Cooperation between academia and the pharmaceutical industry

Roland JonssonMore collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly encouraged, not least through Horizon 2020. This innovative possibility to strengthen the research with our university clinics has not been sufficiently utilized.  The Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Norway (LMI) may, in this context, provide assistance in establishing such collaboration. LMI represents about 60 membership companies consisting of both international companies as well as smaller biotech enterprises. The companies employ approximately 4000 highly skilled staff where some membership companies also have their own production in Norway.

Demographic changes and an altered panorama of diseases provide the healthcare sector with challenges demanding better utilization of resources, higher efficiency as well as new and improved services. New technology and product development are keys to face new demands, maintain the quality of the health services as well as meet expectations for good welfare services and proper treatments. Within these challenges there is also a major potential for the creation of wealth and innovation. Biomedical and health-related research can meet these health challenges.

What characterizes the current situation? Sure, we have high research activity, but low innovation and way too low inclusion of the private sector. From the HelseOmsorg21 (in Norwegian) strategy we are encouraged to: Increase cooperation between the private and public sectors. More focus on commercialization of research. Increase the number of industrially funded clinical studies. The utilization of health data as a national asset.

The politicians thus have to provide the foundations for increasing the number of start-ups, as well as provide proper development conditions for Norwegian health industry. Simultaneously, the pharmaceutical industry is aiming for higher productivity and scientific excellence. This could be something that our PhD-candidates and post-docs could embrace in their career planning.

Roland

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