Log in   

Login to your account

CDR Blog

Official blog of CDR at University of Helsinki

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login

Open Innovation as a driver of Industry-Academia partnership

Posted by on in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 722
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print
I recently attended the World Open Innovation Forum 2013 in Amsterdam, organized by Fleming Europe. The event was attended by senior executives, business leaders, university administrators, and more. The topic of the conference was the increasing use of open innovation (OI) business models in the pharmaceutical industry.
There were a number of very interesting presentations from both sides of the industry-academia partnership business model. It was possible to summarize a few key points. First, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries have now embraced (mostly) the OI business model. Most have platforms in place to capitalize on more open partnership models. Most of the speakers from industry pointed to the main benefits of OI, from their point of view. These include: sharing the risk (and the reward) in developing novel drug targets, leveraging the expertise of thought leaders from academia, and quickly developing new programs in interesting therapeutic areas. Some of the drawbacks of the OI model are that: it is difficult or nearly impossible to measure the success or failure of these OI initiatives, there are sometimes contentious issues with regard to IP and ownership, and the clash of cultures between industry and academia can challenge even the best intentioned public-private partnership.
The speakers also had similar views on best practices for developing and maintaining productive public-private partnerships. First. it is important that an organization have support for OI initiatives from the very top. Unless organisations buy into the benefits of OI, the OI initiatives can be difficult or impossible to sustain. Second, both partners (industry and academia) need to know what they want out of the partnership; and, they need to develop a framework to address needs of both stakeholders. Third, both parties should be realistic and flexible. There is no one-size-fits-all template for OI - every industry-academia partnership is different. At the same time, universities need to be aware of the realities of the needs of industry, and vice versa.
Perhaps the most important take-home message is that these partnerships need to be nurtured and developed - they don’t simply happen, and they can wither from inattention and poor management. At CDR, we appreciate this message, and we are acting on it. My main role is to help industrial partners to understand what we and the Faculty of Pharmacy (and the University of Helsinki more broadly) can offer them in terms of partnership. Then, to help develop and nurture innovative partnerships that do form - with needs of BOTH industrial and academic partners in mind.
Last modified on

Paul Bromann received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 1999 (Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA) and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Washington University Medical School (Saint Louis, MO, USA) and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (San Diego, CA, USA). Dr. Bromann has extensive experience in protein engineering and also has several years of project management experience in academia as well as in industry. He served as Senior Scientist and Project Manager at NexBio, Inc./Ansun BioPharma (San Diego, CA, USA), where he led and managed a multi-disciplinary group project to develop a recombinant protein therapeutic, Sepcidin, to treat viral and inflammatory diseases. He also served as Research Scientist/Project Manager at VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland. At VTT, Dr. Bromann internally managed a large EU project called Metaexplore, and led efforts to develop state-of-the-art metagenomics techniques for discovering and commercially exploiting novel enzymes for industrial applications. As part of the CDR’s commitment to developing novel biological and natural product drug discovery and pharmaceutical nanotechnology tools, Dr. Bromann serves as Research Manager for the CDR. He provides support to the Director in the development and management activities of the CDR including: promoting and coordinating collaboration with domestic and international industry, academia, and government agencies; and, the facilitation of patenting and technology transfer of CDR innovations.


  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Thursday, 23 July 2015

From the Director

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

Recent Activities