Search for content, post, videos
Advertisement

Umeå event gathered the life science industry to drive innovations

On February 27th the Open up for Innovation event brought together over a 100 representatives from the academia from Umeå University and industry players from both local and national sectors.

The event was organized by Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI), Coalition Umeå 4 Life Science and the Innovation Office at Umeå University.

“We have world-class research being conducted at Umeå University and internationally successful companies based in town. Now we’re gathering 100 bright minds under one roof to stimulate innovation,” said Andreas Lindberg and Lisandro Bernardo, business coaches at UBI and initiators of the event.

The idea for ‘Open up for Innovation’ was born while Andreas Lindberg listened to Professor Chas Bountra speaking at the University of Oxford in England. He explained that it is relatively common in the USA to switch careers between academia and the life science industry, allowing knowledge to be quickly transformed into valuable innovations.

The life science research at the university is filled with interdisciplinary collaborations, while the life science industry in Umeå is characterized by its generous ‘pay-it-forward’ culture.”

“We have all the tools and opportunities in Umeå to create the same climate. The life science research at the university is filled with interdisciplinary collaborations, while the life science industry in Umeå is characterized by its generous ‘pay-it-forward’ culture. Now we want to open up the dialogue between academia and the city’s life science industry even further,” said Andreas.

 

Andreas Lindberg and Lisandro Bernardo, business coaches at UBI and initiators of the event.

 

Fruitful collaborations

The event aimed to stimulate new and more collaboration and innovation between academia and the industry. The event, which included pitches, panel debates and networking, showcased the offerings and interests for collaboration from both sides. Throughout the day, academia and industry shared their needs and aspirations for future partnerships, reported UBI.

We already have a plan how to follow up, we are planning for an autumn meeting and of course, a new Open up for Innovation event in 2025.”

“We hope we ignited a spark for new collaborations, but it’s not only the event day that is beneficial. In the preparations we’ve spoken to a lot of researchers and PI:s at the university and leading players in the industry. These conversations broaden our network and knowledge and raises question to our counterparts to start thinking more in terms of collaborations. We already have a plan how to follow up, we are planning for an autumn meeting and of course, a new Open up for Innovation event in 2025,” said Andreas Lindberg and Lisandro Bernardo after the event.

 

Charlotta Sundin, Industrial Doctor School, Johan Nordlund, IP- and Innovation lawyer Umeå University, Emil Byström, SpinChem, Gabriella Persson, Vakona, Magnus Wolf Watz, Professor Dept. Chemistry, and Paul Kingham, CAMP, in the panel debate. Photo: UBI

 

Voices from Open up for Innovation

”It was an inspiring day about how to increase collaboration between industry and academia. Many of the things that SwedenBIO sees as crucial, like more industrial PhD students, are already happening at Umeå University with the Industrial Doctoral School as a good example. I hope this inspires more universities to arrange similar events,” said Jessica Martinsson, CEO SwedenBIO.

This really inspired us to find new collaborations.”

”We got valuable insights on the infrastructures available at the university. We do have some collaborations with universities already, but today we learned more about the possibilities, and this really inspired us to find new collaborations,” said Malin Walfridsson, Head of R&D at Nordic Biomarker.

It’s clear that academia in Umeå is doing great things with the Industrial Doctoral School, but we could expand it further.”

“It was exciting to see the companies that demonstrated good initiatives and collaborations with academia, and how they worked with research groups at various institutions. It’s clear that academia in Umeå is doing great things with the Industrial Doctoral School, but we could expand it further. Some Master’s programs have translational elements, and entrepreneurship, IP, and such issues could be incorporated into more programs and definitely for PhD students,” said Fredrik Almqvist, Professor, Dept. Chemistry and Director of Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).

 

Jessica Martinsson, CEO of SwedenBIO, and Fredrik Almqvist, Director of UCMR at Umeå University. Photo: UBI

 

An annual event

The idea is that ‘Open up for Innovation’, which is a part of UBI’s regional development project ‘Life Science City’, will become an annual event. It is being organized together with the Innovation Office at Umeå University and Coalition Umeå 4 Life Science (CU4LS) – a network for life science academic centers and research infrastructure in Umeå.

Featured photo: Open up for Innovation showcased the academia through eight research pitches, focusing on research and the research infrastructure available at Umeå University and Region Västerbotten. Photo: UBI

Source: UBI