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To me, it is all about using available resources as smart as possible. That is why I am so interested in everything that has to do with disseminating knowledge. Knowledge has to be spread to be beneficial to others. For the same reason, I am also interested in educational science, the art of making knowledge flow – between individuals, within organizations or between different organizations. And we do have to get better at this.
But first, they have to meet.
The need for meetings and meeting-places can seem self-explanatory, but scientists and entrepreneurs still often keep aloof. And that is a pity because it often means we are wasting time, money and knowledge, and not taking full advantage of the investments made in scientific instruments and a host of other precious assets.
Imagine scientists as oil and business people as vinegar. For them to mix, you have to add work, you have to shake vigorously. And to ensure the mixture hold together for a longer period, also some form of emulsifier is necessary. For oil and vinegar, mustard or honey will do the job perfectly. For scientists and business people, a professional resource from the outside is often a good idea – e.g. my own company CR Competence. We work as well with academic scientists as we do with entrepreneurs or project managers in industry. We love being the emulsifier making working relationships between them possible or using our understanding of both worlds in projects with sustainable value.
If we want to change the world, research findings have to be commercialized and put on the market. Even the discovery of penicillin did not cure anyone. I took a sustainable product, accessible to the public, for penicillin to achieve its disruptive effect on bacteriological diseases.
My point is that knowledge can only contribute to change if we let it. As with penicillin, scientific breakthroughs seldom create any change by themselves. They have to be retrieved from where they were produced and put together with other kinds of insights. And this is what characterizes the innovation process. No matter how revolutionary research results may be, individual research or researchers seldom save the world.
To turn science into innovations, someone else also has to contribute, and here money and entrepreneurship can be great driving forces. And then, we are back to where we started; the need for meeting-places, venues where science and business can meet, socialize and share what is unique to their different worlds; mixing the oil and the vinegar.
To realize essential encounters between science and business, we need venues customized to make them happen. Ideon and Medicon Village are good examples of existing meeting-places in Lund, but we will always need more. And what makes The Loop so interesting is its focus on boosting innovation. Here, the two worlds can meet and interact without any of them having to change.
The Loop can be a catalyst, not only by offering the physical site but also by providing workshops, conferences and seminars. Here people can meet and also start working together. Unexpected meetings have its advantages, but in a venue where the same participants meet repeatedly, they can get to know each other on a deeper level. It takes a while, as does creating trust and finding the building blocks for a better world.
– Anna Stenstam, CEO CR Competence AB