Special edition: Outsourcing

Outsourcing science: Where does the future of industry research lie?

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Research, Research and development

An trend for outsourcing science and research may be good news for contract research organisations (CROs) and open innovation partnerships, but does it mean that internal R&D is suffering?

With more and more big companies cutting back on internal R&D spending, and a greater demand for even quite small companies to produce top standard scientific data, what does the future hold for science and innovation?

Will outsourcing science to CROs, and a greater focus on partnerships with academic institutions coupled with an ever increasing open innovation culture mean that internal R&D is less important to food and nutrition companies in the future?

According to Joerg Gruenwald, founder and chief scientific advisor at analyse & realise, it makes sense that the industry is cutting down on big research departments. However, Sofia Mendonca, business development manager at Allma warned that internal research and development is important to businesses, but noted that more partnerships that bind academic knowledge and industry knowhow are needed.

“Innovation is happening in universities and independent institutions, and not necessarily in your own company, so you have to take advantage of that,”​ said Fernando Cartagena, director of Monteloeder.

Related topics: Research, Supplements, Functional foods

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1 comment

Use of CROs reduce the criticism of bias that follows in-house research.

Posted by Gilbert R. Kaats, PhD and CEO of a CRO,

A more practical approach to outsourcing research is to employ the CRO to conduct relatively inexpensive pilot or exploratory studies before committing the funds for a larger (and more expensive) clinical trials. If the pilot is unsuccessful, it's time to re-think or revise. If successful, the pilot data can still be incorporated into the clinical trials outcome with the appropriate disclaimers. Our view is start small, get some objective information on the product and then, and only then, move into a clinical trial. In the long run, we'll probably make more of a contribution to our science by this "start small" approach

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