All ODIN projects will share their data and findings with the public.
All open results from ODIN projects must be published under the Creative Commons CC BY option.
The themes ‘biomarkers’ and ‘target validation’ were selected after close dialogue with industry partners, AU researchers and the AU Tech Transfer Office. As all parties deemed the areas “precompetitive”, they were selected as trial themes for the pilot project.
Both themes address key barriers to early drug discovery and they hold great potential for important pre-competitive research projects.
Future versions of ODIN may expand or focus the scientific scope.
Both academic researchers and representatives from industry can suggest ideas for ODIN projects.
The applications are evaluated in two steps: First the Project Review Committee nominates projects for funding with the aid of an international Peer Review Panel. The nominated projects are then assessed by our Steering Group, who decides which projects to fund.
The projects range between 2 and 2.5 years length. It has not been possible to apply for longer project periods, because all projects must be closed by the end of the 3-year ODIN pilot.
The projects have received grants between 2.8M and 4.9M DKK and a total of almost 45.8M DKK has been allocated for the 11 funded ODIN projects.
Yes. Our project participants describe the ODIN collaborations as different than traditional projects: They are more balanced in terms of contribution and outputs, and tend to address more complex high-risk/high-gain problems.
The project participants (both academic and industrial) describe the ODIN projects as:
No. There are no membership fees for anyone, because we do not wish to exclude any participants from joining ODIN
In principle, the number of involved companies in a project is unlimited, but the current project each have between 1-4 companies involved, which makes them rather agile.
The participating companies in the funded ODIN projects must be actively engaged in the projects. They can contribute intellectually, practically and by supplying materials.
Companies participate for many different reasons. The projects provide easy access to academic collaboration partners, new knowledge and opportunities to keep tabs on the latest technology developments in academia. Due to the unique set-up of ODIN, the platform de-risks the companies’ engagement in exploratory high-risk/high-gain projects.
Although all data will be shared openly with the public, there are many advantages to participating actively in the research projects. The participating companies will gain access to new partners and tacit knowledge, which is notoriously difficult to share via open publishing and databases.
Other advantages of participating in ODIN projects include:
No. The participating companies do not receive any funding from ODIN. Only academic participants based at Aarhus University can receive funding.
ODIN is sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which only supports not-for-profit organizations. Because ODIN must follow the same terms as the Foundation, we can only support academic partners in our projects. Thus, companies participate without funding and must therefore allocate in-house funding for their participation in the project. On the other hand, there is no requirements for cash contributions or membership fees.
When joining the ODIN network, companies do not commit to anything. They can use the platform to browse. But when a company decides to become part of an ODIN application, it is expected to contribute to the writing of the application and contribute actively in the project, if it is funded.
Supporting companies participate actively in projects, whereas interested companies are interested in the project output but do not become active partners in the project.
ODIN projects are small agile projects where you have to opportunity to collaborate closely with (new) industry partners on projects that might not fit the scope of other funding bodies.
There are a number of different reasons why grant holders in ODIN describe our model as attractive:
Yes. Partners from other universities are welcome to join ODIN projects, but only AU partners can apply for and receive funding.
During the ODIN pilot project, only AU-based researchers can apply for funding due to the legal framework. However, if ODIN continues after the pilot project, other universities will also become part of the project and their researchers can thus also apply for funding.
Yes, we certainly think so, but we'll let you decide for yourself. A team of independent researchers is evaluating ODIN, and the first assessment (the interrim or midterm assessment) was published in the summer of 2022. You can find it below. The evaluation team has interviewed both academic and industrial participants and you can read more about the intersectoral collaborations and the participants' motivations and pespective on openness.
ODIN is a 3-year project. Within this period, we aim to find out if the Open Innovation in Science (in this format) is viable within the life science area. If the format is promising, the small-scale pilot can hopefully be transferred to other Danish universities.
The term “pre-competitive research” refers to the early-stage activities before the research becomes “business sensitive" and companies would need to lock down IP to protect their investments in a given research result and transform it into a product. In theory, the university could try to patent even early stage research in the precompetitive phase, but it would not make sense for us to do so from a commercial point of view. While the knowledge we produce is an important foundation for future drug development, it will not become an integral part of final products that the companies will need to protect intellectually. Therefore, they would have no interest in any patents or licence agreements we could offer them.
ODIN only accepts applications for projects that involve research at the pre-competitive stage.
On the contrary. We like patents and see them as important tools in the innovation process. We encourage open collaboration at the pre-competitive state that can act as pipelines for more closed innovation (with patents) as companies will mature our open results towards mores specific commercial applications that can in fact be patented.