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VIDEO: Healthcare industry and sharp minds get together at the Medical Innovation Day

On Friday 5 October 2018, researchers and PhD and Master's degree students from three different faculties at AU gathered to exchange ideas and to network with the healthcare industry. This year's Medical Innovation Day saw the industry representatives encouraged to ‘think inside the box'.

There was plenty of life and activity already from early morning around lecture theatre B at Skejby Hospital. Between posters, post-it notes and cardboard models of product ideas, seven teams of highly-motivated PhD and Master's degree students worked intensively to solve the case assignments that different companies from the healthcare industry had submitted to the ‘Challenge Track’.

In the adjacent rooms, an ‘Innovative Ideas Track’ was underway, in which seven selected researchers were given the opportunity to present their innovative ideas, and the research these were based on, to representatives from a number of major stakeholders in the healthcare industry.

Each track saw the number of participants gradually reduced during the day until there were just two finalists, who then had the opportunity to present their ideas in a plenary session in the large lecture theatre.

Watch the video from the Medical Innovation Day 2018 and meet the winners from each of the two tracks:

Keynote speakers delivered international inspiration
In addition to the two tracks, the day’s programme featured exciting presentations from two specially invited keynote speakers. The first was PhD Francesco De Rubertis, who is the co-founder of Medicxi, one of the largest investment funds in the life science area. He gave the participants a unique insight into what investment funds are looking for when evaluating whether an idea or a medical start-up is worth investing in. In addition, he shared some of the many insights he has accumulated over more than twenty years in the industry, for example on what type of corporate structures function in the long term, and the types of financing models that deliver the most successful life science companies.

The second keynote speaker was introduced shortly before the competition winners were announced. Despite only being 29 years old, Sandra Mjöll Jónsdóttir is both an associate professor and PhD, but also the founder and managing director of the company Platome, which she started in 2016 together with her PhD supervisor. She shared her inspiring story about Platome, which sells solutions for growing human cells and tissue in the laboratory. Her own innovative idea was that the discarded blood from blood banks could be used to produce a new type of cell culture of extremely high quality out of what is in essence waste.

Think inside the box
"We’re going to ask you to do the opposite of what you’ve learned and instead think inside the box,” said medical student Kristoffer B. Poulsen from the winning ‘Challenge Track’ team rather teasingly, as he and the rest of the team presented what they termed their ‘Trial Bank', which they demonstrated using a cardboard box. The winning team, which also included the two PhD students Martin Nors Skov and Rolf Blauenfeldt from Health and Master's degree student Zekerullah Nazari from BSS, convinced the company representatives with their idea for an effective tool to recruit participants to research trials.

On the ’Innovative Ideas Track’, first place went to Karin Lykke-Hartmann, associate professor at the Department of Biomedicine, who impressed the judges with a new approach that can potentially revolutionise fertility treatment for infertile women. "Infertility is a growing problem in many countries and therefore a field that we believe deserves more attention in terms of research," said the panel of judges in their reasons for choosing the winner.


Next year’s Medical Innovation Day will take place 27 September 2019 – so remember to save the date.