Interdisciplinary research can be an essential driver for innovation in the medical device and pharmaceutical space. The opportunities are positive where collaboration between researchers or soon to be entrepreneurs can result in an idea that eventually leads to commercialisation.
Interdisplinary research involves bringing together inventors or researchers from separate disciplines. By drawing upon the unique expertise of each individual, the team creates new knowledge that would not be possible without collaboration. The Human Genome Project is a tremendous success story, where researchers from a variety of disciplines, such as: geneticists, biochemists, physicists and mathematicians, came together to decode the human genome. Although an understanding of human genetics was necessary, the staggering amounts of data analysed also required the expertise of computer scientists and mathematicians to manage the sensitive data. The data from the human genome project has resulted in the commercialisation of genetic diagnostic services, where patients are scanned for particular genes that are in indication of a higher risk of a particular disease.
The following may need to be considered when establishing an interdisciplinary team:
- The additional time that may be required in developing a common language and framework to deliver a commercial output
- How to set performance goals for an interdisciplinary team
- Higher risk levels and cost
- The funding of the project
- Setting a realistic budget and promised deliverables
- The roles of each individual within the collaboration
- Potential IP ownership issues
At Inner Maven we have coached and managed collaborating researchers that started out in the research space, only to find that their separate ideas could come together to produce a commercial product. We have also assisted these teams in obtaining significant amounts of commercial funding.