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Review article: Biomedical intelligence

Vol. 145 No. 0506 (2015)

University – Industry collaborations: models, drivers and cultures

  • Dominic Ehrismann
  • Dhavalkumar Patel
DOI
https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2015.14086
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2015;145:w14086
Published
25.01.2015

Abstract

The way academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies have been approaching collaborations has changed significantly in recent years. A multitude of interaction models were tested and critical factors that drive successful collaborations have been proposed. Based on this experience the current consensus in the pharmaceutical industry is to pursue one of two strategies: an open innovation approach to source discoveries wherever they occur, or investing selectively into scientific partnerships that churn out inventions that can be translated from bench to bedside internally.

While these strategies may be intuitive, to form and build sustainable relationships between academia and large multinational healthcare enterprises is proving challenging. In this article we explore some of the more testing aspects of these collaborations, approaches that various industrial players have taken and provide our own views on the matter.

We found that understanding and respecting each other’s organisational culture and combining the intellectual and technological assets to answer big scientific questions accelerates and improves the quality of every collaboration. Upon discussing the prevailing cooperation models in the university – industry domain, we assert that science-driven collaborations where risks and rewards are shared equally without a commercial agenda in mind are the most impactful.

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