Uppsala BIO Signs First European Open Innovation Agreement With Roche for its Program BIO-X
UPPSALA, Sweden, September 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –
Swedish life science initiative Uppsala BIO has formed a strategic
partnering agreement with Roche, the world leading pharmaceuticals and
diagnostics company, for Uppsala BIO’s open innovation program, BIO-X.
The cooperation agreement links Uppsala BIO and BIO-X to Roche’s global
innovation network on at least a three-year term, and will offer projects
selected in the BIO-X program access to Roche’s expertise in early stage
life science product development.
The agreement between Uppsala BIO and Roche is the result of Roche’s
search for a European partner to its open innovation program EIN, Expanding
the Innovation Network, and is the first of its kind in Europe.
The BIO-X program identifies and supports ideas in the research
community that can satisfy unmet medical needs or solve problems in
healthcare, drug development, and diagnostics. “We are very proud to be the
first European partner to sign with Roche’s global program for open
innovation Expanding the Innovation Network. Having Roche as a strategic
partner opens up great possibilities to our early projects within the BIO-X
program,” said Associate Professor Erik Forsberg, Managing Director for
“The agreement with Roche, which has a long experience in working with
early life science projects, is a fantastic opportunity and will give us
strategic input on industrial and customer needs and add significant value
and competitive edge to the region’s, as well as Sweden’s life sciences
sector,” Eric Forsberg added.
Each BIO-X project selectedby Rochefor collaboration will have a
specially assigned contact within Roche, assuring that the projects get
access to expertise and other internal resources that can advance the
project towards its goal as efficiently as possible. Roche will also
co-finance selected projects. In return, Roche will get a right-of-first
Roche has a long experience in open innovation. Since 1999, the company
has been running a global innovation program based on umbrella agreements
with key partners. The agreement concluded between Roche and Uppsala BIO is
the result of a long process during which Roche has looked for possible
partners in Europe for this program, followed by a thorough evaluation of
Uppsala BIO and its BIO-X program. Roche’s program so far has eight
partners, reaching almost thirty universities globally with Uppsala BIO
being the first open innovation partner in Europe.
“Roche’s program for working with early projects is one of the most
promising we have seen in the life science industry, and we are happy that
we can offer a cooperation possibility to our early projects that we believe
will be highly beneficial for all parties involved, and not least for the
possible improvements it can bring to healthcare,” said Associate Professor
Lars Hagel, Chairman for Uppsala BIO and Director for external R&D
collaborations at GE Healthcare Life Sciences.
“I strongly believe that bringing in Roche, and its global resources
with some of the most experienced life science developers, will be
beneficial for the healthcare solutions we can offer our patients, here in
Sweden and globally,” said Professor Sune Larsson, Director for Research and
Development at Uppsala University Hospital.
About Uppsala BIO
Uppsala BIO is an independent and not-for-profit actor working to
stimulate growth in the life science sector, by bringing together
universities, companies, healthcare, and society in activities and common
efforts that advance the sector’s international competitiveness. Uppsala BIO
is part of the VINNVAXT programme, a major VINNOVA, Swedish Governmental
Agency for Innovation Systems, initiative to promote sustainable growth by
developing internationally competitive research and innovation environments
in specific growth fields. For further information, please visit:
The BIO-X program is Uppsala BIO’s core process to bridge the gap
between academic results and proof-of-concept, the goal for each projected
selected for support in the BIO-X program.
It invites academic researchers from central Sweden, including
universities such as Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet and the
Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences, to present their ideas for
solutions to needs specified by healthcare and industry in a call. Project
proposals are evaluated along criteria such as customer needs and
commercialization potential, and selected projects are supported during up
to two years with finance and a tailor-made support process.
The restructuring of the life science industry, with shrinking resources
for early projects, has created a need for structured approaches that can
mature academic research into proof-of-concept, i.e. making it ready for
further development in the life science industry. BIO-X fills this gap. For
further information, please visit: http://www.uppsalabio.se/bio-x.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in
research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and
diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly
differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and
CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based
cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s
personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic
tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and
survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and
invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5
billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of
the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.
For further information, please visit: http://www.roche.com.
About open innovation
Open innovation is a term promoted by Henry Chesbrough a professor and
executive director at the Center for Open Innovation at the University of
According to professor Chesbrough open innovation is a paradigm that
assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal
ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to
advance their technology.
The central idea behind open innovation is that in a world of widely
distributed knowledge, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own
research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions (i.e.
patents) from other companies.
High resolution photos are available for download here:
Associate Professor Erik Forsberg, Managing Director, Uppsala BIO
Associate Professor Lars Hagel, Chairman, Uppsala BIO and Dir External
R&D collaborations, GE Healthcare Life
Professor Sune Larsson, Director R&D, Uppsala University Hospital
Contact for further information
Associate Professor Erik Forsberg, Managing Director, Uppsala BIO, Tel
Madeleine Neil, Dir. of Communications, Uppsala BIO, Tel
M: Communications: Mary Clark/Claire Dickinson, Tel: +44(0)20-7920-2361
SOURCE Uppsala BIO