What kind of innovations does KI Innovations work with?

KI Innovations receives and evaluates project proposals that stem from life science research in areas such as pharma, diagnostics, and medtech. Thanks to our collaboration with a large number of external experts, we cover a broad spectrum of expertise in most life-science-related disciplines. In the current pipeline, KI Innovations has projects in areas such as drugs based on small molecules and proteins, molecular diagnostics, personalized drug-therapy optimization, research tools, mobile applications for health-parameter registration and treatment monitoring and health promoting programs.

Who can get help from KI Innovations?

Primarily, we work with research scientists and students at Karolinska Institutet. Various initiatives and partnerships such as collaboration with Karolinska Institutet’s strategic research areas within diabetes, cancer, and neuroscience enable us to devote extra effort in those areas. We also collaborate with researchers and students from other universities in Sweden and to some extent with individuals and companies without connection to academia.

What kind of support does KI Innovations offer?

KI Innovations has at our disposal the expertise, contacts, and funding that can help researchers to verify the commercial potential of their projects and take the projects toward commercial products– regardless of whether or not this involves incorporation, sales, or partnership with an existing company. The KI Innovations offering consists of three phases: OUTREACH, START, and DRIVE. Find out more in the For researchers/our offering section.

How does KI Innovations fund work within the projects?

Within the START program, projects are mainly supported by VINNOVA through the VFT-program (Verification for Growth) and by ALMI through their Förstudiemedel (pre-study funding). Startup companies without connections to academia can receive funding through SWElife.
In addition, KI Innovations can support researchers who have their own means of commercialization, for example, from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research or various types of EU funding. Investments that KI Innovations can make within the DRIVE+ program are financed via successful exits and licensing deals for projects in which KI Innovations has current or previous ownership.

Does KI Innovations assume ownership?

The activities within the START program are always free of charge. When projects enter DRIVE and DRIVE+, KI Innovations considers the option of minor ownership.

How does KI Innovations deal with confidential info?

All information is kept confidential. Our consultants sign contracts that govern confidentiality. Nevertheless, it’s crucial that all parties involved in a project avoid sending emails and documents with confidential information that can be critical for a patent (e.g., chemical structures or names).

What is IP protection?

Applying for patent protection is a way of ensuring exclusive right to commercialization of an invention. Inventions are only patentable if they are new, inventive, and solve a technical problem. Read more here.

What is the Teachers’ Exemption?

The Teachers’ Exemption, or the Professors’ Privilege, means that teachers and researchers employed by a Swedish university own the rights to their patentable inventions. That said, in connection with various collaborative projects and contract research, the rights can be signed over. Ensuring ownership is very important and should be done at an early stage.

How can I find out more about commercialization of research?

We are delighted to discuss things you need to think about regarding research results commercialization and what we can offer. Why not book a meeting? Just contact us.

What if I partner with a company?

Partnerships with companies are often necessary for getting a product onto the market. However, to ensure ownership of the innovation you should rigorously scrutinize contracts before signing with a company. More information can be provided by us or the Innovation Office at KI.

How do I get in contact?

The easiest way is to get in touch with one of our staff. If you want to submit a project proposal, please fill out the Invention Disclosure Form and send it back to us.

At what stage should I contact KI Innovations?

You can contact us at any stage. That said, we encourage you to discuss with us before you submit a publication or a patent application. Preferably, you should have findings that support your hypothesis. General questions about patents, company start-up/development, and interaction with industry can also be answered by the Innovation office.

What happens when I contact KI Innovations?

We will ask you to complete an Invention Disclosure Form and send it to us. If we believe that we can support you with your project, you are invited to come and introduce yourself and your project. Together we discuss an appropriate strategy for commercialization and identify activities that should be carried out. Your appointed coach will then bring up the project at an internal decision meeting. If the activities are approved, we identify an expert who will be involved in the project. As a researcher, you are always responsible for the project’s development, while business coaches and consultants are there to support you in their role as experts. Need more info?

What should I keep in mind?

These circumstances should be clarified at an early project phase:

• Ownership: Who is/are the inventor/s in the project? Are there other people who should be part of the ownership – without being regarded as an inventor? Was any company or other third party involved? Are you dependent of someone else’s technology?

• Need: Specify the need for the invention? Who will benefit from the invention? Who will pay for the use of that invention? What other solutions are available?

• Unique selling point: What is unique about your invention compared to other solutions to the same problem?

• Publications and applications: Is the invention described in any publication or application? Note that some applications for funding are considered public documents.

What’s the deal if I published my invention?

It should be pointed out that a patent isn’t always necessary for commercialization of an invention. Ideas can also be protected by using trademark, copyright, and design protection – or simply by keeping the solution a secret. However, we strongly recommend that you consult with us or the Innovation office before publishing anything that could be patentable. To obtain patent protection, information about the invention must not have been published, and the invention must have a significant degree of novelty compared to already published information. Some applications for funding are considered to be public documents.

What does it take from me?

You must be willing, with support from business coaches, to run the project’s commercial development to a point at which someone else takes over.

What measures does KI Innovations take to ensure that the research underlying accepted projects was conducted in accordance with adequate ethical and scientific standards?

Researchers approaching KI Innovations are obliged to ensure that all work associated with their invention/s was carried out in accordance with the rules and policies for ethical and legal conduct applicable at Karolinska Institutet, such as Guidelines for planning, conducting and documenting experimental research or Guidelines for planning, conducting and documenting clinical and epidemiological research. Ethical aspects are thus handled within the framework of the strictly academic activities at Karolinska Institutet and are not part of KI Innovations’ formal assignment.

Why should I commercialize my research findings?

In most cases, commercialization is a necessity so that progress and discoveries within research can lead to products that benefit individuals and society. Many new treatments have emerged from academic research but have reached patients with help from companies.