Students take on the challenges of digital medicine

Novartis BioCamp gives students new perspectives on healthcare challenges.
Aug 26, 2016
Novartis BioCamp 2013, International BioCamp, International Biotechnology Leadership Camp, science education, future of healthcare, commitment to research
A former BioCamp participant
asking questions during the panel
discussion.

On August 28, 60 top students from leading universities around the world will converge at Novartis headquarters in Basel, Switzerland to develop solutions for creating a digital device that helps patients remember to take their medicine.

They’ve been selected to participate in International BioCamp, an annual three-day seminar that brings together talented students from 18 countries to learn from and exchange ideas with biotechnology and business experts. The program provides a crash course on the pharmaceuticals business and tests students’ ability to build a compelling business case, taking into account complexities such as data privacy and regulatory requirements.

It’s an exercise in creative problem-solving. It gives us a unique opportunity to see how a cross-functional team of experts can develop new ideas while inspiring those of us at Novartis.

Norman Putzki, M.D., Global Program Head, Neuroscience at Novartis and creator of this year’s case study

“It’s an exercise in creative problem-solving,” said Norman Putzki, M.D., Global Program Head, Neuroscience at Novartis and creator of this year’s case study. “It gives us a unique opportunity to see how a cross-functional team of experts can develop new ideas while inspiring those of us at Novartis.”

In preparation for the case study, students will attend seminars on topics including the challenges faced by startups, the importance of protecting intellectual property, the commercialization of new ideas, and the burdens of running a business. They will then apply their learnings during a group competition to develop a hypothetical business.

“The competition gave us the perspectives of people from different backgrounds, including finance, medicine and science, which meant we had to think about things we never get exposed to at university,” said Marina De Niz Hidalgo, Ph.D., who attended BioCamp in 2013 and now works as a visiting scientist at Harvard University in the United States. “I saw how all the different parts of the business come together.”

Follow the #BioCamp2016 story on Twitter and Instagram. At 15:30 Wednesday, August 31, check out the Novartis Facebook page for a live broadcast of the awards ceremony.