As aging populations put a strain on cash-strapped governments, chronic illness and rare disease prevention is taking centre stage in healthcare. To meet new levels of demand, the sector is ramping up its innovative capacity through collaborations. But harnessing the disruptive potential of these partnerships is still very much a work in progress, according to participants of the INSEAD Healthcare Alumni Summit in Zurich in October this year.

Collaborations are widely seen by the sector as crucial to raise extra finance amid a credit crunch, share risk, boost research productivity, discover new therapies – and ultimately to reinvent the way healthcare is delivered. So large and small pharma companies, hospitals, pharmacy chains, venture capital firms, IT consultants, and academia are forming an array of partnerships.