INNOVATION in PRACTICE 2017: technologies and products in focus

"Breakout" sessions organized in the World Cafe format allowed partcipants to exchange their experience in products and technologies management.
"Breakout" sessions organized in the World Cafe format allowed partcipants to exchange their experience in products and technologies management.

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Innovation Areas


Innovation cannot be planned. But it can be achieved faster and more effectively when the innovation process is being managed properly. For the second time, PARK INNOVAARE is addressing this important issue in its renewed series of workshops “INNOVATION in PRACTICE”.

Designed as an interactive platform for practical exchange on best practices in innovation and technology management, INNOVATION in PRACTICE was successfully introduced in PARK INNOVAARE’s event calendar last summer. A three-part workshop encompassed main innovation areas such as “Technologies & Products”, “Processes & Productivity”, and “Breakthrough Innovation”. On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, PARK INNOVAARE relaunched the series of workshops and reopened the discussion together with more than 20 industry representatives and researchers from the PSI and other institutions.

What is an efficient product innovation process?

“In product innovation, there are three main areas to be mastered: development processes, collaborative capabilities and intellectual property (IP) management,” said Andreas Rülke, a keynote speaker and innovation expert with many years of hands-on experience. According to Mr Rülke, the development of clear roadmaps for technology on the one hand and products on the other, as well as a clear project portfolio, help to bring the innovation strategy to life. Innovation is a cross-functional process that requires a correct approach depending on a company’s goals and strategy. In addition, sustainable and competitive product innovation relies nowadays more and more on collaboration between partners, suppliers, start-ups or even competitors.

Technology innovation as a prerequisite for fast and efficient drug discovery

From theory to practice: Dr. Oliver Nayler, Head Cardiovascular & Fibrosis Biology at Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, shared his successful experience in approaching product innovation in drug discovery. “We just wanted to make drugs. But it would have been impossible without integrating state-of-the-art technologies,” he said. It was clear for Actelion from the very beginning that the integration of cutting-edge technology at every stage of their process would allow them to achieve their goals faster and with more control. More than only pharmaceutical products, Actelion also develops unique or bespoke technologies to enable their innovation.

Practical exchange

In the “breakout” sessions, participants discussed their own experiences. Most of the topics were discussed from different perspectives. Particular attention was paid to the issues of IP and patent management. While one group saw in patents a protection for a company’s new developments, the others insisted that the best way to outrun the competition was to reduce time-to-market and continuously improve the product without actually patenting it and thus making it public. “Very well done,” one participant said afterwards. “Not only did I meet people, but I also actually learned something from others’ experiences. And it was fun.”

Upcoming dates and topics

March 7, 2017: “Processes and Productivity” with a case example from Novartis AG, Excelsus Structural Solutions AG and Iftest AG
April 4, 2017: “Breakthrough Innovation”

Register now! For more information, please download the information and registration brochure (soon available) or visit our event page.