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Business and industry lays down a challenge: Crazy ideas are welcome

On 6 October, a Medical Innovation Day will challenge PhD students from Health in a brand new format with focus on innovation. Companies including Novo Seeds, Lundbeck Foundation Emerge and CAPNOVA will present specific challenge and allow innovative ideas to bloom. The best of them will receive a prize.

2017.06.01 | Kirsten Olesen

Ideas and solutions to specific challenges from business and industry are the focal point of the first Medical Innovation Day at Health.

Does an idea necessarily have to begin in a university environment for researchers to find it interesting? Could solving issues faced by business and industry be better than trying to get business and industry interested in your own idea?

These questions will be bubbling just below the surface when the Medical innovation Day kicks off for the first time at Health on 6 October.

The goal of the new initiative is to support the business-oriented, innovative efforts being made among both PhD students and interested students at Master's degree level. This will take place in direct interaction between businesses, participants and their supervisors, and with equal weight placed on proposed solutions to the challenges facing companies on the one hand, and ideas for innovative projects on the other.

The investment companies Novo Seeds, Lundbeck Foundation Emerge and CAPNOVA are among the participants.

"We believe and hope that the Medical innovation Day will strengthen the way into the company's pipeline, because our starting point is to hear what issues the companies need solutions for," says chair of the organisation committee, Professor with special responsibilities (MSO) Thomas Vorup-Jensen from the Department of Biomedicine.

Spotlight on other PhD career paths

Vice-dean for Talent Development at Health Lise Wogensen Bach concurs and adds:

"We will bring the PhD students closer to the companies, because we want to ensure that they are exposed to all the career paths that a PhD programme at Health potentially provides access to."

"The Medical innovation Day will give participants plenty of new contacts and then... who knows? Perhaps the company and students will find one another based on a project or on a shared position between the company and the university," she says of the event which is a small element in the implementation of "The Graduate School at Health’s Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2020".

Industrial activities and an innovative stock exchange

The event is centred around a combination of a market for activities and an innovative stock exchange for ideas. The companies represented will present their reactions to the proposed solutions, and the most suitable proposals/ideas will be presented – and receive a prize.

"The advantage for the companies is that they will have access to all this brain power and can get some light shed on an issue they might be facing. The advantage for us as a faculty is that our research environment will be profiled, that is to the say, the recruitment aspect," says Thomas Vorup-Jensen.

Alternate between the research programmes

The intention is to hold an annual event that will be alternately anchored in one of the three PhD programmes that are found under the PhD degree programmes at Health; ClinFO, Public Health and Biomedicine. The PhD programme at Biomedicine, which is headed by Thomas Vorup-Jensen, takes the first turn. 

"We believe that the new arrangement will succeed in making visible the fact that there can be business opportunities in many research projects – also in research projects where you least expect it. But you must learn to keep this in mind. Having the three PhD programmes alternate as arranger will allow us to invite companies with different profiles and thus to shed light on the special opportunities that characterise each of the PhD programmes," says Lise Wogensen Bach. 

The organising committee:

The Medical innovation Day is organised by a working group with the following members: Professor with special responsibilities (MSO) Thomas Vorup-Jensen, Department of Biomedicine (chair);Professor Hans Jürgen Hoffmann, Department of Clinical Medicine; Professor Ulf Simonsen, Department of Biomedicine; PhD student Peter Skov-Jensen, Department of Clinical Medicine; Project Manager Sys Zoffmann Glud, INNO-X Healthcare; Honorary Professor Poul Sørensen, Department of Biomedicine; Senior Researcher Claus Olesen, Department of Biomedicine; PhD student Andreas Fløe, Department of Clinical Medicine; Director Martin Vesterby, INNO-X Healthcare; Special Consultant Henrik Scriver, HE PhD Administration.


Professor with special responsibilities (MSO) Thomas Vorup-Jensen
Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University
Mobile: (+45) 2148 9781

Talent development, Health and disease, PhD students, Graduate School of Health, Health, Academic staff, Health