The collaboration with DTU has provided stability and growth in the small company Sophion, says Sandra Wilson. Photo: Bax Lindhardt.

“It gives us the opportunity to take some risks”

Biotechnology Micro and nanotechnology
Joint research projects with universities mean that Sophion Biosciences can innovate technologies in which there is a high risk that the results cannot be used in the company.

Sophion Biosciences’ automated measuring devices can measure in living cells how a new pharmaceutical acts.

The chip in the most advanced device, Qube 384, has been developed in collaboration with DTU Nanotech in a project funded partly by the then Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation. The chip can perform separate analyses on 384 cells simultaneously.

Sandra Wilson—Head of Technology Development in Sophion Biosciences—calls the research project with DTU Nanotech significant:

“The research project has contributed to the development of a new product—and thus the creation of new jobs—in our company. This has provided stability and growth in the company.”

Sophion Biosciences collaborates with several universities in both Denmark and abroad, and the company is virtually always involved in a research project with a university.

Sandra Wilson explains that it is particularly essential for the company to engage in such collaboration at the early product development stage:

“This is a high costly and valuable stage for a small company like ours, because there is a risk that the results cannot be used in our business. When we collaborate with universities in this stage, we reduce the risk of losses, while also gaining the leeway to experiment a little. In addition, our collaboration with university researchers gives us access to in-depth academic and scientific expertise which we do not necessarily have inhouse. Through our cooperation, we also gain access to the universities’ specialist equipment and laboratories.”

The cooperation may also consist in joint PhD projects, and—up to 2020—Sophion Biosciences employs an industrial PhD fellow in collaboration with DTU Nanotech, where, through the PhD researcher, the company is testing an emerging technology in its field.

“Although we’re a small company, we have market leading products—in terms of both market share and the technology we use. It’s important that we’re at the forefront of developments, and here our collaboration with the universities is absolutely crucial.”