Towards the Innovation City Potsdam: "If the university does not take part, I will be out." – An Interview with Martin Friis-Mikkelsen (CEO of Saxocon)
Saxocon is a successful spin-out company in the life science sector and is partly owned by the Technical University of Denmark (TUD). Martin Friis-Mikkelsen, CEO of Saxocon, tells us about his company that offers computer simulations for toxicity assessment in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Friis-Mikkelsen is neither a scientist nor was he in touch with the university before the company was founded. Being a business professional he had the first contacts with scientists of the National Food Institute, the inventors of this technology, at the DTU matchmaking event “Medico Bazar” in 2013. The enormous application potential convinced him and he was ready not only to invest his competence and work but also private capital.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity: For such occasions, the DTU’s Office for Innovation has developed standardized implementation models ranging from plain licensing to a direct participation of the university in a joint spin off with a patent, like in Saxocon’s case. This created a win-win situation. The company’s success significantly depends on a continuous development of the technology, something that also interests the scientists at the university’s National Food Institute. At the same time, the DTU consistently demonstrates the social and economic relevance of its work through its co-ownership.
According to Friis-Mikkelsen, the value of this participation is much more than just the scientific and economic benefit. It is equally important that customers place confidence in him and the company from the very beginning because they perceive the university’s participation as a guarantee for quality. Both partners prominently advertise on the website of the joint company with the branding “Saxocon – Co-owned by Technical University of Denmark”.