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Open innovation for advance in Life science research

What is open innovation?

Open innovation has been increasingly heard over recent years but what does it exactly mean? According to books by Professor Henry Chesbrough ‘Open Innovation: the New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology’ released in 2003 and ‘Open Business Models: How To Thrive In The New Innovation Landscape’ released in 2006, ‘it is a paradigm that suggests that companies should use external as well as their own ideas for advancing technology and also should use external paths as well as their own paths when marketing products’. Also it is explained as ‘companies that are making use of external ideas and technologies, while allowing unused ideas to be used externally’.

An example of open innovation, Procter & Gamble (P&G), a global consumer goods maker, has set up a dedicated site for a ‘Connect + development’ programme where users can post ideas that meet the company’s needs. P&G has adopted the idea of open innovation from early on, with the proportion of innovation generated from external collaboration already exceeding 50%, and it is said that R&D productivity rose by approximately 60% through this programme as of 2005.

Open innovation has advanced global pharmaceutical companies

How are pharmaceutical companies’ efforts on open innovation now? Investigation of the websites’ of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in terms of their sales in 2017 is shown below; open innovation seems to be an essential method for all the companies. However, the companies are not all equally eager in terms of open innovation; there are companies that do not reveal their needs unless you make an enquiry, and there are other companies that not only clearly show their needs but also offer systems that allow users to post proposals.

Company name Outline of open innovation as seen on each company website
Roche Roche shows the area of interest for the pharmaceutical and diagnostic categories, respectively, and promotes partnership with external institutions that have promising ideas.
Pfizer Pfizer implements the ‘Compound Transfer Programme’ providing external institutions its compounds. It also calls for the ‘Investigator-Initiated Research’ programme to support research funds for research proposals. In addition, its Japanese subsidiary site introduces open innovation programmes such as the ‘External Science & Innovation’ and the ‘Japan Open Innovation Network (JOIN)’.
Novartis Novartis displays the kind of platform technology that is required for each disease area and promotes partnership with external institutions that have promising ideas. It also provides bioinformatic tools as the ‘Open Source Science’.
Merck(MSD) Merck (MSD) implemented the ‘Merck Innovation Network’ programme to propose ideas to meet the company’s needs. It also calls for the ‘Merck Investigator Studies Programme’ to support the company’s products and research funds for research proposals that can be applied for online. In addition, its Japanese subsidiary site implements the ‘MSD Health Tech’ programme to support start-up companies.
Sanofi Sanofi shows its area of interest in the ‘Partnering brochures’ and promotes partnerships with external institutions with promising ideas. In the ‘Open Innovation Access Platform (OIAP)’, the compounds possessed by the company and its resources were used.
GlaxoSmithKline GlaxoSmithKline displays the needs of the company where you can post ideas that meet its needs. Also, the company’s laboratory in Tres Cantos, Spain, is an open laboratory.
Johnson & Johnson Johnson & Johnson shows the key areas of the company for the pharmaceutical and medical device categories and promotes partnerships with external institutions with promising ideas. Also, it introduces the ‘Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers’ to promote open innovation and the ‘JLABS’ to support start-up companies.
Abbvie Abbvie implements an open innovation programme called the ‘Compound Toolbox’ that provides external institutions with its own compounds. It also calls for the ‘Investigator-Initiated Studies (IIS)’ to support the company’s products and research funds for research proposals that can be applied for online.
Giliad Sciences Giliad Sciences calls for the ‘Investigator Sponsored Research (ISR)’ to support the company’s products and research funds for research proposals that can be applied for online.
Eli Lilly Eli Lilly’s the ‘Lilly Open Innovation Drug Discovery (OIDD)’ programme has been implemented, and the compounds it owns for screening evaluation can be used.

Note: The table above is a summary of our survey, but the most up to date information may not be shown.

Open innovation for collagen

Koken celebrats its 60th anniversary in October 2018. Our business is divided into three parts: plastic-based medical devices, life simulation models for training healthcare providers and collagen. R&D of collagen has been extensively conducted for medical, research and cosmetic use, and we have been collaborating with various academic and industrial partners for many years. For example, research has been started from scratch towards the goal of realising customers’ desire of commercialisation of collagen sponge for research, and now its clinical development advances as a medical device.

We value our customers’ opinions and so we have improved product quality and services. We have taken it a step further by creating thi s English web site so that customers’ opinions can be directly associated with our R&D activity and hence allowing customers to respond freely, regardless of their opinion.

Click here to tell us your opinions and ideas

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