Global drugmakers seek to join hands with startups
SEOUL, March 13 (Yonhap) -- Global pharmaceutical companies are seeking to join hands with local startups as part of their effort to increase research and development (R&D) productivity, industry officials said Monday.
The move is part of their effort to adopt "open innovation," a network of collaboration with external institutes and individuals, as opposed to centralized R&D facilities to reduce costs, sources said.
According to the industry officials, French drugmaker Sanofi is currently looking for South Korean startups to attend Viva Technology scheduled to be held in Paris in June.
The program is one of France's biggest startup events where more than 5,000 startups collaborate with top global venture capital firms and corporations to grow their business ideas.
Sanofi said it plans to participate in the event with selected startups who will be given an opportunity to pitch their business ideas and receive mentoring services.
"Sanofi has been seeking promising technology and firms by looking around external biotech venture firms and research centers at universities," a company representative who declined to be named said.
Sanofi said collaborators can be from anywhere in the world, and the cooperation between partners and the company can be arranged in various ways.
Germany-based drug company Bayer Pharmaceuticals is also holding an open innovation program, "Grants4Apps Korea," in South Korea to look for promising startups in both IT and biotech sectors.
The event is the local version of "Grants4Apps Accelerator," a global open innovation program that identifies and supports innovative digital health projects and startups.
Boehringer Ingelheim is also seeking to join hands with local startups as part of a startup acceleration event "Making More Health."
It is a global initiative to support innovations from around the world to transform the field of health, the company said.