Open Innovation

Open Innovation

A non-exhaustive list of open innovation initiatives found within life science is presented below. The term open innovation is here interpreted broadly as there are different degrees to openness in the listed initiatives. Since the scope of the initiatives changes over time only a very short description is provided together with a link where up to date information can be found.

All feedback concerning open innovation initatives relevant for the life science industry is encouraged.


The AIMday concept was developed at Uppsala University Innovation and is a tool for creating connections and facilitating knowledge exchange between academic researchers and private, public and non-profit organizations. The AIMday format consist of one question, one hour, one group of experts from different organisations as mean for finding useful contacts, collaborations, and new paths to solutions to the addressed question. The AIMday concept is not presented as an open innovation platform. Visit AIMday for information regarding upcomming events.    

UppsalaBio – Bio-X program

BIO-X™ is an independent program that supports both researchers and industry in developing competitive new life science products. In BIO-X, projects always start with defined needs in healthcare or the wider community. Each year a new topic is addressed. Since 2011 Roche is a strategic partner to the BIO-X program. If the applicant chooses their project can be reviewed by Roche and if selected additional funding and support is available. Main applicants for BIO-X should be a researcher affiliated to universities or public institutes or small and medium sized enterprises, SMEs, in Stockholm and East Central Sweden. See the website for further information.

Astra Zeneca

Through the AstraZeneca Open Innovation platform, Astra Zeneca is seeking to collaborate with partners across all stages of drug discovery – from the early idea through to early clinical development.

Bayer HealthCare

Offer grants for novel targets and biomarkers in their Grants4TargetsTM program. They are also pursuing Grants4LeadsTM aiming for novel small-molecule leads. Both programs are available globally of both universities as well as SMEs. During 2013 Bayer HealthCare initiated Grants4Apps supporting projects within healthcare and IT. Check out the website for up to date information. 

Daiichi Sankyos TaNeDS Global Program

With the “Take a New Challenge for Drug diScovery (TaNeDS) Global Program Daiichi Sankyo extends the program which up until now only have been available in Japan. In the 2014/2015 cycle applications from EU countries, Norway and Switzerland is eligible. Within the TaNeDS platform Daiichi Sankyo aims to discover breakthrough pharmaceutical drugs, new drug discovery themes and R&D technologies through collaboration with external researchers and research groups. The research period is for two years with a €100 000 – 150 000 funding per year plus overhead. The submission for the 2014/2015 cycle starts on October 1st en closes at November 15th and should in the first stage be a non-confidential proposal. All information can be found at the Global TaNeDS website.


GSK has initiated the GSK Innovation as a mean to further drive their product portfolio toward new product ideas and innovative solutions within consumer healthcare. Here GSK encourge external innovators to provide an initial non-confidential suggestion targeting a defined set categories "Wants" with more specified challenges within each category. New ideas are processed through the GSK Open Innovation Pathway.

In addition GSK is also responsible for the Bioelectronics Innovation Challenge where the aim is for research teams' to develop a fully functional device which can wirelessly and constantly monitor, stimulate and block neural signals from an internal organ over 60 days. The winning entry will be made freely available to the global research community and the winning team will be awarded $1 million. To further support the Innovation Challange, an Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF) has been established to support academics and small companies working to stimulate and block neural signals in organs. To get additional information registration is necessary at the GSK´s Innovation Challenge portal

Leo Pharma

Leo Pharma invite any institution or company with small molecules relevant for modulating inflammatory skin disorders to engage in Leo Pharma´s Open Innovation platform. The collaborating partner retain the rights to existing  IP and can walk away at any time. 

Merck Sereno

Through Merck Serenos Open Innovation Portal their initiatives are summarized as access to HTS-screening, access to a unique screening library and the possibility for academic partners to enter a Innovation Cup.