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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

Trend: Measuring physiological responses–including brain activity–to design stimulating, “conscious” cities

Stanley Park, Vancouver. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo.

 

The hidden ways that architecture affects how you feel: An era of “neuro-architecture” (BBC Future)

“We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us,” mused Winston Churchill in 1943 while considering the repair of the bomb-ravaged House of Commons. More than 70 years on, Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Why Untrained Brains Are A Bit Like Puppies (And How Dance Offers Great Brain Training)

Time for SharpBrains’ April e-newsletter, featuring what’s new in brain health and cognitive performance. Quite stimulating reading 🙂

New thinking

New research

therapy controlNew tools

Upcoming event

 

Finally, here you have 5 quick brain teasers to sharpen two key cognitive skills: attention and working memory.

 

Have a great month of May,

 

The SharpBrains Team

“I am excited”: Making Stress Work for You, Instead of Against You

Image: The Yerkes-Dodson Law (YDL)

How much stress is good for you?

In 1908, Robert Mearns Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson designed an experiment that would begin to tackle the question, “How much stress is good for you?”

The researchers tracked mice to see how stress would affect their ability to learn. Simple—yet painful, because how do you stress out mice? Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Mindfulness training for teachers can result in a better learning environment for students

No one would argue with the fact that teaching is stressful. Not only is the work highly challenging, teachers are also frequently underpaid, undervalued, and subject to harsh scrutiny. No wonder teacher burnout is on the rise and that many feel like leaving their profession.

But teacher stress is not only a problem for teachers; it can also be a problem for students. Read the rest of this entry »

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