BioInnovation Institute’s (BII) first Impact Report highlights key data, developments and stories from BII in 2020.
In 2020, the Novo Nordisk Foundation established BII as an independent foundation in recognition of its success in incubating and accelerating world-class life science research. BII maintains a vision of supporting world-class life science innovation that drives the development of new solutions by early-stage life science start-ups to benefit people and society.
BII has just released its first impact report 2020 highlighting the development in three areas: Building a catalyst platform, supporting a thriving portfolio and BII’s outreach, community building and collaborations in 2020.
Building a ‘catalyst platform’
To achieve its vision, BII built a ‘catalyst platform’ in 2020 centered around its three programs (Venture Lab, Creation House and Faculty) targeting early-stage life science companies and high-profile researchers in the field of life science. Venture Lab is a newly launched program and proves that BII has a focus on continuously reshaping its programs to address the needs of the market and key stakeholders.
From 2019-2020, BII saw an increase of 68 percent of applicants to its programs. A development that underlines how BII in close collaboration with partners and stakeholders plays an important role in the life science ecosystem.
Supporting a thriving portfolio
The start-ups supported by BII received 14.3 million euros and due to a high number of qualified applicants, BII funded 29% more projects in 2020 than in 2019. Since world-class research exists around the globe, BII invited researchers and aspiring entrepreneurs from Nordic countries and beyond to apply for its programs. Twenty-three percent of the total number of applications came from abroad. Attracting international applicants are essential in making BII increasingly more global. However, there is still an unexploited potential to attract more talented internationals to reside at BII’s premises.
BII focuses on life science start-ups within the fields of therapeutics, health tech and bioindustrials. Areas that hold potential in tackling significant societal challenges and unmet needs. The start-ups supported by BII address issues such as male infertility, water-borne pests, pregnancy loss, and depression. By the end of 2020, the start-ups incubated raised 46.3 million euros, and most of the money was raised by start-ups operating in the therapeutic space. However, health tech start-ups play a crucial role in improving patient safety by reducing medication errors, reducing adverse drug reactions, and paving the way for more personalized treatment methods shifting away from a “one size fits all” approach. On the other hand, bioindustrials are essential for creating more sustainable food production and more biobased manufacturing methods in the industrial sector.
Outreach, community and collaborations
None of the results mentioned above could have been achieved by BII alone. Since its inauguration, BII has focused on nurturing and further developing its network of partners, stakeholders and collaborators. In 2020, BII formalized collaboration with nine new venture capital partners, established three public partnerships with universities and got eight new contract partners that create value for the incubated start-ups.
Through building close collaborations with key stakeholders and essential institutes nationally and internationally BII has been able to bring more ideas to life and research to market.