Plenty of businesses met their new partners. Photo by Luis Alvarez/Getty

Earlier in August, participants from around the globe gathered online for HealthTech Beyond Borders, a virtual summit hosted by ProChile that's designed to match American and Chilean businesses looking to explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector.

During the four-day event, registrants sat in on more than 65 meetings — or an average of 2.5 meetings per hour — that tackled such topics as "Why Chile? Exploring Chilean Medical Innovations," "Dynamic Growth for Healthcare Innovators/Innovations (Venture Capital)," and "Harnessing Healthcare's Regional Resources: Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia."

"I was really impressed by the quality of groups and speakers for this event," says Torrey Adams, senior director of global life sciences at Greater Houston Partnership. "It was a very well put together with excellent networking and connecting opportunities. I gained a much better insight on the possibilities of collaborating with Chilean companies."

There were 37 registrants from Texas, which also contributed such strategic partners as Houston Methodist Hospital, the City of Houston, Houston Exponential, The Cannon, Greater Houston Partnership, MediaTech Ventures, Central Houston Inc., and InnovationMap (hello!).

A total of 35 Chilean companies participated, with such heavy-hitters as Cens (the national center for healthcare systems), ChileTech (a health providers association), Apis (medical devices), and CNL (the national labs board) joining the roster.

"It was a pleasure to moderate the HealthTech Beyond Borders session," says José F. Núñez, vice president of global development at Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services. "It is forums like these that foster the exchange of ideas and bring together individuals and organizations to further promote innovation in the health sciences space. Kudos to ProChile, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia for the resources they provide to entrepreneurs in facilitating these connections."

Though it's impossible to know the actual numbers — ProChile isn't privy to private negotiations — a survey taken by the attending companies estimates that $1 million in immediate business will be done as a direct result of the event. In the next 12 months, that figure is estimated to jump up to $2.9 million.

"We created an inclusive 'village' of innovation where entrepreneurs and startups from around the world come to solve humankind's boldest challenges," says Robert Pieroni, director of economic development for Central Houston, Inc. "Events like ProChile's HeathTech Beyond Borders demonstrate how the world is responding to what Houston has built. With Downtown Launchpad, TMC Innovation, the Ion, and others, we are clearly becoming a global center of gravity to inspire innovation and support entrepreneurship."

Find your next global match. Photo by Tone Fotografia/Getty

Final call for virtual global healthtech summit — and it's free to attend

Get Your Tickets

It's nearly time: The online international summit HealthTech Beyond Borders is about to explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector. A special focus on medical and healthcare developments and opportunities in Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia is the highlight this year's event.

The basics
HealthTech Beyond Borders is sponsored by ProChile and runs August 10-13, with four days of virtual programming. You can reserve your spot for free here.

The topics
A curated group of successful Chilean and U.S. healthtech companies are participating, including those that specialize in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, medical robotics, gene therapies, nanomedicine, neurotechnology, eye care tech, telehealth, imaging diagnostics, wellness and fitness, mental health, and more.

The summits
There are three summits on the docket., each beginning at 9:55 am Central. Day one's focus is "Why Chile? Exploring Chilean Medical Inventions," while day two will cover "Dynamic Growth for Healthcare Innovators/Innovations." Day three's focus is "Harnessing Healthcare's Regional Resources: Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia."

The speakers
Panelists include Matias Gutierrez, CEO of Genosur LLC; Alberto Rodríguez Navarro from Levita Magnetics, and such Chilean organizations as Asocciación de Clínicas, Asociación de Proveedores de la Industria de la Salud, Associación Nano Cámara Nacional de Laboratorios, ChileTec, Cobre, and Hospital Fundación Lopez Perez.

From the United States, presenting organizations include MEDIATECH Ventures, Houston Methodist, MATTER Health, the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, City of Houston, City of Philadelphia, Greater Houston Partnership, The Cannon, World Business Chicago, and Widener University Small Business Development Council.

The stats
A whopping 13 percent of Chile's startups are healthcare related (according to the Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation Ministry of Chile) and the growth rate of robotic surgeries done in Chile between 2010 and 2018 increased by 674 percent.

An estimated 93.7 percent of the Chilean population is covered by health insurance, and the county has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America.

Likewise, the United States is the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices, representing over 25 percent of the total Chilean exports in the sector.

The Free Trade Agreement of 2004 and the Duty-Free status between the two countries also make Chile an attractive and reliable trade partner. So much so, that the U.S. is the No. 1 investor in Chile, with $22 billion invested in projects in the last 7 years.

You won't want to miss this virtual gathering — RSVP for free here.

Connect globally without ever leaving the States. Photo by Leo Patrizi/Getty

It's almost time for the free global healthtech event you won't want to miss

Reserve Your Spot

Imagine a gathering of such healthtech heavy-hitters as Genosur, Levita, MEDIATECH Ventures, Houston Methodist, and MATTER Health, all in one (virtual) room.

Now imagine hearing not only from these companies, but from a dozen more representing both America and Chile in a four-day online event, held August 10-13 that's free to attend.

HealthTech Beyond Borders, sponsored by ProChile, helps facilitate matchmaking opportunities between medical and healthcare organizations from both countries. Not only can they learn from one another, but hopefully these meetings will set the stage for future global collaborations.

The international summit will also explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector. A special focus on medical and healthcare developments and opportunities in Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia is the highlight this year's event.

"We are proud to produce this event and bring so many innovative and leading healthcare organizations and associations together," says Sylas Bailey-Kelly, Chilean Trade Commissioner US Midwest. "Medical and healthcare innovation is an area where Chile and the United States can excel and continue to collaborate to benefit citizens in both countries, and around the world."

As the top investor in Chile, with $22 billion devoted to Chilean projects in the last seven years, the United States is the largest stakeholder in Chilean business developments and the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices.

Likewise, an estimated 93.7 percent of the population in Chile is covered by health insurance, and the country has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America. Chile currently spends nearly 9.14 percent of its GDP on health as compared to the United States, where we only spend 13 percent on healthcare.

Some helpful logistics about the event: Its matchmaking platform allows participants to customize meeting times to fit their own schedules. Attendees can pick and choose which days and times they want to attend and can have one-to-one meetings (25 minutes per meeting) with Chilean participants from research centers, universities, hospitals, healthcare solution providers, and other key Chilean institutions.

The schedule for panel discussions will be posted in advance of the meeting. Presentations on partnering with Chile and the economic opportunities available, along with conversations on geographic hot spots in the U.S. and access to capital, will also be topics highlighted throughout the event.

A more detailed list of the participants includes Chilean organizations Asocciación de Clínicas, Asociación de Proveedores de la Industria de la Salud, Associación Nano Cámara Nacional de Laboratorios, ChileTec, Cobre, and Hospital Fundación Lopez Perez. From the United States, presenting organizations include the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, City of Houston, City of Philadelphia, Greater Houston Partnership, The Cannon, World Business Chicago, and Widener University Small Business Development Council.

If your company develops and sells healthcare products and services, medical devices, and equipment, or is a hospital supply manufacturer, you should attend this unique event.

Registration for HealthTech Beyond Borders is free — reserve your spot now.

Connect globally for free. Photo by AJ Watt/Getty

Get a glimpse at the schedule and speakers for global healthtech event

Itinerary Time

HealthTech Beyond Borders is coming up August 10-13, 2021, where American healthtech companies can find their perfect match with Chilean collaborators. But what exactly can you expect from the free, virtual event?

Besides answering the question "why Chile?," the seminars will touch on everything from software solutions and medical facility management to healthcare products and services, and even venture capital opportunities.

A curated group of successful Chilean and U.S. healthtech companies are participating, including those that specialize in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, medical robotics, gene therapies, nanomedicine, neurotechnology, eye care tech, telehealth, imaging diagnostics, wellness and fitness, mental health, and more.

The first day includes such panelists as Matias Gutierrez, CEO of Genosur LLC, and Alberto Rodríguez Navarro from Levita Magnetics.

A discussion on the current healthcare innovation ecosystem in Chile and the region's strengths, as well as developments for key sub-sectors are also on tap.

Day two kicks off with everything you'd want to know about venture capital, and why the U.S. has been the largest for Chilean startups.

Find answers to questions like what do early stage companies need to consider and what steps do they need to take to best prepare themselves to receive funding, as well as what are the important tools for companies to reach VC on each territory?

Day three examines the question "Why the U.S.?" What have Houston, Chicago, and Philadelphia done to become key healthcare hubs in the world, and what role do international partners play in these efforts? Representatives from each city are participating.

Likewise, why do international healthcare companies prioritize your respective markets, and how do these cities support expansion? Learn how the global U.S. private healthcare sector can reach Latin America, and how ProChile — the event's sponsor — can help make these connections.

Registration is now open, so get your free tickets here.

Great collaboration doesn't abide by borders. Photo by Blue Images/Getty

Free virtual event helps healthtech companies go global

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

In the growing healthtech sector, two is better than one — two partners, that is. If you've ever been curious what collaborating with an international company would be like, HealthTech Beyond Borders can provide answers.

The free virtual event, sponsored by ProChile and set for August 10-13, 2021, was created to offer matchmaking opportunities and set the scene for global collaborations focused on innovative medical technology between companies from Chile and the United States.

A curated group of successful Chilean and U.S. healthtech companies are participating, including those that specialize in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, medical robotics, gene therapies, nanomedicine, neurotechnology, eye care tech, telehealth, imaging diagnostics, wellness and fitness, mental health, and more.

You can explore everything from software solutions and medical facility management to healthcare products and services, and even venture capital opportunities.

And if you're wondering "why Chile?" there are some pretty compelling stats.

A whopping 13 percent of Chile's startups are healthcare related (according to the Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation Ministry of Chile) and the growth rate of robotic surgeries done in Chile between 2010 and 2018 increased by 674 percent.

An estimated 93.7 percent of the Chilean population is covered by health insurance, and the county has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America.

Likewise, the United States is the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices, representing over 25 percent of the total Chilean exports in the sector.

The Free Trade Agreement of 2004 and the Duty-Free status between the two countries also make Chile an attractive and reliable trade partner. So much so, that the U.S. is the No. 1 investor in Chile, with $22 billion invested in projects in the last 7 years.

And with Houston being home to the largest hospital center in the world — Texas Medical Center, which served 13 million patients in 2020 — it only makes sense that healthtech companies here would be looking for ways to improve and expand. Reserve your free spot for the event here.

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Texas nonprofit grants $68.5M to Houston organizations for recruitment, research

Three prominent institutions in Houston will be able to snag a trio of high-profile cancer researchers thanks to $12 million in new funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

The biggest recruitment award — $6 million — went to the University of Texas MD Anderson Center to lure researcher Xiling Shen away from the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation in Los Angeles.

Shen is chief scientific officer at the nonprofit Terasaki Institute. His lab there studies precision medicine, including treatments for cancer, from a “systems biology perspective.”

He also is co-founder and former CEO of Xilis, a Durham, North Carolina-based oncology therapy startup that raised $70 million in series A funding in 2021. Before joining the institute in 2021, the Stanford University graduate was an associate professor at Duke University in Durham.

Shen and Xilis aren’t strangers to MD Anderson.

In 2023, MD Anderson said it planned to use Xilis’ propriety MicroOrganoSphere (MOS) technology for development of novel cancer therapies.

“Our research suggests the MOS platform has the potential to offer new capabilities and to improve the efficiency of developing innovative drugs and cell therapies over current … models, which we hope will bring medicines to patients more quickly,” Shen said in an MD Anderson news release.

Here are the two other Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) awards that will bring noted cancer researchers to Houston:

  • $4 million to attract David Sarlah to Rice University from the University of Illinois, where he is an associate professor of chemistry. Sarlah’s work includes applying the principles of chemistry to creation of new cancer therapies.
  • $2 million to lure Vishnu Dileep to the Baylor College of Medicine from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is a postdoctoral fellow. His work includes the study of cancer genomes.

CPRIT also handed out more than $56.5 million in grants and awards to seven institutions in the Houston area. Here’s the rundown:

  • MD Anderson Cancer Center — Nearly $25.6 million
  • Baylor College of Medicine — Nearly $11.5 million
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston — More than $6 million
  • Rice University — $4 million
  • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston — More than $3.5 million
  • Methodist Hospital Research Institute — More than $3.3 million
  • University of Houston — $1.4 million

Dr. Pavan Reddy, a CPRIT scholar who is a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine and director of its Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Care Center, says the CPRIT funding “will help our investigators take chances and explore bold ideas to make innovative discoveries.”

The Houston-area funding was part of nearly $99 million in grants and awards that CPRIT recently approved.

Houston space company's lunar lander touches down on the moon in historic mission

touchdown

A private lander on Thursday made the first U.S. touchdown on the moon in more than 50 years, but managed just a weak signal back until flight controllers scrambled to gain better contact.

Despite the spotty communication, Intuitive Machines, the company that built and managed the craft, confirmed that it had landed upright. But it did not provide additional details, including whether the lander had reached its intended destination near the moon’s south pole. The company ended its live webcast soon after identifying a lone, weak signal from the lander.

“What we can confirm, without a doubt, is our equipment is on the surface of the moon,” mission director Tim Crain reported as tension built in the company’s Houston control center.

Added Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus: “I know this was a nail-biter, but we are on the surface and we are transmitting. Welcome to the moon.”

Data was finally starting to stream in, according to a company announcement two hours after touchdown.

The landing put the U.S. back on the surface for the first time since NASA’s famed Apollo moonwalkers.

Intuitive Machines also became the first private business to pull off a lunar landing, a feat achieved by only five countries. Another U.S. company, Astrobotic Technology, gave it a shot last month, but never made it to the moon, and the lander crashed back to Earth. Both companies are part of a NASA-supported program to kick-start the lunar economy.

Astrobotic was among the first to relay congratulations. “An incredible achievement. We can’t wait to join you on the lunar surface in the near future,” the company said via X, formerly Twitter.

Intuitive Machines “aced the landing of a lifetime,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson tweeted.

The final few hours before touchdown were loaded with extra stress when the lander's laser navigation system failed. The company's flight control team had to press an experimental NASA laser system into action, with the lander taking an extra lap around the moon to allow time for the last-minute switch.

With this change finally in place, Odysseus descended from a moon-skimming orbit and guided itself toward the surface, aiming for a relatively flat spot among all the cliffs and craters near the south pole.

As the designated touchdown time came and went, controllers at the company's command center anxiously awaited a signal from the spacecraft some 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) away. After close to 15 minutes, the company announced it had received a weak signal from the lander.

Launched last week, the six-footed carbon fiber and titanium lander — towering 14 feet (4.3 meters) — carried six experiments for NASA. The space agency gave the company $118 million to build and fly the lander, part of its effort to commercialize lunar deliveries ahead of the planned return of astronauts in a few years.

Intuitive Machines' entry is the latest in a series of landing attempts by countries and private outfits looking to explore the moon and, if possible, capitalize on it. Japan scored a lunar landing last month, joining earlier triumphs by Russia, U.S., China and India.

The U.S. bowed out of the lunar landscape in 1972 after NASA's Apollo program put 12 astronauts on the surface. Astrobotic of Pittsburgh gave it a shot last month, but was derailed by a fuel leak that resulted in the lander plunging back through Earth's atmosphere and burning up.

Intuitive Machines’ target was 186 miles (300 kilometers) shy of the south pole, around 80 degrees latitude and closer to the pole than any other spacecraft has come. The site is relatively flat, but surrounded by boulders, hills, cliffs and craters that could hold frozen water, a big part of the allure. The lander was programmed to pick, in real time, the safest spot near the so-called Malapert A crater.

The solar-powered lander was intended to operate for a week, until the long lunar night.

Besides NASA’s tech and navigation experiments, Intuitive Machines sold space on the lander to Columbia Sportswear to fly its newest insulating jacket fabric; sculptor Jeff Koons for 125 mini moon figurines; and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for a set of cameras to capture pictures of the descending lander.