No matter what, the entrepreneur must always be at the centre of the knowledge triangle, says Alexander von Gabain, chairman of the governing board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
One of the key points von Gabain raised at the Open Innovation 2.0 summit at Dublin Castle this week is that when it comes to translating research into actual products and services, Europe is trailing the US.
“The important thing is that we have all these ingredients in Europe – powerhouses of first-class research institutes, fantastic companies, big corporations, even cross-border collaboration – but still we are limping behind, and not getting the level of innovation US companies enjoy,” he told the conference.
Von Gabain boasts a distinguished career in biotechnology. Equipped with a PhD in genetics, he completed a stint at Stanford University, followed by a professorship at the renowned Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
In the 1990s, he was appointed chair of microbiology at the University of Vienna at the Campus Vienna Biocenter, where he helped build the public-private partnership of the Vienna Biocenter/IMP (Institute of Molecular Pathology). In 1998, he founded biotech company Intercell AG, which was successfully floated on the Vienna Stock Exchange in 2005.