PTC x IoT ONE IIoT Spotlight Podcast EP049 - How Merck uses open innovation to improve R&D efficiency – An Interview with Sophie Sun of Merck Group

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By Eric Suter, Erik Walenza: CEO, IoT ONE | Chair, IIC Smart Factory Task Group | Director, and Startup Grind. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

*This episode of the IIoT Spotlight Podcast is sponsored by PTC.

In this episode of the IIoT Spotlight Podcast, we discuss the leading digital technologies in healthcare and medical devices in China, and why open innovation makes sense for innovation in traditional and deep-science industries.

Key takeaways:

  • Open innovation collaboration allows 3 parties to leverage each other’s strengths:
  1. Start ups strong in technology can leverage the domain knowledge of industry leaders to build out practical use cases and solutions
  2. Industry leaders can access the technological expertise of the startups
  3. The academia and government to gain practical information from private sector to guide policy and programs

  • Domains deeply B2B and scientifically dependent are primed for open innovation as the technology development cycle is long and expensive, so it is ideal to partner with actors who have technical or industry expertise, as it is highly expensive for any individual actor to do it on their own.
  • Merck’s Accelerator program focuses on engaging startups for 3 months to allow existing businesses to access technology that will be the future of these sectors. There are 3 engagement formats: incubation within the group, M&A or investment by the corporate VC program, or work together with internal R&D teams.
  • However, innovation programs are not enough to achieve efficiency in R&D, mindsets and skillsets of internal staff and processes need to be changed to accept and embrace new technologies and changes.
  • The difference between startups from Germany and China is the market readiness of Chinese startups. In China, startups are able to test their product more due to the faster pace of adoption of digital solutions and concepts in both the market and the government.
  • Two main successes are a track and trace solution throughout the supply chain to maintain safety and quality standards, and a joint venture to develop a platform for data insights to develop better solutions for patients by understanding their purchase behavior and needs.

Sophie Sun is the Managing Director Innovation Hub China and Vice President Strategy & Transformation China at Merck Group. Merck Group is a leading science and technology company in the Healthcare, Life Science, and Performance Materials sectors headquartered in Darmstardt, Germany, and active in 66 countries worldwide.

Accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things. IoT ONE is an insights and advisory firm focused on helping companies manage the threats and opportunities presented by the Internet of Things. https://www.iotone.com

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