An interview with Marco Mazzola, knowledge Transfer Senior Specialist, Dompé Pharma 

by Chiara Buongiovanni, eHealth HUB Communication Officer

According to Marco Mazzola Knowledge Transfer Specialist at Dompé Pharma, the digital health ecosystem represents an opportunity to apply the open innovation model. And opportunities are there for all the involved actors. Following the recent eHealth HUB Solution Match through which Dompe met those European startups with the best fitting solutions to their specific needs,
we asked Marco for some insights: enjoy the reading!

Talking about the digital health ecosystem, which is the vision for open innovation at a major pharma as Dompé?

Digital health ecosystem well fits our idea of Open Innovation. In our vision, three elements characterize an open problem. First, the solution of business needs that we are not capable of solving with our standard processes and competencies. Second, an enabling technology that can help to solve the business need. Third, the merging of internal and external competences to reach a solution.

In this vision, the digital health ecosystem represents an opportunity to apply the model, because it presents all three features. In particular, digital technologies are quite recent, fast growing, and propose new methodologies that we are willing to adopt inside a corporate. Finally yet importantly, they represent new therapeutics opportunities that pharma companies must consider to shape the future of cure.

Which is currently the major challenge you are facing when working (or trying to work) with eHealth SMEs and startups in Europe?

The major challenge we are facing is probably the real understanding of the business potential of the innovation proposed by the startup ecosystem. Ideas are often appealing and robust from a scientific point of view, but the market must validate the rise of these new business models.

Why did you decide to work with eHealth HUB for launching the Dompe Solution Match?

We were aware of a lot of funding initiatives of the European Commission to foster the innovation ecosystem in digital health. We were searching for a way to reach this vast ecosystem to propose our challenges with an open Innovation approach. We then got in contact with eHealth HUB, and we immediately understood that they could help us in targeting this goal, and they did.

Would you share with us your “key takeaways” from the Solution Match experience?

First, the Solution Match experience is an excellent opportunity to reach a panel of digital health startups that has already been validated by European experts, reducing the risk of weak projects and teams.

Second, the team is professional and well qualified. The support is continuous and the value evident since the very first talks.

Based on your current work and your experience, do you have a “top suggestion” for SMEs and startups willing to work with the pharma industry?

As I often say, my top suggestion is to change the way they pitch their solution to the companies; they are not investors. In our case, the team that received positive feedbacks were those that adapted their technological solutions to our business needs.

july, 2019

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