Karolinska Institutet has a proud history of ground breaking dis­coveries that have improved the lives for people all over the world, with the pacemaker, the gamma knife and the Seldinger tech­nique as inspirational examples. When we look back we see how KI:s curiosity-driven research has led to fundamental changes in how diseases are prevented, diagnosed, and treated.

With new infrastructure in place and with our synergistic interaction with the regional health care system it is time to look ahead and ponder how we can facilitate the development of a viable Life Science Cluster in the Stockholm region. Much is in place already and there is no lack of political backing. At the national level there is an ambition to establish Sweden as a strong global actor in Life Sciences. This ambition is echoed by Region Stockholm which aims to rank among the world’s top five Life Science hubs by 2023. An ambitious goal indeed.

Reaching for this goal, innovation is key. On 29 March, KI Innovation will arrange a seminar dedicated to ideas that have ema­nated from Karolinska Institutet over the past 20 years. The upcoming seminar will focus on ideas that have led to new products and treatments and to improved organization and work processes in the health care system, including prevention and social sustainability. By looking back we can better envision the future.

The seminar will be held in Biomedicum, our brand new building for fundamental research. No venue could be more appropriate. Of the 3300 patent applications that were filed by KI between 1995 and 2010, more than 40 % emanated from the current Biomedicum departments. A number of companies can be traced back to the research environments that now reside in our new building.

New insight has value in itself. Value is added when new insight is turned into something that benefits patients and the society at large. The road towards implementation is often long and tortuous. Research on the implementation process is therefore crucial. We simply need to know more about the obstacles we should remove and the success factors we should embrace in order to translate excellent research into world-class healthcare. My ambition is to strengthen this knowledge at the national level, through collaboration with other universities and relevant actors. This ambition is very much in line with KI:s new vision that says that we should strive for a better health for all.

The upcoming seminar will surely bring to the fore many of those success factors that we need to embrace in the time to come. Please contact Maria Holmström at KI Innovation for more information.

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