When life and science come together – getting from innovation to commercialization

In life science businesses today the key to success seems to be innovation. At least judging from the frequency the word is mentioned in regards to thriving life science companies. Innovation for sure is important in life sciences but it doesn’t automatically “come with” success. Actually getting from innovation to commercialization is quite difficult and is a very important transition that decides over the long-term success of ideas.

Innovation – as the breaking of existing patterns with a comprehensive effect – typically comes out of the “think tanks” either within a company or even outside of the actual industry in research centers or universities. This already indicates the vast number of transitions innovation has to withstand before it can be implemented in actual business processes. Before it can generate actual revenue.

Let innovation flow

The ideal picture would be that innovation can seamlessly flow across all different disciplines and gently settle down in functioning processes. Obviously that’s not quite how it works just yet. Innovation needs a lot of facilitators in place before it can even take off. A very big factor is collaboration. That’s not hard to guess, considering the different stakeholders involved. In order to get innovation from the research centers into the industry, people need to work together to bring it there.

Collaboration also needs a functioning infrastructure and a strong entrepreneurial base in order to encourage innovation to develop further. Not to forget financial means to create more companies. This is very important to be able to capitalize on innovation and transfer the knowledge into production and industrial processes. Without bringing the innovative people into the industry, innovation won’t follow.

Who are the right people for this?

As pretty much always it all comes down to having the right people to do the job. As outlined above it needs a lot of cross-field excellence in order to bring innovation to fruitful ends. More than ever life science companies require people with a diverse and flexible skillset and comprehensive leadership abilities. They need to be able to scale well, strengthen entrepreneurial leadership, support development and technology fusion as well as support innovation across academia.

Turning innovation into commercial success is a complex process that not only needs innovation to start with but it needs the right people to foster innovation and – most importantly – implement it. People with abilities in agile development methods can be key players in bringing everything together. It can be relatively time-consuming to find these people, especially outside of certain industries. But the commercial outcome is usually worth it.

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