The pharmaceutical industry seeks innovation in the startup environment.

A success story in which we developed a project to promote the internal culture of innovation and entrepreneurship through dynamics with startups and several client departments.

Introduction

The pharmaceutical industry today is facing major challenges that it must be able to overcome. With a figure of over 20% of total investment in industrial R&D, it heads the sectorial list in Spain, and is also in fourth place in the world, after the USA, Japan and China. The effort in strategic innovation in health is, therefore, very big but it seems always insufficient for the adequate progress of a territory, since there are new problems constantly, and the current situation generated by the COVID-19 is a sad example.

The large pharmaceutical corporations must therefore commit themselves even more to this process of improvement and innovation, increasing efforts and diversifying them, so as to increase their effectiveness and their capacity to generate new strategies in health.

There is a need to solve temporary problems such as the aging of the population and the increase in chronic diseases, but there are also great technological advances, many of which are focused on improving internal efficiency and diagnostic and therapeutic capacity. And this whole process has a high temporal and economic cost that needs to be optimised.

This optimisation can be complex, but perhaps it can be resolved with a change of perspective, with a review of procedures, with a new internal focus…

The client

It is a leading multinational company and a reference in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Its products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world. Maintaining leadership in such a competitive sector requires a clear strategy and the company does not hesitate to invest a large part of its income in R&D to adapt to new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, telemedicine and digital therapies.

The Challenge

It intends to promote initiatives, internal culture of open innovation and entrepreneurship in a wide departmental segment (marketing, sales, medicine, purchasing, records, pharmacovigilance, legal). To this end, it seeks to approach the ecosystem of startups in order to inspire the company’s employees, and motivate them to generate proposals aimed at proposing actions, both internal and market-oriented, that will make it more agile. 

To generate attitudes in the human group that are effective as well as creative, where the positive attitude towards potential barriers, the orientation towards the sum of capacities or consistency, are predominant. In short, that the experience of the entrepreneurs inspires new lean ways of proceeding to promote an innovative culture.

Marketing
Sales
Medicine
Purchasing
Records
Pharmacovigilance

Goal

️Attract the world of startups to the corporation
In order to serve as an entrepreneurial and innovative model, promoting a cultural change within the team.
️Understand the journey of startups from idea to market
Creative process, idea formulation, validation with agile methodology, market entry difficulties, how to overcome them, financing and organization.
Understand what startups expect from a corporation
From the pharmaceutical industry: knowledge, access to customers, access to infrastructure..
️Generate a cultural change within the company
Focused on innovation and agility.

The Solution

We made a joint proposal between Peninsula and a company specialized in crowdfunding for health and biotechnology, which responded to the need to address the Cultural Change and Open Innovation with startups.

The synergy created between Peninsula and the investing company allows us to offer the client an adapted, personalized and specialized service in their area.

Two different points of view are thus revealed: on the one hand there is the specialized investment platform, offering specific knowledge in biotechnology and medicine. And on the other hand, from Peninsula, we offer the knowledge of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the agile methodologies that guide their processes.

The Results

There were 4 startups chosen for their presentation to the client where they explained their mission as companies, the needs they cover and the challenges they face. 

The focus of the presentations was on the creative process of the startups, how the risks and opportunities are posed, processes and methodologies that follow.

Our colleagues from Peninsula, Diana Pinos, Pedro Olivares and Sergi Manaut were the experts in creativity and innovation dynamics who led the sessions, helping the participants to identify the characteristic behaviours of the startups getting them to understand and integrate the startup spirit to increase the value of their daily activities.

Therapeutic areas of the participating startups:

Therapeutic area
Description
Neurology
Technologies that allow the quantification of MRI image data, which opens the door to effective clinical trials for Alzheimer’s and other hard-to-treat neurological diseases
General
Creation of affordable, accurate and non-invasive diagnostics RNA fluid sequencing and downstream bioinformatic analysis.
Neurology
Design, development and manufacture of medical devices, which aim to improve the quality of life of people affected by falls or Parkinson’s disease.
General
App that, through a series of questions, comes to generate a list of possible diagnoses through complex artificial intelligence algorithms that optimize the use of its extensive database.

The development

Our proposal is structured in 3 parts: 

  • Identification of Objectives and Needs
    Together with the client, we identify the objectives and needs of the sessions in order to specify the search for startups.
  • Startup Selection
    The selection of target-related startups was carried out. We reviewed the presentations of the startups and performed the final filtering. With the chosen startups, we validate the presentations and focus them in the form of challenges, from the point of pain to the final solution.
  • Presentation of the startups to the client
    The 4 startups that reach the final selection make their presentations to the multidisciplinary team of the company that seeks to apply innovation. They explain their companies from the technical perspective of opportunity identification, financing, risks, opportunities, scalability. As well as from the perspective of methodologies, developing behaviors of flexibility, innovation, entrepreneurship, speed. The team of the pharmaceutical company participated actively through a series of dynamics and open debates, adopting in a practical way the entrepreneurial behavior to their specific area of work

In addition, the teams’ conclusions were fundamentally oriented towards the implementation of new attitudes, aimed at creativity and the generation of new ideas, taking risks, maintaining curiosity, questioning results and eliminating fears.

"We are happy to collaborate with companies in the pharmaceutical sector at such a high level, and help them acquire methodology and speed to implement disruptive models within the organization. In Peninsula everything adds up and our expertise in the creation of startups supports us as natural facilitators in open innovation strategies, relying on the entrepreneurial ecosystem both locally and internationally".

Simon Lee, CEO & Founder Peninsula

At Peninsula, we make our extensive knowledge of startups available to companies that want to gain methodology and speed to implement disruptive models within their organization.

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