the human body for many generations to come.

Fast forward to 2022, Health Sciences publishing is ready for a new revolution. The movement towards Open Research and the increased use of digital technologies in healthcare fundamentally change the way researchers, doctors, and patients create and consume knowledge.

For the further development of the award, this year the focus for participating startups will be expanded to include "Open Science", which further reflects the innovative spirit of Andreas Vesalius.

Do you have what it takes to spark the revolution?

Rewards and Prizes


1st Runner-Up

USD 5,000


USD 15,000

2nd Runner-Up

USD 5,000



USD 15,000

1st Runner-Up

USD 5,000

2nd Runner-Up

USD 5,000


We are looking for early stage startups with a focus on Open Science and Health Sciences.


Early Stage

Health Sciences

Open Science

Award Journey

Find out about every step from applying to winning.
Submit Pitch
Fill out the application form and submit your startup's pitch deck until 11 September 2022. Five startups will be nominated by Karger and the jury for the subsequent stages.
Get Mentoring & Support
Beginning from November you will be participating in the mentoring and knowledge program.
Attend Final Pitch
In December the nominated startups will be offered the opportunity to pitch at an international event in Central Europe.

Application Closed


A big thank you to all the startups that applied for the Vesalius Innovation Award by Karger Publishers.
Our Advisory Board is currently looking at all the applications we have received.
The participants will be informed about the board's decision as soon as it has been taken.

Did you miss the deadline for submitting your application?
if you would like us to alert you personally as soon as the next round is opened for applications.




Who is it that is going to assess and mentor you and who is finally going to choose the winner of this year's Vesalius Innovation Award by Karger Publishers? Find the jury and mentors listed below.

Jury Dan Atar

Professor Dr. med., Dan Atar
Professor of Cardiology and Head of Research, Dept. of Medicine, Oslo University Hospital

"Innovation is the dynamic mindset that is driving the medical field forward and into spearheading new technologies. The Vesalius Innovation Award is an important platform to feature potential breakthrough developments for future pathways of innovative success."

Portrait Jignesh Bhate

Jignesh Bhate
Founder & CEO, Molecular Connections

"Innovation fuels and drives growth of any company. Even at 3000 people, MC’s has a start-up mindset - bubbling with fresh and sometime radical ideas pioneering thought leadership. We believe innovation fuels growth and helps maintain leadership. Through the Vesalius Innovation Award, we would like to encourage innovative start-ups which has potential to make economic and environmental impact."

Jury Stephanie Dawson

Stephanie Dawson
ScienceOpen CEO

"The satisfaction of seeing our ideas take shape and become reality has been my biggest motivation. Each new user, customer or funder is an affirmation of that vision. I am honoured to be part of the Vesalius Innovation Award to support start-ups in that process from idea to product."

Jury Phill Jones

Dr Phill Jones
Co-founder, Digital and Technology, MoreBrains Cooperative

"I've spent much of my career at the intersection of scholarly communication and innovation. As a former physicist and biomedical researcher, I'm very aware of the power of information technology to both disrupt the status quo in health sciences, improve practice and ultimately save lives."

Jury Gabriella Karger

Gabriella Karger
Chairwoman & Publisher, Karger

"For my passion on innovation I would like to quote Albert Einstein: 'We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them'. And for the support of the Vesalius Innovation Award, another quote of Albert Einstein fits: 'The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence'."

Jury Miki Olshansky

Miki Olshansky
CEO, Elgan Pharma, Ltd

"Innovation leads to better lives and opportunities, when we explore, research and share our insights, true progress can come. The Vesalius Innovation Award entices such progress and motivates collaboration of knowledge and science."

Jury Oliver Renn

Dr. Oliver Renn
Head Chemistry | Biology | Pharmacy Information Center, ETH Zurich

"I enjoy and value creativity - the prerequisite for any innovation. And I particularly acknowledge innovations that bring true value, solutions that make work and life easier. Thus, I am pleased to support the Vesalius Innovation Award, supporting startups that provide answers to confirmed needs through digital technologies."

Jury Eefke Smit

Eefke Smit
International Association of STM Publishers, Director of Standards and Technology

"Digital environments in research and academia provide fertile grounds for innovation that helps to accelerate research. In Health Science the acceleration of new cures, new medicine saves lifes. I welcome the establishment of this Vesalius Innovation Award whole-heartedly. With a background of more than 30 years in innovation and digital publishing, I hope to make a useful contribution in the selection of a deserved winner."



  • "We at Nested Knowledge are honored to receive the first place of the VIA award. We see publishers as key to our vision of making scientific communication dynamic and engaging and value Karger Publishers' support in bringing our solution to the scientific community."

    Keith and Kevin Kallmes - Founders of Nested Knowledge

  • "The organisation was flawless, friendly and effective. We received relevant feedback in preparation for each step and were offered the opportunity to further interactions if needed. I had a great time with the VIA!"

    Francesco Mazzotta - CCO and co-founder Pilloxa

  • "I would highly recommend that any life science startup enters the Vesalius Innovation Award. CiteAb entered in 2021 and we found the process very straightforward and we received excellent support from the Karger team. The chance to pitch to the expert judges was really valuable and the recognition we received and contacts we made have had a lasting positive impact on our business."

    Andrew Chalmers - CEO CiteAB

    Sponsors & Partners

    Karger Publishers thanks its sponsors and partners for the many generous contributions for the Vesalius Innovation Award.


    Molecular Connections Logo


    STM Logo


    We thank the following foundation for the generous donation to support Open Science in Health Sciences.

    Velux Stiftung Logo



    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

    Award Team Silvan Haefeli

    Silvan Haefeli
    Award Team Michael Schaefer

    Michael Schäfer



    Who can take part?

    Early-stage startups with a focus on publishing and Health Sciences. The startup should not be older than five years. The company does not necessarily have to be already registered but this should be in planning. The team must include at least one person aged 18 or older.

    How to apply?

    For the first application you will need to fill out the application form and upload a pitch deck. The pitch deck should be in PDF format and we recommended that you include 10-15 slides. The startups are expected to take part in the award ceremony and a digital live pitching event.

    Who is responsible for the selection?

    The selection of the five leading startups will be done by a team of selected and experienced Karger employees and the jury members. The final decision will be made by the jury.

    What is the focus of the award?

    As a publisher, we are dedicated to serving the information needs of the scientific community, clinicians and patients, following the "Cycle of Knowledge". If you can place your startup within this cycle - go ahead.


    Will there be media coverage?

    Yes of course! We will be very active on social media and various media channels. And we are planning follow-up stories about the winners.

    What will happen with my data and how will it be processed?

    Data received will be used exclusively for processing the award. Access will only be granted to selected Karger employees and members of the jury. We will not forward your data to third parties without formal permission.

    When and how will I be notified if I'm one of the "Best Five"?

    We will notify the winning companies by post, email or phone in November.

    Does the current corona situation influence the award?

    The current situation will not have an affect on the digital live pitching event but could have an influence on the award ceremony. The organisation team will observe the circumstances and will organize the event accordingly. We can ensure that we will take every applicant needs in account and are going to update the participants on a regular basis.

    It is possible that the award ceremony will be held online without personal contact. But we are optimistic that the situation will have improved by autumn..

    Will travel expenses be covered?

    Karger intends to support the startups to attend the final event. Up to what extent will be decided on an individual basis. Mentoring and support will be provided mainly in a digital format.

    Am I supposed to sign any documents?

    Upon application, you are required to accept our Terms and Conditions. If selected as one of the best five startups, you may be required to sign further documents.

    Where can I find the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy?

    You will find the information about our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy on our website.

    What kind of mentoring will be provided? By whom?

    Mentoring will be provided by selected Mentors and Karger employees. As each startup faces different challenges, we will adapt mentoring to meet your needs.

    Does Karger invest in or partner up with startups?

    Yes we do. Check out Karger's innovation page and contact us directly: .



    VIA 2021

    Find all information about the award ceremony of the Vesalius Innovation Award 2021.
    Get to know our five finalists and the winners and check out the pitching events and the award ceremonies from this year.

    Winner & Runners-Up


    Nested Knowledge is the winner of this year's Vesalius Innovation Award by Karger Publishers.
    The systematic review startup managed to beat off competition from other innovative business ideas in the Health Sciences publishing sector.
    The runner-up prize is being awarded to two startup companies: CiteAb and Pilloxa.



    USD 5,000

    Nested Knowledge

    USD 15,000


    USD 5,000


    Nested Knowledge

    USD 15,000


    USD 5,000


    USD 5,000

    Live Pitches of Our Finalists

    Appsens Logo
    Appsens is a medical technology company behind the innovative and wireless heart monitoring device ECG247.
    CiteAb Logo
    CiteAb is a life science data provider that helps researchers and their suppliers make more informed decisions.
    Nested Knowledge Logo
    Nested Knowledge is transforming the process and impact of systematic reviews and meta analyses through a web-based collaborative software which automatically generates interactive data visualizations.
    Pilloxa Logo
    Pilloxa provides a tech, regulatory, and legal platform to create living mobile applications to engage with and learn from patients.
    Sorcero Logo
    Sorcero’s language intelligence platform delivers the next generation of AI-powered analytics for understanding scientific and medical content at scale.

    VIA 2020

    Find all information about the award ceremony of the Vesalius Innovation Award 2020.
    Get to know our five finalists and the winners and check out the pitching events and the award ceremonies from this year.

    Winner & Runners-Up


    Magma Learning is young, sparking with innovations, and the winner of this year's Vesalius Innovation Award by Karger Publishers.
    The E-Learning startup managed to beat off competition from other innovative business ideas in the Health Sciences publishing sector.
    The runner-up prize is being awarded to two startup companies: Scholarcy and Scite.



    USD 5,000

    Magma Learning

    USD 15,000


    USD 5,000


    Magma Learning

    USD 15,000


    USD 5,000


    USD 5,000

    Award Ceremony

    Live Pitches of Our Finalists

    4D Interactive Anatomy
    4D Interactive Anatomy combines the advantages of digital tools with real cadaver dissections. Tilt, rotate, and dissect specimens online, captured layer-by-layer with our novel, proprietary scanning technology. The platform is easy-to-use. Simply log in from your browser on any device - no software download needed. Simultaneous access for hundreds of students is set up in a few seconds. If you are looking for an alternative to the dissection lab or an online extension to it - we have the solution for you. Due to the pandemic, it is even more vital now to get online anatomy education right.”

    Magma Learning

    MAGMA Learning’s mission is to enhance the way we create and integrate knowledge thanks to our personal AI tutor, ARI 9000. Given any scientific book or article, ARI summarizes its content automatically and generates a series of relevant questions, using cutting-edge natural language processing. ARI then empowers readers to consolidate their knowledge efficiently by personalizing the learning process to their knowledge levels, interests, and memory abilities. Learning progress can be visualized and provides useful information to authors and editors to improve the quality of their contents.”

    “When it comes to health, nothing is more valuable than time. That's why we created MediFind, the world’s most advanced platform for helping people living with health conditions - from the very rare to the most widespread - find better care, faster. MediFind is the first platform in the world to integrate health information from dozens of disparate medical datasets then make that information understandable to patients. Using our proprietary (and patented) algorithms and our team of medical experts, we translate this information so patients and their families can more easily understand it and take effective action. And we are freely available to any patient, caregiver, or family - no walled gardens here. The result: better care, faster, for everyone.”


    Scholarcy is a UK based technology company applying machine learning to extract structured data and knowledge summaries from scholarly content. Researchers use Scholarcy to identify and verify the key findings and sources from research papers. Publishers and aggregators use the Scholarcy API to create rich metadata from documents in any format and to support the publishing process, from manuscript screening to review, publication, and promotion. University communications teams use Scholarcy to generate lay summaries from complex articles to promote their research output.“


    scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and evaluate scientific articles through Smart Citations. Smart Citations allow users to see how a scientific paper has been cited by providing the context of the citation and a classification describing whether it provides supporting or disputing evidence for the cited claim.”

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