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Research Leadership, Mentorship,
Publishing and Innovation
Jens Nielsen
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers
University of Technology, Sweden
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical
University of Denmark, Denmark
Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science, Beijing
University of Chemical Technology, China
Overview of Lecture
• My Background
• Business Model of Universities
• Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture
• Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers
• Industry-Academia Collaboration
• Innovation and Start-Up Companies
• Scientific Publishing
Overview of Lecture
• My Background
• Business Model of Universities
• Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture
• Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers
• Industry-Academia Collaboration
• Innovation and Start-Up Companies
• Scientific Publishing
Education
• MSc in Chemical Engineering, DTU (1986)
• PhD in Biochemical Engineering, DTU (1989)
• Dr. techn., DTU (1995) (habilitation)
Positions
• Post doc, University of Hannover
• Group Leader, DTU (1990-1995)
• Fullbright scholar, MIT (1995-1996)
• Associate Professor, DTU (1996-1998)
• Professor, DTU (1998-2008)
• Adjunct Professor, NTNU (2005-2012)
• Professor, Chalmers, (2008-)
• Professor, DTU (2011-)
• Adjunct Professor, KTH (2012-2017)
• Adjunct Professor, Beijing University of Chemical Technology (2015-)
CV - brief
CV - brief
Publications
• >600 papers in peer reviewed journals
• 3 text books (one translated to Chinese and Japanese; one in 3.ed)
• >30 issued patents and >20 patent applications
Grants
• Raised more than 400 MSEK in competitive grants as PI since 2008
• Raised more than 200 MDKK in competitive grants as PI in Denmark
• Co-raised 1.500 MDKK for NNF CFB
Editor
• Editor in Chief of FEMS Yeast Research, Editor of 5 other journals
• Member of editorial board of many journals
Research supervision
• Main supervisor of 75 graduated PhD students (currently 24)
• Co-supervisor of 39 graduated PhD students (currently 2)
• 78 former affiliated post docs (currently 26)
Sugars
Volume Value
Ethanol
Fatty Acids
Docasanol
3HP
Sesquiterpenes
Enzymes
S. cerevisiae
Systems Biology Insulin
Yeast as a Platform Organism
We have engineered yeast for
production of a wide range of
products
Octanoic acid
Alkanes
Coumaric Acid
Resveratrol
Ornitine
Science (2014) 346:75-78
Nature Com. (2016) 7:11709
JACS (2016) 138:15368-15377
Nature Chem. Biol. (2016) 13:360-362
Nature Com. (2017) 8:15587
Nature Com. (2015) 6:8224
PNAS (2015) 112:E4689-96;
Nature Com. (2017), in press
Antibiotics Met. Eng. (2009) 11:391-397
Met. Eng. (2015) 32:1-11
Met. Eng. (2009) 22:104-109
Met. Eng. (2015) 31:181-188
Met. Eng. (2012) 14:91-103
BMC Biol. (2012) 10:16
Hemoglobin
Synthetic Biology
Met. Eng. (2014) 21:9-16
Personalized Medicine
From detailed phenotypic analysis, e.g. using omics analysis, of subjects
participating in clinical studies and from large N-of-1 studies we are
enabling better stratification of subjects
Implementation of stratification requires strong prognostic biomarkers, and
identification of these is the foundation of personalized medicine
Cell Metab. (2017) 25:572-579
The Human Microbiome
• The body contains 10 times more bacteria, archaea, fungi
and other micro-organisms than human cells.
• over 30,000 microbial genome projects (1995-2014)
cover < 20% of the diversity of cultured archaeal and bacterial species
represent just 15% of the overall known prokaryotic diversity
8Nature (2013) 498:99-103; Cell Metabolism (2015) 22:320-331
Overview of Lecture
• My Background
• Business Model of Universities
• Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture
• Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers
• Industry-Academia Collaboration
• Innovation and Start-Up Companies
• Scientific Publishing
Business Model of Universities
Classical University:
Educate students so they can take contribute to the benefit of society.
Focused on ”professional” type education like medicine, law, economics,
and theology
Humbolt University in Berlin is considered ”the mother of all modern
universities”
Was established by Kaiser Wilhelm in 1811* as University of Berlin, and
became known for pioneering the Humboltian model of higher education:
Integration of arts and sciences with research to achieve both
comprehensive general learning and cultural knowledge
The idea of holistic academic training, that is closely integrated with a
research mindset, was a natural extension of the enlightment, but it was
first formulated by Humbolt and integrated into university education with
the foundation of Humbolt University
Many North American universities, in particular Harvard, Princeton, Yale
and University of Chicago, but also Oxford and Cambridge, embrassed
this new model for education and resulted in establishment of research
universities
* Interesting enough Kaiser Wilhelm also established the Max Planck Society (originally the
Kaiser Wilhelm Society) in 1811, and MPIs are today world-leading research institutes
Business Model of Universities
Business Model of Universities
Classical University:
Educate students so they can take contribute to the benefit of society.
Focus on ”professional” type education like medicine, law, economics, and
theology
Modern University:
Educate students so they can take contribute to the benefit of society, but
based on the Humboltian model
Originally all research was financed by the owner (state or foundation) and
with little external financing
Changed in the 1970s with a rapid expansion of research
Business Model of Universities
Today a high-profile university have many stakeholders
Stakeholder Provide Expects
Government Financing Education
Research
Innovation
Gov. consulting
Students Time (career) Education
Governmental
research funds*
Financing Research
Innovation (some)
Private research
funds
Financing Research
Innovation (some)
Companies Financing
Competence
Research problem
Problems solved
Innovation
* Includes multinational funders like EU or even foreign national funds like NIH, DoE
Universities = Research Hotels?
With the funding for research provided by the host university becoming
a smaller and smaller fraction the universities become “research hotels”
for prominent researchers
Good researchers have today many options to choose from (if they are
willing to move!), so what does universities offer to attract the best:
• Start-up package (rarely continuous funding)
• Strong research environment
• Good students
• Brand
>400 MSEK in external funding since 2008
Key funders are private foundations providing about 20 MSEK/year (Novo
Nordisk Foundation and KAW)
Chalmers funding (including for own salary): 5 MSEK/year 2016-2018
directed funding and 4 MSEK/year in faculty funding
Funding: Own Example
How to be Successful
Obviously many ways, but the following seems to be general guidelines
for having success, and my experience tells me that they hold well also
for building a successful research career
Have high self-control (Marshmellow test)
Avoid destractions, keep-going even when it is not fun
Have grit
Be able to keep going besides defeat (rejection of papers,
grant proposals, delayed promotions, …) - perserverance
Be able to acquire a love for the work - passion
Hard work
Spend the 10,000 hours required to be good at something
Model of Angela Duckworths:
Talents x Effort = Skills; Skills x Effort = Achievements
How to be Successful
Important to identify an overall goal
There may be sub-goals that align with this,
but these should not be many
For each sub-goals there can be specific
projects; e.g. write paper A, …
Besides being organized many other factors are important:
• Network
• Good time management (difficult)
• Rely on trust (can be difficult and cause problems)
• Work-private life balance (can be two conflicting overall goals)
• Delegate responsibilities
• Establish efficient SOPs for integration of newcomers to the group
• Be thorough on recruitment
Overall goal
“Projects”
Sub-goals
Overview of Lecture
• My Background
• Business Model of Universities
• Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture
• Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers
• Industry-Academia Collaboration
• Innovation and Start-Up Companies
• Scientific Publishing
Experiences with Research Management
Director, Center for Microbial Biotechnology, Technical University of
Denmark
A large research center with >60 researchers and multiple faculty (2000-
2008)
Director, Systems Biology Group, Chalmers University of Technology
Have build up a new research division of >80 researchers at Chalmers.
Involves multiple faculty (2008-)
Director, Area of Advance Life Science Engineering, Chalmers
University of Technology
Coordinates research across departments (>300 researchers) in the area of
Life Science at Chalmers
Scientific Director and CSO, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for
Biosustainability
Research coordination of a large center funded by the Novo Nordisk
Foundation (USD300M; >300 researchers) at DTU, Chalmers, UCSD and
KTH
19
Experiences with Research Management
Founding Head of Department, Biology and Biological Engineering,
Chalmers University of Technology
Build a completely new department
• Structured the department in terms of divisions
• Build two large departmental infrastructures
• Established a new administration
• Established policies and culture
20
Reflections
Motivator rather than director
I believe that in research it is more important to motivate than to actually tell
people what to do. Be open and listen to people
Encourage collaboration
I believe in building an open environment with extensive collaboration – but
collaboration should be driven by the researchers and not only by the PIs
Out delegate
Important not to micro-manage all aspects. Accept that others will do things
differently, but that you as a director may learn from this
Allow for a dynamic environment
Organizations should be allowed to change on a regular basis in order to
provide carrier options for all involved
Important to build a strong culture
Important to identify values you as a director think are the most important
(openness, collaboration, …) and build a culture than fits these values
21
Reflections – Complex organization
Define roles
It is important that the role of all players (managers) are well defined and
also specify who can make decissions
Decissions
Important to make decissions – many organizations (particular in academia)
are hampered by lack of decission making. Result in endless meetings with
no results and frustrations in the organization
Information to the organization
Important to build trust in the management, i.e. employees will be informed
when necessary. Do not involve all employees in all decissions!
Meeting culture
Install a strong meeting culture. No meeting requires more than 1 hour –
stick to the agenda and make sure always to have actions
22
Build Culture
When you become PI it is extremely important that you think about which
culture do you want to build for your group
Often it develops quite naturally – the culture develops based on your
principles, i.e. how you do research, how you mentor, how you interact with
others, how you mentor students etc.
Can be good to reflect on what are actually the Core Values in your group
and are these consistent with what you want to project?
#SysbioCoreValues
Copenhagen Bioscience Lecture 8 January 2018 - Niels Jensen
Copenhagen Bioscience Lecture 8 January 2018 - Niels Jensen
Copenhagen Bioscience Lecture 8 January 2018 - Niels Jensen
Overview of Lecture
• My Background
• Business Model of Universities
• Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture
• Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers
• Industry-Academia Collaboration
• Innovation and Start-Up Companies
• Scientific Publishing
Nature Award for Mentoring
Given for mentoring of >50 PhD
studens and >40 Post doctoral
researchers
• Trust
• Guidance
• Encouragement
Cell (2016) 164:1093
Mentoring
Reflections – Mentoring
Listen
It is important to have your students/collaborator to express ideas, i.e. listen
to what they say, and guide them through questions
Individuality
Important to respect the individuality of people.
Strengthen collaborators strong sides and teach them to deal with
their weak sides
Get them to understand their own strength and weaknesses. Assist them
with tools/methods to emphasize on improvements.
Infuse optimism and enthusiasm
Important to be optimistic and transfer enthusiasm
Overview of Lecture
• My Background
• Business Model of Universities
• Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture
• Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers
• Industry-Academia Collaboration
• Innovation and Start-Up Companies
• Scientific Publishing
Collaboration with Industry
I have always collaboraterd closely with industry, either directly or through
various funding schemes
• During time at DTU it was collaboration primarily around production of
antibiotics and enzymes
• Since moving to Chalmers it has mainly been around engineering
yeast and genome-scale metabolic modeling (about 25 MSEK in
funding from companies since 2008)
I have also served as SAB member and as consultant for a number of
international companies
Nature Biotechnology (2015) 33:237-240
Academia-Industry Collaboration
Overall Pros and Cons
For industry For academy
Advantages of Contract Research
Some general reflections
Any industry-academia collaboration should consider the following:
• Mutual respect
• Understanding of the “business model” of the other partner (profit vs.
training and education)
• Clear guidelines about how to handle intellectual property rights
• What will each partner contribute with to the project
• If industry is solely providing money it is often not a good collaboration
• If academia is doing the collaboration only for the funding then it is often
not a good collaboration
• Frequent meetings with discussion on progress of the project
• Industry should be open about the objectives of the work
• Academia should be able to handle confidential information without
distorting its “open academic environment”
For academia – remember that sometimes it is better to say NO than enter
into a bad deal
Do not see this as a way of getting funding for your own ideas – will not work!
Overview of Lecture
• My Background
• Business Model of Universities
• Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture
• Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers
• Industry-Academia Collaboration
• Innovation and Start-Up Companies
• Scientific Publishing
Innovation
Founded five Spin-out companies
• Classical VC backed company
• Seed VC funding
• Project based funding and strategic investor
(www.metabogen.com)
• Industrial collaboration projects and project based
funding (www.biopetrolia.com)
• Project based funding and strategic investor
(www.elypta.com)
MycoTeQ
Natural Products Discovery
Some general reflections
Here are my recommendations for starting companies:
• Choose your partners with care; be aware that there may be hired a CEO
that is not necessarily fond of having the founders around!
• Do not establish the company too early – better to mature it further in
academia before it is spun-out
• Try to avoid VCs and if not possible then choose your VCs with care
• Make sure that investors (all of them) and founders have the same vision
for the company (ruined Fluxome even though the company was
successful in many aspects)
• A major problem with VC funding in Europe is that companies are under-
financed; i.e. constant need for fund-raising
• Try to get as much soft-money as possible (even though some VCs may
argue against this)
• Use your network to establish the strongest possible team for your
company (actively engaged, advisors, etc)
Be willing to work hard for a very long time!
Overview of Lecture
• My Background
• Business Model of Universities
• Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture
• Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers
• Industry-Academia Collaboration
• Innovation and Start-Up Companies
• Scientific Publishing
Scientific Publishing
FEMS Yeast Research (2017) 17:fox075
Scientific Publishing
In 2010 Elsevier reported profit of 724 million GBP, corresponding to 35%
of its revenue. Far more than any pharmaceutical company, and more than
Apple, Google and Amazon reported that year!
Three largest publishers Elsevier (24%), Springer (12%) and Wiley-
Blackwell (12%) control about half of the now 10 billion GBP market -
Springer probably even more after their merger with Nature Publishing
Group (now Springer Nature)
Open Access publishing in increasing
So where to publish:
• Who are the editors (are they well-known)?
• Are there similar papers published in the journal?
• Who publish the paper?
• Is there a clear editorial policy?
• Is the paper indexed in e.g. PubMed?
Aim for journals that are affiliated with a society or academy so profit is
challenged back to us scientists
Should I engage in editor roles
I think it can be very rewarding to be an editor of a journal
But it is time consuming, so choose with care. No need to become editor
of a journal you would otherwise not really consider for your own papers
A possible route for engaging in bringing back scientific publishing to the
scientists!

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Copenhagen Bioscience Lecture 8 January 2018 - Niels Jensen

  • 1. Research Leadership, Mentorship, Publishing and Innovation Jens Nielsen Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China
  • 2. Overview of Lecture • My Background • Business Model of Universities • Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture • Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers • Industry-Academia Collaboration • Innovation and Start-Up Companies • Scientific Publishing
  • 3. Overview of Lecture • My Background • Business Model of Universities • Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture • Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers • Industry-Academia Collaboration • Innovation and Start-Up Companies • Scientific Publishing
  • 4. Education • MSc in Chemical Engineering, DTU (1986) • PhD in Biochemical Engineering, DTU (1989) • Dr. techn., DTU (1995) (habilitation) Positions • Post doc, University of Hannover • Group Leader, DTU (1990-1995) • Fullbright scholar, MIT (1995-1996) • Associate Professor, DTU (1996-1998) • Professor, DTU (1998-2008) • Adjunct Professor, NTNU (2005-2012) • Professor, Chalmers, (2008-) • Professor, DTU (2011-) • Adjunct Professor, KTH (2012-2017) • Adjunct Professor, Beijing University of Chemical Technology (2015-) CV - brief
  • 5. CV - brief Publications • >600 papers in peer reviewed journals • 3 text books (one translated to Chinese and Japanese; one in 3.ed) • >30 issued patents and >20 patent applications Grants • Raised more than 400 MSEK in competitive grants as PI since 2008 • Raised more than 200 MDKK in competitive grants as PI in Denmark • Co-raised 1.500 MDKK for NNF CFB Editor • Editor in Chief of FEMS Yeast Research, Editor of 5 other journals • Member of editorial board of many journals Research supervision • Main supervisor of 75 graduated PhD students (currently 24) • Co-supervisor of 39 graduated PhD students (currently 2) • 78 former affiliated post docs (currently 26)
  • 6. Sugars Volume Value Ethanol Fatty Acids Docasanol 3HP Sesquiterpenes Enzymes S. cerevisiae Systems Biology Insulin Yeast as a Platform Organism We have engineered yeast for production of a wide range of products Octanoic acid Alkanes Coumaric Acid Resveratrol Ornitine Science (2014) 346:75-78 Nature Com. (2016) 7:11709 JACS (2016) 138:15368-15377 Nature Chem. Biol. (2016) 13:360-362 Nature Com. (2017) 8:15587 Nature Com. (2015) 6:8224 PNAS (2015) 112:E4689-96; Nature Com. (2017), in press Antibiotics Met. Eng. (2009) 11:391-397 Met. Eng. (2015) 32:1-11 Met. Eng. (2009) 22:104-109 Met. Eng. (2015) 31:181-188 Met. Eng. (2012) 14:91-103 BMC Biol. (2012) 10:16 Hemoglobin Synthetic Biology Met. Eng. (2014) 21:9-16
  • 7. Personalized Medicine From detailed phenotypic analysis, e.g. using omics analysis, of subjects participating in clinical studies and from large N-of-1 studies we are enabling better stratification of subjects Implementation of stratification requires strong prognostic biomarkers, and identification of these is the foundation of personalized medicine Cell Metab. (2017) 25:572-579
  • 8. The Human Microbiome • The body contains 10 times more bacteria, archaea, fungi and other micro-organisms than human cells. • over 30,000 microbial genome projects (1995-2014) cover < 20% of the diversity of cultured archaeal and bacterial species represent just 15% of the overall known prokaryotic diversity 8Nature (2013) 498:99-103; Cell Metabolism (2015) 22:320-331
  • 9. Overview of Lecture • My Background • Business Model of Universities • Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture • Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers • Industry-Academia Collaboration • Innovation and Start-Up Companies • Scientific Publishing
  • 10. Business Model of Universities Classical University: Educate students so they can take contribute to the benefit of society. Focused on ”professional” type education like medicine, law, economics, and theology
  • 11. Humbolt University in Berlin is considered ”the mother of all modern universities” Was established by Kaiser Wilhelm in 1811* as University of Berlin, and became known for pioneering the Humboltian model of higher education: Integration of arts and sciences with research to achieve both comprehensive general learning and cultural knowledge The idea of holistic academic training, that is closely integrated with a research mindset, was a natural extension of the enlightment, but it was first formulated by Humbolt and integrated into university education with the foundation of Humbolt University Many North American universities, in particular Harvard, Princeton, Yale and University of Chicago, but also Oxford and Cambridge, embrassed this new model for education and resulted in establishment of research universities * Interesting enough Kaiser Wilhelm also established the Max Planck Society (originally the Kaiser Wilhelm Society) in 1811, and MPIs are today world-leading research institutes Business Model of Universities
  • 12. Business Model of Universities Classical University: Educate students so they can take contribute to the benefit of society. Focus on ”professional” type education like medicine, law, economics, and theology Modern University: Educate students so they can take contribute to the benefit of society, but based on the Humboltian model Originally all research was financed by the owner (state or foundation) and with little external financing Changed in the 1970s with a rapid expansion of research
  • 13. Business Model of Universities Today a high-profile university have many stakeholders Stakeholder Provide Expects Government Financing Education Research Innovation Gov. consulting Students Time (career) Education Governmental research funds* Financing Research Innovation (some) Private research funds Financing Research Innovation (some) Companies Financing Competence Research problem Problems solved Innovation * Includes multinational funders like EU or even foreign national funds like NIH, DoE
  • 14. Universities = Research Hotels? With the funding for research provided by the host university becoming a smaller and smaller fraction the universities become “research hotels” for prominent researchers Good researchers have today many options to choose from (if they are willing to move!), so what does universities offer to attract the best: • Start-up package (rarely continuous funding) • Strong research environment • Good students • Brand
  • 15. >400 MSEK in external funding since 2008 Key funders are private foundations providing about 20 MSEK/year (Novo Nordisk Foundation and KAW) Chalmers funding (including for own salary): 5 MSEK/year 2016-2018 directed funding and 4 MSEK/year in faculty funding Funding: Own Example
  • 16. How to be Successful Obviously many ways, but the following seems to be general guidelines for having success, and my experience tells me that they hold well also for building a successful research career Have high self-control (Marshmellow test) Avoid destractions, keep-going even when it is not fun Have grit Be able to keep going besides defeat (rejection of papers, grant proposals, delayed promotions, …) - perserverance Be able to acquire a love for the work - passion Hard work Spend the 10,000 hours required to be good at something Model of Angela Duckworths: Talents x Effort = Skills; Skills x Effort = Achievements
  • 17. How to be Successful Important to identify an overall goal There may be sub-goals that align with this, but these should not be many For each sub-goals there can be specific projects; e.g. write paper A, … Besides being organized many other factors are important: • Network • Good time management (difficult) • Rely on trust (can be difficult and cause problems) • Work-private life balance (can be two conflicting overall goals) • Delegate responsibilities • Establish efficient SOPs for integration of newcomers to the group • Be thorough on recruitment Overall goal “Projects” Sub-goals
  • 18. Overview of Lecture • My Background • Business Model of Universities • Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture • Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers • Industry-Academia Collaboration • Innovation and Start-Up Companies • Scientific Publishing
  • 19. Experiences with Research Management Director, Center for Microbial Biotechnology, Technical University of Denmark A large research center with >60 researchers and multiple faculty (2000- 2008) Director, Systems Biology Group, Chalmers University of Technology Have build up a new research division of >80 researchers at Chalmers. Involves multiple faculty (2008-) Director, Area of Advance Life Science Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology Coordinates research across departments (>300 researchers) in the area of Life Science at Chalmers Scientific Director and CSO, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability Research coordination of a large center funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation (USD300M; >300 researchers) at DTU, Chalmers, UCSD and KTH 19
  • 20. Experiences with Research Management Founding Head of Department, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology Build a completely new department • Structured the department in terms of divisions • Build two large departmental infrastructures • Established a new administration • Established policies and culture 20
  • 21. Reflections Motivator rather than director I believe that in research it is more important to motivate than to actually tell people what to do. Be open and listen to people Encourage collaboration I believe in building an open environment with extensive collaboration – but collaboration should be driven by the researchers and not only by the PIs Out delegate Important not to micro-manage all aspects. Accept that others will do things differently, but that you as a director may learn from this Allow for a dynamic environment Organizations should be allowed to change on a regular basis in order to provide carrier options for all involved Important to build a strong culture Important to identify values you as a director think are the most important (openness, collaboration, …) and build a culture than fits these values 21
  • 22. Reflections – Complex organization Define roles It is important that the role of all players (managers) are well defined and also specify who can make decissions Decissions Important to make decissions – many organizations (particular in academia) are hampered by lack of decission making. Result in endless meetings with no results and frustrations in the organization Information to the organization Important to build trust in the management, i.e. employees will be informed when necessary. Do not involve all employees in all decissions! Meeting culture Install a strong meeting culture. No meeting requires more than 1 hour – stick to the agenda and make sure always to have actions 22
  • 23. Build Culture When you become PI it is extremely important that you think about which culture do you want to build for your group Often it develops quite naturally – the culture develops based on your principles, i.e. how you do research, how you mentor, how you interact with others, how you mentor students etc. Can be good to reflect on what are actually the Core Values in your group and are these consistent with what you want to project?
  • 28. Overview of Lecture • My Background • Business Model of Universities • Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture • Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers • Industry-Academia Collaboration • Innovation and Start-Up Companies • Scientific Publishing
  • 29. Nature Award for Mentoring Given for mentoring of >50 PhD studens and >40 Post doctoral researchers • Trust • Guidance • Encouragement
  • 31. Reflections – Mentoring Listen It is important to have your students/collaborator to express ideas, i.e. listen to what they say, and guide them through questions Individuality Important to respect the individuality of people. Strengthen collaborators strong sides and teach them to deal with their weak sides Get them to understand their own strength and weaknesses. Assist them with tools/methods to emphasize on improvements. Infuse optimism and enthusiasm Important to be optimistic and transfer enthusiasm
  • 32. Overview of Lecture • My Background • Business Model of Universities • Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture • Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers • Industry-Academia Collaboration • Innovation and Start-Up Companies • Scientific Publishing
  • 33. Collaboration with Industry I have always collaboraterd closely with industry, either directly or through various funding schemes • During time at DTU it was collaboration primarily around production of antibiotics and enzymes • Since moving to Chalmers it has mainly been around engineering yeast and genome-scale metabolic modeling (about 25 MSEK in funding from companies since 2008) I have also served as SAB member and as consultant for a number of international companies
  • 37. For industry For academy Advantages of Contract Research
  • 38. Some general reflections Any industry-academia collaboration should consider the following: • Mutual respect • Understanding of the “business model” of the other partner (profit vs. training and education) • Clear guidelines about how to handle intellectual property rights • What will each partner contribute with to the project • If industry is solely providing money it is often not a good collaboration • If academia is doing the collaboration only for the funding then it is often not a good collaboration • Frequent meetings with discussion on progress of the project • Industry should be open about the objectives of the work • Academia should be able to handle confidential information without distorting its “open academic environment” For academia – remember that sometimes it is better to say NO than enter into a bad deal Do not see this as a way of getting funding for your own ideas – will not work!
  • 39. Overview of Lecture • My Background • Business Model of Universities • Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture • Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers • Industry-Academia Collaboration • Innovation and Start-Up Companies • Scientific Publishing
  • 40. Innovation Founded five Spin-out companies • Classical VC backed company • Seed VC funding • Project based funding and strategic investor (www.metabogen.com) • Industrial collaboration projects and project based funding (www.biopetrolia.com) • Project based funding and strategic investor (www.elypta.com) MycoTeQ Natural Products Discovery
  • 41. Some general reflections Here are my recommendations for starting companies: • Choose your partners with care; be aware that there may be hired a CEO that is not necessarily fond of having the founders around! • Do not establish the company too early – better to mature it further in academia before it is spun-out • Try to avoid VCs and if not possible then choose your VCs with care • Make sure that investors (all of them) and founders have the same vision for the company (ruined Fluxome even though the company was successful in many aspects) • A major problem with VC funding in Europe is that companies are under- financed; i.e. constant need for fund-raising • Try to get as much soft-money as possible (even though some VCs may argue against this) • Use your network to establish the strongest possible team for your company (actively engaged, advisors, etc) Be willing to work hard for a very long time!
  • 42. Overview of Lecture • My Background • Business Model of Universities • Research Managements at Universities – Building Culture • Mentoring of Students and Associated Researchers • Industry-Academia Collaboration • Innovation and Start-Up Companies • Scientific Publishing
  • 43. Scientific Publishing FEMS Yeast Research (2017) 17:fox075
  • 44. Scientific Publishing In 2010 Elsevier reported profit of 724 million GBP, corresponding to 35% of its revenue. Far more than any pharmaceutical company, and more than Apple, Google and Amazon reported that year! Three largest publishers Elsevier (24%), Springer (12%) and Wiley- Blackwell (12%) control about half of the now 10 billion GBP market - Springer probably even more after their merger with Nature Publishing Group (now Springer Nature) Open Access publishing in increasing So where to publish: • Who are the editors (are they well-known)? • Are there similar papers published in the journal? • Who publish the paper? • Is there a clear editorial policy? • Is the paper indexed in e.g. PubMed? Aim for journals that are affiliated with a society or academy so profit is challenged back to us scientists
  • 45. Should I engage in editor roles I think it can be very rewarding to be an editor of a journal But it is time consuming, so choose with care. No need to become editor of a journal you would otherwise not really consider for your own papers A possible route for engaging in bringing back scientific publishing to the scientists!