Machine learning summer school in healthcare and biosciences

19th July - 28th July 2020

Zurich, Switzerland


What is Bumblekite?

Bumblekite is four’s 10-days long machine learning summer school in biosciences and healthcare. 

The goal of the school is to bridge the skills gap that currently exists in this interdisciplinary area. This will be achieved through:

  • lectures,

  • tutorials in which the participants will gain operational and technical skills,

  • 1-on-1 project-specific coaching sessions,

  • project-based work,

  • evening debates and Q&A sessions with the field leaders.

What does it mean “to bridge the skills gap”?

For us at four and our partners, bridging the gap does not mean (merely) teaching engineers biology concepts and healthcare professionals coding.

In addition to the technical expertise and domain knowledge, there is a vast range of equally important operational skills we believe are crucial to making positive contributions to this field: writing, teaching, project management and strategy development, among others. 

Algorithms and data do not exist in a vacuum — in healthcare and biosciences we would argue more so than almost anywhere else; they directly touch human lives in an exceptionally intimate manner and need to be embedded in existing complex systems with great care and thoughtfulness. 

Think about what is needed to deploy a machine-learning model in a hospital: what kind of policy and regulation would you need to write to enable access to healthcare data,  how would you create an operational plan for algorithm deployment, what kind of training would medical professionals need to use it, how would the algorithm deployment affect the rest of the hospital operations… 

These questions are interwoven with the technical ones: what data to choose and how to clean it up, how to make the data infrastructure on which the algorithm lies scalable and maintainable, how to ensure the algorithm is fair, unbiased and interpretable....

Together they make up four’s skills stack. 

What is a bumblekite?

Bumblekite is an 18th century English nickname for a blackberry. 

We named the school as such because we see every skill acquired at school, technical and operational, as a drupelet (or as we internally called it “the little blackberry” until finding the correct term), which brought together with other skills, makes for a delicious blackberry. 


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At Fondation Botnar we recognize the role AI and digital technology is already playing in delivering benefits for population health but know there is still critical work to be done to ensure that technology is developed and deployed responsibly. We are proud to support Bumblekite to bring diverse talent and leadership into technology and solution design, as well as promote more inclusive policies through their interdisciplinary approach.

Stefan Germann, CEO, Fondation Botnar