New research can begin here

More than 130 participants attended the first symposium organised by Novo Nordisk and Science and Technology on research in technologies that can be used to develop new pharmaceuticals. The theme for the day was joint projects and scientific work in the Aarhus Novo Nordisk Science and Talent Network, and the first three talented researchers were also presented. The next call for Industrial PhD projects is in the pipeline.

2017.03.22 | Rasmus Rørbæk

The symposium provided an opportunity for a group of organisers to get together. From left: Dr Uli Stilz (Vice President R&D Academic Partnerships, Novo Nordisk), Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen (ST), Søren Rud Keiding (Vice-Dean for Research at ST), Søren Tullin (Novo Nordisk) and Lars Fogh Iversen (Corporate Vice President, Protein Engineering Management, Novo Nordisk). (Photo: Lars Kruse)

The many participants had ample opportunity for networking and talking about different aspects of the topics at the symposium. (Photo: Rasmus Rørbæk)

Head of Department Birgit Schiøtt gives a group of PhD students a final pep talk before the ‘one minute madness’ session begins. Here 27 PhD students each had one minute to explain their work. (Photo: Lars Kruse)

There were high spirits and tangible enthusiasm when the many presentations came to an end. The dean for ST is shown here sharing the delight of the fine presentations with a group of students. (Photo: Lars Kruse)

Part of the collaboration involves talent development. It was possible to meet the first three of a total of nine PhD students at the symposium: Colin Mothershead, Malene Sønnichsen and Thorbjørn Nielsen. (Photo: Rasmus Rørbæk)

An excited atmosphere filled the lecture theatre at the Department of Chemistry when the many participants from Aarhus University (AU) and Novo Nordisk got together. The participants from Science and Technology and Health shook hands and exchanged smiles with each other and those attending from Novo Nordisk. On Friday 17 March, the first real step was taken in the recently cemented partnership, where Novo Nordisk and AU will jointly exploit a strong and growing synergy between research and industrial development.

Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen welcomed the many participants and took the opportunity to put the day’s event into perspective.

“Global health is one of the world’s greatest challenges, and one of the promising ways mankind can meet this challenge is by developing technological solutions. Here I’m convinced that collaboration between industrial and scientific knowledge is a key to solving this important task. This is the framework for what we’ll be discussing today, and it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this first symposium, where Novo Nordisk and Aarhus University can join together to discuss both current and future collaboration. Welcome friends. Thank you for turning up in such large numbers today. Have a great symposium everyone!” he said.

Novo Nordisk was also clearly enthusiastic about the collaboration.

“Novo Nordisk is only interested in world-class research. We’re therefore pretty keen on this collaboration with Aarhus University. We embarked on this journey together in 2015, resulting in the Aarhus Novo Nordisk Science and Talent Network in 2016. Today we can present the first three of the PhD students who will be working at Novo Nordisk and AU, and we’re almost ready to open for the next ones. We’ve got off to a really good start,” said Corporate Vice President Lars Fogh Iversen, Protein Engineering Management, Novo Nordisk.

‘Sheer madness’ and future projects
Having just one minute to talk about an average day is a huge challenge for many people. However, for 27 courageous PhD students, the symposium was a much more complex challenge. They had just one minute to talk about their research field in a presentation called ‘one minute madness’.

During this session, the lecture theatre buzzed with energy, but the audience was not allowed to clap because – as explained – ‘it takes too much time from the next one’. After the many good presentations, however, the applause from the audience was even more enthusiastic.

In the new collaboration, a total of nine PhD students will be offered a three-year research fellowship. Their research will take place in the strong technological research environments at Aarhus University and the Novo Nordisk R&D department in Måløv.

The next projects will be opened shortly, and there will be calls for the next three Industrial PhD opportunities for students at Aarhus University. These will be published on the GSST website in the near future. Watch out for the call if you are interested.

Read more about the Aarhus Novo Nordisk Science and Talent Network programme here.

Science and Technology, Staff, Public / media