European innovation is firmly rooted in the relationship between science and business. At a recent specialist seminar, organised by an EU-funded ScanBalt network, leading European experts offered their wisdom on the best ways to develop and exploit intellectual property in the biosciences.
With the first round of seminars on ‘Intellectual Property Strategies in Bioscience' now complete, it is time for the EU ScanBalt network to take stock. Innovation is one thing, but being able to manage the fruits of these new ideas and developments is where Europe needs to look long and hard, it was revealed at the third and most recent seminar in the series, held 8-9 June 2006 in the Hanseatic city of Wismar.
|Drilling to the core of the innovation business.|
Delegates travelled from far and wide to take part in the lectures, workshops and to look at case studies covering IP access, utilisation and commercialisation. In the biosciences, IP poses a great challenge to universities and business alike in finding the right balance between open and proprietary use of scientific knowledge, it was concluded.
“Living in a knowledge economy means that IP must be managed as a business asset,” said organiser Bo Heiden of the ScanBalt Intellectual Propert Knowledge Network. “It is necessary to change our economic mindset from a world where value and wealth are based on managing the production of physical products to one where intellectual assets are [at] the core.”
Joined at the hip
Two more ScanBalt IPKN seminars in the series are scheduled for autumn in Vilnius, Lithuania, and Gdansk, Poland. ScanBalt organises a number of activities through its various member networks. The emphasis is on mediating and coordinating, and according to its website, its success rests on the strength of the individual networks – both existing and newly created.
The network operates using several funding sources. At the international level, ScanBalt receives grants from the European Commission, the Nordic Innovation Centre and NORFA (The Nordic Academy for Advanced Study). At the national/regional level, ScanBalt is involved in a number of projects relying on partner co-financing.
The ScanBalt secretariat produces a monthly overview of relevant EU calls for proposals and news in the biosciences and published in the regular ScanBalt Newsletter.