Industry collaboration for innovation
Collaboration between business and research is important to achieving more innovation and leads to more commercialisations. Inven2 has made targeted efforts on industry collaboration for close to two years through a number of different projects.
Photo: Jannicke Kristoffersen, Inven2
Industrial collaboration is an important strategic approach for Inven2. By matching researchers from Oslo University Hospital and the University of Oslo with industrial partners, there will be more commercialization.
“Inven2 has a strong position in a broad network comprising both businesses and research communities. This means that our employees can build bridges between researchers and industry and lower the threshold for researchers initiating collaborations,” says Rødsten.
She is responsible for this initiative in Inven2.
Industry collaboration in Inven2 is wide-ranging and involves the whole organisation in various projects and activities, such as agreement competence, 1:1 meetings and partnering at international conferences.
“Inven2 is now well positioned to help researchers to get the industry collaborations they want,” says Rødsten.
Broad cooperation with the ecosystem
Inven2 is one of a number of players in Norway that works with industry collaboration. Projects and activities are therefore coordinated with the clusters Oslo Cancer Cluster, Norway HealthTech, the Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Norway (LMI) and various incubators.
More than two thirds of Inven2’s projects are in the fields of life science and medical technology, which is due to the strong life science communities at both the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital. The international biopharmaceutical industry in particular is playing a leading role in open innovation.
“This is the reason why much of our industry collaboration work is in the field of life science. An example is SPARK Norway, UiO:Life Science’s innovation programme. Here, Inven2 contributes expertise, project managers, projects from our portfolio and networks,” says Rødsten.
Safeguarding researchers’ interests
Over a number of years, Inven2 has developed important expertise on contracts entered into between academia and industry.
“Inven2’s strength in this respect is contract expertise, but also that we minimise bureaucracy in our organisation at the same time as being predictable. We can help to draw up agreements between researchers or research groups and industry where the researchers’ interests are safeguarded,” says Rødsten.
Inven2 also functions as an ambassador for good Norwegian research and is a shop window for both national and international partners.
Several of the staff at Inven2 also attend international partnering conferences throughout the year at which they pitch the projects in the company’s portfolio to representatives from different global companies.
One of these conferences is Nordic Life Science Days, held in Scandinavia each year, where Inven2 also participates at a joint Norwegian stand.
Meeting places and matchmaking
Inven2 cooperates on organising seminars and 1:1 meetings between researchers and the industry in Norway, such as the Matchmaking event held at the Cutting Edge festival.
“We find it important that this is a low-threshold service for researchers where they can meet industry contacts in central Oslo via arenas we have organised together with other parties,” says Rødsten.
“It is important that we contribute in the areas where we can be most useful, and direct contact between researchers and industry is an area where we can make a particular difference,” says Rødsten.
Here are some of the arenas for meetings between academia and industry that Inven2 has contributed to in 2018:
Partnering at ‘Partnership for Life’
Inven2 organised a partnering session during the Partnership for Life conference in February and facilitated more than 40 meetings between representatives of industry, academic and start-ups in the health industry.
This is the fifth time ‘Partnership for Life’ has been organised by the Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Norway (LMI), and attendees included AbbVie, Bayer, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and the Life Science Cluster.
“The global pharmaceutical companies bring international leaders to this conference. This provides a unique opportunity for the Norwegian community to network with decision-makers in these companies,” says Rødsten.
Matchmaking at Cutting Edge
For the second year running, Inven2 held a special ‘Matchmaking’ session at the Cutting Edge festival. Almost 95 1:1 meetings between researchers, mature companies and start-ups were held.