A true global player leaving Karolinska Institutet

Alexander von Gabain has brought a global perspective and laid a solid foundation for KI’s innovation and commercial outreach

Alexander von Gabain’s contract as deputy vice-chancellor for Innovation and Commercial Outreach is soon coming to an end and last week a very pleasant reception in our wonderful “Gammelgården”, gave us a chance to honor his achievements. Alex is a true global player in a world where education, research and innovation are increasingly conducted on the global arena. Three years ago Alex arrived from the international life science arena and an exceptional career in life science and innovation to bring knowledge and experience into the KI innovation system. The last three years have seen increased coordination within the KI innovation system facilitating access for researchers and teachers. A much needed systematic information and communication campaign was rolled out and an innovation council that brought together key stake holders was established. A number of important collaborations have been established under Alex leadership.

Last year Alex was named the coordinator of the year. Very relevant for a person who brings the message of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the KI, Stockholm-Uppsala, Swedish, European and global level.

Innovation and commercial outreach, important responsibilities for Karolinska Institutet

The government and the society has clear expectations on the sector to bring our results into innovation for the benefit of individuals and society. However, innovation and commercial outreach are not without challenges for our sector. In general innovation, including in life sciences, takes a long time, the incubator and science park landscape is fragmented and undercapitalized calling for improved coordination. Here KI, by virtue of our size, needs to take a significant responsibility for innovation within life sciences. Collaborations with large pharma, med tech and biotech companies are important as a way to translate research finding into innovation but not least to get academic scientists access to competence, experience, methodology and techniques available within the commercial sector.

That we are successful in innovation and commercial outreach is also important for the vision of the Stockholm-Uppsala region as a world leading life science cluster.

KI’s education and research activities in the future health care landscape; Next step starts with an creative, constructive and forward looking retreat

The future health care landscape in Stockholm is not without challenges for a KI’s education and research. I have commissioned the Board of Higher Education to analyze the consequences for KI’s education with focus on the new content of the Karolinska University Hospital in Solna. I have also commissioned the heads of our clinical departments to analyze the consequences for the education and research that is within their respective responsibility. At a retreat last week these reports were discussed among head of clinical departments, KI members of the Karolinska R&D committee, additional members of the boards,  the pro vice-chancellor and additional key individuals. I joined the retreat for the late afternoon and evening and I was very happy listening to the creative, constructive and forward looking discussions.  Critical issues identified include expansion of the Academic Specialist Center, the content of the local emergency ward at KI, maintained structures for interprofessional training and expansion of diagnosis at KI Solna. The work will now continue in smaller work groups which will shortly be appointed and given defined tasks that include to address concrete actions that is proposed to secure KI’s education and research in the future health care landscape.

News article on Alex at the staff portal.



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