Investing to stimulate industrial collaborations
In 2016, Inven2 started work on a dedicated industrial collaboration strategy. Open innovation makes leading Norwegian research and technology communities attractive, both nationally and internationally.
‘There are two reasons why we wanted to facilitate more and closer collaboration between our research communities and the business sector,’ says Lise Rødsten, who was headhunted to Inven2 to lead this work.
‘Firstly, there is the trend towards open innovation, which means that both small and large companies no longer carry out all their product development internally, but actively seek partnerships with leading research and technology communities. Secondly, in a time when Norway is facing major restructuring, both politicians and our owners want to see more benefits being reaped from good research,’ says Rødsten.
Through its strategy work, Inven2 has identified collaboration between research and industry as the most important means of commercialising more ideas from research. It thereby has great potential for both licensing agreements and new business start-ups.
‘In addition, Inven2 has a strong position in a broad network comprising both businesses and research communities. This makes it easy for us to build bridges between researchers and industry and to lower the threshold for researchers initiating collaborations. In addition, we want to act as ambassadors who can sell good Norwegian research to both national and international partners,’ says Rødsten.
Starts with life science
More than two-thirds of Inven2’s projects are in the fields of life science and medical technology, and this is where Rødsten will be focusing her efforts in the time ahead.
‘There are strong life science communities at both the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital. The international biopharmaceutical industry in particular is also playing a leading role in open innovation. In addition, we have both strong clusters and incubators in the fields of health, aquaculture and energy, which enable us to benefit from strong collaborations that already exist between research and industry,’ says Rødsten.
In 2017, she will start contacting relevant research communities and organising partnering meetings – either exclusively between two parties or as satellites of established arenas. In addition, work is now under way on an online business portal that will make it easier for national and international companies to identify and get in contact with research and technology communities.
‘We want to learn from the successful international communities and see how we can implement best practice from, for example, Karolinska in Sweden and Louven in the Netherlands,’ says Rødsten, who urges interested research and industry players to get in touch.