By the end of 2020, BioInnovation Institute reached a very important milestone as it marked the end of our three-year establishment phase under the wings of one of the world’s most renowned foundations, the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
It has taken three years to set the framework in place for the mission that we are on. We have laid the groundwork and funded 85 start-ups and university projects with commercial aspirations. We have celebrated the many BII alumni that have raised funding and continued their journeys toward bringing innovative solutions to the market. We have built close collaborations with key players and important institutes who have trusted us with their expertise and research.
However, this is merely the beginning. With our strong heritage and the possibility of financial support from the Novo Nordisk Foundation of up to EUR 470M over a 10-years period, we have now initiated a phase with rapid expansion that will put us at the forefront as the leading and preferred life science incubator in Europe.
Over the coming years, BioInnovation Institute expects to host an ecosystem of up to 500 people. We expect to increase the funding of start-ups and early-stage university projects significantly. And we believe, we will have attracted life science projects not only from Denmark and the Nordic countries but from around the globe.
“We have now initiated a phase with rapid expansion that will put us at the forefront as the leading and preferred life science incubator in Europe.“
These are bold statements but no real measures of success.
Our success depends on how well the start-ups and university projects that pass our way reach their goals of reducing health care costs, curing people, and solving climate challenges with sustainable solutions.
My biggest dream is to look back 10 years from now and see how BioInnovation Institute has significantly impacted global health and the environment by bringing ideas to life and research to the market for the benefit of people and society.
We owe a big thanks to the Novo Nordisk Foundation for putting their trust in us and to the life science ecosystem for inviting us in. We look forward to broadening our international networks and partnerships in the future.
Jens Nielsen joined BioInnovation Institute as CEO in 2018. He is a professor at Chalmers University of Technology where he founded the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering and prior to joining BII, he held the position as Chief Science Officer and Scientific Director at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at the Technical University of Denmark.
He is an internationally respected scientist who has published more than 700 scientific articles that have been cited more than 70,000 times. He has received numerous awards, including the Novozymes Prize, the ENI Prize, the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation, Nature Award for Mentoring, the Emil Chr. Hansen Gold Medal, and the Gold Medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. In 2019, he was honored as Knight, Ridder af Dannebrog, by Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark for his meritorious service and contribution to science.
Jens Nielsen has been elected into several academies, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, the National Academy of Sciences, USA, the National Academy of Engineering, USA, and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Jens Nielsen has several years of entrepreneurial expertise as the founder of biotech companies such as Fluxome A/S, MycoTeQ A/S, MetaboGen AB, Biopetrolia AB, Elypta AB, and Chrysea Ltd.