Like many other colleagues, it sometimes frustrates me to realize that it is difficult for us to communicate the work we do to the public that is not very familiar with the area of knowledge in which we operate. One of those are people from the business world.
Given the boom in entrepreneurship, science and innovation in our society, I would like to share some lessons learned after interacting with investors and entrepreneurs, experiences that could shed light on how scientists communicate with that audience, what can we learn from them and what can we contribute to that relationship.
If I could distill it in one sentence, it would be that for those who do research, the methodology is sacred; But for those who do business, the usefulness of the results is the most important. In the academia, openness and sharing knowledge are valued, while, in the business sector, secrecy and appropriation are important parts of the business.
Boosting biotechnology businesses implies closing the gap and finding answers in science that can solve an unmet need.
From entrepreneurs and investors we can learn how to negotiate and communicate effectively. Usually, they know how to manage resources well and understand the value of networking beyond their area of expertise. For their part, scientists can provide long-term vision, maximize one use of resources and deal with frustration when our work does not produce the results we plan.
The science-based startups generate important positive effects on the economy, they support entrepreneurship, develop competitiveness, generate employment and modernize the productive matrix. Without a doubt, they are an interesting vehicle to generate social mobility, improve the quality of life and expand access to goods and services.
Chile, through CORFO, Startup Chile and other initiatives, has been promoting the development of these companies. Now it is our turn to listen to us better, to understand that we come from different paths, but that we have a common destiny, because both scientists and entrepreneurs need each other to build the bridge that successfully connects the worlds of science and business.
Science and businesses are transforming our lives.
Boosting biotechnology businesses implies closing the understanding gap and finding answers in science that can solve a society’s need. It is there when the door opens to create a product or service. Boosting biotechnology businesses means facilitating the solution of a problem and creating a business as a consequence. An example may be finding a new treatment for a disease using biotech tools and processes.
It is these purposes that have given rise to the Fundación Ciencia Vida, a non-profit institution where we are determined to improve the social and economic development of Chile through scientific discovery, entrepreneurship and education in biological sciences. There we have created a unique environment where scientists, businessmen, students and communicators interact promoting scientific knowledge, discovery and development.
I am convinced that, if we foster the approach between biotechnology and business, Chile will be able to further develop its potential, providing opportunities and advancing in strengthening a more fertile ecosystem for investments, the financing of scientific research and, consequently, securing an industry that can be increasingly competitive, providing cutting-edge solutions that address our problems in multiple areas.