Diversity: Academia-Industry Collaborations on Modeling and Simulation to enhance Scientific Capability Development – The Novartis Experience
Jean-Louis Steimer, Martin Fink, Goonaseelan (Colin) Pillai, Vincent Buchheit, Guenter Heimann, Steven Kern, Donald Stanski
Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland
Objectives: Academic and industry collaboration for the advancement of science has a long history and track record of success. We investigate how the unique but complementary contributions and perspectives of each can create a fruitful synergism.
Results: We report on our experience of collaborations between the Novartis Modeling and Simulation Department (M&S) and several academic centres of excellence. These bring people with diverse scientific qualifications (engineering, biology/pharmacology, mathematics/statistics, clinical medicine), thinking and learning styles, and educational and demographic backgrounds from across the world to the same table. Scientists from the global Novartis M&S group are currently involved in academic collaborations in Europe, the USA and Africa. In this paper, we will present the benefits, challenges, and caveats in the conduct of academia-industry collaborations. This includes issues related to intellectual property, potential funding mechanisms, integration and inclusion aspects, and the benefits of obtaining different viewpoints that can leverage key strengths of the diverse partners. Expansion of our M&S academic collaborations to include scientific capability development in emerging countries provides opportunity for creating shared business value with scientific leaders across the full spectrum of geographical locations where the world's healthcare needs are located.
The paper will emphasize the added value to both participants, e.g.
- Academia benefits via access to data, relevant research questions to development of new drug treatments, and opportunities for funding.
- Industry benefits via access to research into cutting edge methodologies, linkage to key scientific leaders and to well-trained scientists – who may also be future employees.
- Publications emanating are mutually beneficial - indicating productivity for academia, with increased visibility and credibility for the industry collaborators among the company’s stakeholders (e.g. scientific community, Health Authorities, and patients).
- Investment in M&S in emerging countries requires modest investment for Pharma companies compared to the large infra-structure costs of building drug discovery and clinical research laboratories.
Conclusions: Our experience shows the value of academic- industry collaboration in modeling and simulation which we are committed to continue and expand in the future.