VIB’s first mission is to conduct frontline biomolecular research in life sciences for the benefit of scientific progress and the benefit of society.
These findings only serve a purpose if they are developed further and transferred to the marketplace. This is our second mission: translating scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications.
Johan Cardoen, former Managing Director at VIB:
“It’s an extremely multidisciplinary team here at Innovation & Business – we have people with backgrounds as diverse as pharma, life sciences, plant biotechnology and veterinary science. It’s always useful to approach problems from different angles – that’s how innovation happens.”
Link between academic research & the business world
The dedicated Innovation & Business team is concerned exclusively with technology transfer: The commercial exploitation of the results of this research through submission of patents, collaboration with the industry and the creation of innovative companies. Income from these activities exceeds 15% of the annual VIB budget and all profits are immediately ploughed back into research. The VIB Innovation & Business team consists out of an Intellectual Property, Business Development and New Ventures unit and is also home to our Discovery Sciences team. The sub-teams work together on implementing an integrated strategy.
The Innovation & Business team forges fruitful, long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships between VIB projects and scientists on the one hand, and funders, non-profits or private companies on the other. The team also takes the more business-focused responsibilities out of the hands of VIB scientists so they can pour all their attention into their projects. The translation of research results from the bench to the bedside or the field is not only a risky process; it is also expensive and lengthy.
Carla Snoeck, Manager New Ventures at VIB:
“Basic research is more than a crucial threshold for follow-up studies, as generally assumed – it can also immediately serve as the basis for innovative products and technologies with huge impact.”
The ability to de-risk innovation is a prerequisite for successfully attracting business partners and investors. VIB’s Innovation and Business team meticulously manages all the steps in this process, often from the beginning of an invention all the way to concluding a business deal or creating a new start-up.