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Blast-off for new study programme in health entrepreneurship

BioMedical Design Fellows. A Novo Nordisk Foundation Programme

The first round could not have gone better. A new initiative to teach seasoned professionals about innovation and entrepreneurship for the health and care sector has just closed its first round of applications, and it received 150 bids for 16 spots. BioMedical Design Novo Nordisk Foundation Fellowship is a new study programme co-located with Copenhagen Science City. By Jes Andersen.

Doctors, designers and engineers in same classroom

The BioMedical Design programme aims to take on researchers, doctors, nurses and physiotherapists who want to contribute to innovation in their fields. Another potential group of students are engineers, business professionals and designers with a wish to transition their careers into the health sector. CEO of the programme Sys Zoffmann Glud is excited to see a field of applicants that actually represents all her wishes for the mix of students.

We have received applications from a very strong and very diverse field of specialists. This means we can assemble teams with extraordinary cross-disciplinary competencies. Our applicants have high ambitions and strong visions. Working with them will be fantastic”: Sys Zoffmann Glud, Managing Director, BioMedical Design Novo Nordisk Foundation Fellowship.

Co-creation across disciplines crucial to sustainable solutions

Many of the applicants have experience in fieldwork, and have seen first-hand what tools are necessary to make a sustainable project. An important one is the ability to work in a cross-disciplinary setting. At BioMedical design a primary aim is to teach just this.

“Increasingly, research, industry and the healthcare sector need to collaborate, and collaborate well. The healthcare sector has become so complex, that co-creation is crucial to creating sustainable products and services. If we can teach our students to work across sectors, sustainable healthcare products could become major exports from Denmark”, says Sys Zoffmann Glud.

Fieldwork to kickstart innovation process

Glud trained in molecular biology and has taught health innovation and entrepreneurship for several years. Recently in the “INNO-X, HEALTH” programme in Denmark’s second largest city Århus. The Novo Nordisk Foundation funds the BioMedical Design Programme. The ten-month programme will focus on so-called needs driven innovation and teams of four will visit hospital wards to uncover needs, choose sustainable solutions, develop prototypes and create a business plan for the resulting product.

International experience: Alumni will stay innovative

The BioMedical Design programme is built on international experience. Programmes like “BioDesign” at Stanford University in California, USA and BioInnovate in Ireland have shown that one in three fellows will start their own business. Doctors tend to become heavily involved in innovation projects when they return to practice and others who return to their original jobs tend to develop solutions to clinical needs and use their new skills to drive innovation processes in their organisations.

Currently a selection panel is reading the many applications. On May 9th the lucky 16 will get word of their acceptance.