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Brainy Innovation Tips from Edward Kliphuis, Investment Director with Merck Ventures

Edward Kli­phuis

Ques­tion: Edward, please share 1–2 major brain health needs you observe right now whose solu­tion demands a cre­ative and sig­nif­i­cant tech-enabled inno­va­tion.

Answer: We need to tar­get depres­sion, stress and fatigue in a quan­tifi­able man­ner (ie. no well­ness-like claims, but real data sup­port­ing an improve­ment in the afore­men­tioned indi­ca­tions). Treat­ments and ear­ly detec­tion too.

Also, ways  to mon­i­tor lon­gi­tu­di­nal cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties (ie. per­son-spe­cif­ic brain func­tion over the course of a num­ber of years). Done on a wider pop­u­la­tion this could pro­vide insights into the impact of cer­tain exter­nal fac­tors such as food, air qual­i­ty, etc.

 

Ques­tion: And what advice would you give an entre­pre­neur launch­ing an inno­va­tion to address those needs–for the approach to be suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able?

Answer: Focus on the right mod­el from day one: You need to iden­ti­fy right away the best approach for the oppor­tu­ni­ty at hand — for exam­ple, reg­u­lat­ed med­ical approach vs. gen­er­al well­ness? Both are viable but going from unreg­u­lat­ed to reg­u­lat­ed is hard­ly pos­si­ble where­as the oppo­site is viable (although cre­ates a risk of off-label use…)

 

– Edward Kli­phuis is an Invest­ment Direc­tor with Mer­ck Ven­tures BV, the Cor­po­rate Ven­ture Cap­i­tal arm of Mer­ck KGaA, Darm­stadt, Ger­many. He is respon­si­ble for the New Busi­ness­es fund, which invests glob­al­ly in trans­for­ma­tion­al ideas dri­ven by great entre­pre­neurs. The New Busi­ness­es fund seeks to invest in strate­gic oppor­tu­ni­ties beyond Merck’s cur­rent busi­ness­es, make cross over invest­ments between busi­ness­es and invest in dig­i­ti­za­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties. The total vol­ume of the cor­po­rate ven­ture fund is €300 mil­lion. He will serve as a Judge in the first Brainnova­tions Pitch Con­test host­ed by the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: Brain Enhance­ment in the Dig­i­tal Age (Decem­ber 5–7th, 2017).

– Brain­no­va­tions Judg­ing Pan­el

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness, Technology

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