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By Laura Lunardi, Technical Analist,  Consultancy and Business Development Area – Biominas Brasil

 

 

Life Sciences companies in Brazil are currently facing high costs for Research and Development (R&D) activities. Investments are needed to enable these companies to meet the increasingly complex market demands, fulfill stringent regulatory requirements and maintain a portfolio of innovative products. Hence, life sciences companies are gradually being transformed into large industrial production centers, where the search for blockbuster products is no longer performed exclusively internally.

Despite the high costs, innovation is still happening. New technologies are being developed and innovative products launched. So where is the knowledge and research coming from? Companies are changing their business models, combining internal and external R&D activities. The Brazilian Institutes of Science and Technology (in Portuguese, Institutos de Ciência e Tecnologia – ICTs), among which are universities and research centers, support companies in this direction. For instance, several researchers from Brazilian ICTs are engaged in promising projects and in the development of technologies with market potential. Hence, companies are increasingly using open innovation models to access this knowledge, take it to the industry and finally to the market.

Although universities gather this extensive scientific and technological potential, screening these competences is usually a bottleneck in the process of interaction. Most information about technologies is diffuse and accessing it is extremely difficult. Initiatives to compile and organize this type of information are incipient in the country, what may decrease tech transfer rates and inhibit the exploitation of academic production.

Some actions have been implemented by ICTs in order to stimulate academic interaction with other public and private institutions. These initiatives can facilitate the identification of researchers and projects. One of such initiatives is the database SOMOS UFMG, from a renowned Brazilian university, that lists researchers, their specialties and scientific production. In addition, this platform also puts together information about units, departments, intellectual property, laboratory infrastructure, among others. Another tool that can be highlighted is the Lattes Platform, which gathers résumés of students and researchers from several Brazilian ICTs.

Biominas Brasil also has a proprietary database that is constantly updated with competitive intelligence information from more than 2,000 top-notch life science researchers in the country. This database supports our scouting & business development activities and contributes to the interaction of companies and academic institutes by providing complete information about Brazilian researchers and their innovative projects developed in centers of excellence around the country.