Bart van As Odile Steijger

Steijger and Van As reflect on how Chemelot InSciTe translates scientific innovations into valuable business that will contribute to healthy aging and a circular economy.

​“Valorisation literally means the creation of value”, says Odile Steijger, Business Developer at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. Steijger works part of her time as Valorisation Manager for Chemelot InSciTe, specifically for the InSciTe Biomedical program. “In general, there are several possibilities to valorise knowledge, for example by publication of research data in peer-reviewed journals. However, here at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, we create value by creating new businesses, resulting in new products, processes or services on the market. ” InSciTe is not interested in just any new products or processes, as Steijger explains: “We are aiming for innovation with a societal impact, for example a new biomedical application that will improve a patient’s life or a more sustainable process that will contribute to a circular economy.”

“We trigger scientists to keep their entrepreneurial mindset sharp”
Odile Steijger

Scientific knowledge and knowhow is the starting point for any new process or product, but as Steijger and Van As explain, it will never have a societal impact unless is it valorised and commercialized. “The first step in valorisation is the identification of opportunities in RT&D projects. The second step is creating the right circumstances for an opportunity to grow into a business”, says Bart Van As, Business Developer at Brightlands and Valorisation Manager for the InSciTe Biobased program. To ensure that opportunities are identified, there is a close involvement from the Valorisation Managers in all InSciTe projects from the start. “As Valorisation Managers, we work closely together with the scientific project team to identify opportunities for Intellectual Property (IP) generation and business creation. It is our job to ask critical questions and to be a sparring partner for the realization of a Valorisation Plan”, says Steijger. Of course, the involvement of Steijger and Van As does not stop when the Valorisation Plan is created. Steijger: “We will stay involved in the projects for guidance and support to make sure that projects result in new technologies that can be turned into valuable businesses. We trigger scientists to keep their entrepreneurial mindset sharp. In addition, we must ensure that IP is not lost by the publication of data in scientific journals.” Van As points out that the valorisation activities of InSciTe that will lead to the actual creation of a business run parallel to the RT&D program. “RT&D programs lead to results (proof of principles) that are opportunities for valorisation. All activities to create value from these opportunities, are not performed by the project teams.”

“Here at InSciTe you will get support from experts in the field. That will accelerate the creation of value from knowledge"
Bart van As

Obviously, a business is not started overnight. “To start a new business, you need an entrepreneurial environment”, says Steijger. “I often start by searching for an entrepreneur to complement the competences and knowledge of the scientific project team. A team of 2 or 3 scientists and entrepreneurs will find the right balance between developing a perfect product versus assessing the need for a product on the market and developing a business plan for it. We provide an open-innovation ecosystem, where a start-up can work with dedication on the development of their new business.” Van As adds “Here at InSciTe you will get support from experts in the field. That will accelerate value creation from knowledge. At the end of the Valorisation Program, a new start-up will consist of a strong team, will have a business plan, a reliable network, finances, contract arrangements on IP licensing and shares, and the facilities to get started. Only then a start-up has chance of success in today’s competitive environment.”

To get in touch with one of InSciTe’s Valorisation Managers, find their contact details below:

InSciTe Biomedical:

InSciTe Biobased:

Odile Steijger

Bart van As

T +31 6 20 39 84 45

T +31 6 19 27 38 46

odile.steijger@chemelot-inscite.com

bart.vanas@chemelot-inscite.com

 

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Translating knowledge into business

Chemelot InSciTe