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Open house at NIBR

Why Bradner is applying his open innovation ideas at NIBR

Since stepping into his new role in March as president of Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), the research arm of Novartis AG, James "Jay" Bradner has been busy making plans to experiment with open innovation models and increase the number and scope of the company's research collaborations. His goal is to pull the organization into the age of openness, joining a growing trend among pharmas to disclose more of their own activities in exchange for greater access to external discoveries.

"When NIBR started 13 years ago, the scientific landscape outside was different," Bradner told BioCentury. "Academic standards had small numbers of disruptive innovators. The biotech landscape was more boutique than it is today. Fast forward 13 years, and there are therapeutically relevant technologies emerging all around us."

For NIBR to benefit from those now, the organization will have to become better integrated into the scientific community, said Bradner.

He is one of five new faces on Novartis' executive committee since January, which saw several changes following the restructuring of the pharmaceuticals division in May into two

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