Organizational innovations to accelerate technology transfer and translational research do they work?
Innovations in life sciences, engineering, and technology have enabled new products in numerous sectors such as innovative diagnostics, treatments for human and animal health, medical devices, advances in communication, e-learning, aviation, and 3D printing. Yet transfer of scientific discovery and technology to innovation-in-society is onerous, and can take several decades to materialize. In order for societies to fully enjoy the expected benefits of technology investments, research findings have to be moved from "lab to society."
Various countries have recognized the need for institutional innovation to cultivate translational research; in the Netherlands, for example, the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) was established in 2008 out of this awareness that translating fundamental research into patient benefit and knowledge-based innovation demands multidisciplinary end-to-end approaches. A new innovation impact analysis in OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, authored by Lotte M. Steuten, PhD, Associate Professor at University of Washington (Seattle) and Chief Scientific Officer at Panaxea bv, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, found that technology translation to the clinic was apparently accelerated, with >50% of projects progressing from pre-clinical development to clinical testing within five years of the launch of CTTM as an innovation accelerator.
The article "Multi-Dimensional Impact of the Public-Private Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) in the Netherlands: Understanding New 21st Century Institutional Designs to Support Innovation-in-Society" is available free on the OMICS website until June 24, 2016.
This organizational innovation has generated nearly 1,500 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) of translational R&D capacity, according to the study. The key findings regarding scientific, translational, clinical and economic impacts over a course of 5 years are described in the report.
"Lessons learned from this study may inform future innovation impact assessments by Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) and translational research centers designed to accelerate knowledge-based innovation around the globe in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia," notes Dr. Steuten.
"This study by Prof. Steuten makes an important contribution to translational science and the emerging field of innovation governance," says Vural Özdemir, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of OMICS; Professor of Communications, Gaziantep University, Turkey; Co-Founder, Data-Enabled Life Sciences Alliance (DELSA Global), Seattle, WA; and Adjunct Professor, Amrita University, Kerala, India. "We truly need new 21st century institutions, creative organizational designs, and independent think tanks that can broadly frame and measure innovation and technology transfer impacts in society."