Mom, Get Your Research Out Of Your Drawer

11/28/2016 07:05 am ET Updated Nov 28, 2016

Dad, what did you really achieve as a life science researcher? This question is worth pondering about, and most likely it will be, ”mom, what did you really achieve as a researcher?” Well, son, I published a lot in high impact academic journals, and went to conferences to talk about my research. Yeah, that sounds nice, but what did you achieve with your research, did you help patients, did you create something that I can use mom?

Most likely, the answer is no. Too often life science researchers in the academic world would be busy working in the basic or translational research lab, but not knowing how to create something lasting for society, something that outlives them. This is a problem in most societies, and there´s a need to build bridges between basic and translational research with companies and investors that can help to commercialize your health care innovation.

But how am I going to do it? The basic medical or life science training doesn´t tell me a thing about commercializing my research. And most likely, my professor is telling you to be skeptical about the corporates that would to collaborate with your academic lab.

Well both the academic world and some pharmaceutical companies are trying to change this pattern. Pfizer, one of the leading pharma companies in the world have created ”Centers for Therapeutic Innovation.” A model where academic scientists and Pfizer scientists work side by side in 23 locations around the world, blending the research expertise of academics in disease biology, targets and patient populations with Pfizer’s development expertise and resources for commercialization.

In Norway, we could welcome such collaboration with our world-class neuroscience researchers, especially in neuroscience. At NTNU in Trondheim, the Nobel laureates in medicine, Edvard and May-Britt Moser have recruited a world-class professor – Christian Doeller to try to bring their Nobel Prize to the patients. (Grid cells as a gateway towards defeating Alzheimer´s disease.) This new Alzheimer´s center was just presented to our Norwegian PM Erna Solberg. However, think of the strength of adding the world top-notch pharma scientists to this center in a collaboration that speeds up the process of potentially finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.

However, we need to help our young PhD and post-doc researchers in Life science with tools and knowledge to innovate services for patients, create new companies with their research ideas, or bring their research ideas and talent into existing companies. Nansen Neuroscience Network has teamed up with the leading European medical universities, Karolinska in Stockholm, University of Oslo, and NTNU in Trondheim and the business community to create Europe´s first School of Health Innovation.

You will as a student learn how to turn research results and ideas into business ventures and how to create innovative services in a clinical setting. You will meet with and learn from leaders in academia, hospitals and healthcare companies. A core part of the course is case-based work where the cases are developed in collaboration between the universities and companies. In addition, the participants will identify and develop ideas that may be commercialized from their own research environment. The program starts in February 2017.

Students in Norway can apply here:

Students in Sweden can apply here:

Now, hopefully mom will get her life science research out of the drawer.

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