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Initiative

innovation and entrepreneurship development through the connection of OFET with the academic community

innovation and entrepreneurship development through the connection of OFET with the academic community
SUBMITTED FROM:

UNI-PHARMA

With more than half a century of life, Tsetis Pharmaceutical Group of Companies (OFET), is a reference point for both the pharmaceutical market and society, supporting them with important actions and Environmental Programs.

The innovative formulations of OFET Group industries are the most reliable ambassadors of Greece in over 65 markets internationally.



Objective Action

The Tsetis Group of Pharmaceutical Companies (OFET) is active in the research and development of innovative pharmaceutical dosage forms, and also in the production and distribution of branded pharmaceutical products, food supplements and medical devices, both in the Greek domestic market and in rapidly developing foreign markets (>60 countries worldwide). OFET’s strategic planning primarily focuses on health professionals and patients, by offering innovative forms of well-established, low-cost and high value-added pharmaceutical molecules, and by manufacturing and distributing model functional foods and medical devices, both in the Greek domestic market and in more than 60 countries worldwide. The Group’s powerful brand names include, among others, Apotel, Salospir, Algofen, T4, Trebon, Hemafer, Omalin, Chlorexil, Reval, Eva belle and Optofresh.

OFET has developed a highly significant technical expertise on original forms, having secured a series of Patents relevant to innovative formulation mechanisms for the above products. At its current stage, the company is active in the development of more than 20 new products, with an annual Research and Development budget of €1,000,000, for the purpose of modifying the physicochemical properties of active substances in order to avoid their irritating effects or their deactivation through biotransformation before they develop their therapeutic effect on target tissues. In addition, over the past few years, the company has placed its focus on innovative carriers, new encapsulation and bonding techniques, and any other type of chelation.

In this framework, the Research and Development departments of OFET are manned by scientific staff with complementary specializations, including pharmacists, chemists, chemical engineers, biologists and food technologists, all of whom are highly specialized: the department has nine employees with Master’s Degrees and four employees with PhDs.

One of OFET’s basic initiatives is the development of collaborations with academic and research organizations, with the ultimate goal and anticipated result of boosting technological development, innovation and entrepreneurship. These three parameters form the basic pillars of economic development.

The anticipated result from OFET’s partnership with the academic community is the advancement of competitiveness and productivity of the enterprise, not merely for the purpose of transitioning to quality innovative entrepreneurship and the development of value-added products, but also for improving the outward-looking prospects of the business towards the international markets. At the same time, this partnership is mutually beneficial for the country’s academic/research community, who, on the one hand, sees its ideas, which are supported by basic research, successfully transferred to the real economy, and on the other hand, academic partners learn the concept of entrepreneurial thinking.

Furthermore, one of the major objectives of this initiative is to halt the flight of young and distinguished scientists abroad – the so-called brain drain phenomenon. It should be noted that approximately 69% of total scientists who left Greece during the recent decade hold a postgraduate or doctoral degree, while 41% of said scientists acquired their doctoral degrees in Greece. Through the development of collaborations between OFET and the academic sector, young scientists are offered strong incentives to remain in their country and use their knowledge and ideas for its benefit. The next subsequent step is to use this manpower in the industry in order to promote technological competitiveness and innovation.

In the same context, all innovative products that will result from the synergy between the enterprise and academic / research organizations will constitute intellectual property of the parties, which can be secured and further utilized through patents.

 

Target Audience

This initiative is addressed to professors and researchers of University and research foundations, or startup and spin-off companies whose main scope is the research on the development of pharmaceutical raw materials or new pharmaceutical forms, or the use of the Greek biodiversity with the intent to isolate bioactive plant extracts, or the development of functional foods or medical devices.

The initiative seeks researchers, regardless of their experience (young or mature), and any new scientists at the beginning of their research careers, as well as any post-doctoral students, PhD candidates and postgraduate students will be met with a positive response

 

Duration

The partnership of OFET with the scientific community started back in the mid-2000s, and is expected to continue over the course of the new decade, with even greater intensity.


Description

OFET persistently focuses on the triptych of Research, Innovation and Development. In this framework, the Group has assembled an Innovation Team, which consists of members from the departments of Research and Development, Business Development and Sales, with the addition of an external associate who is expert on matters of intellectual property. OFET’s Innovation Team meets on a monthly basis in order to keep track of the group’s current development projects and the planning and design of new projects.

The Innovation Team approaches Research groups with specific collaboration proposals, although it remains open to new proposals that are developed through the interactive cooperation of parties and combine the research background of the academic community and the needs and requirements of OFET.

Research proposals are funded either by OFET’s own funds, or through external funding in the framework of funded research projects.


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Impact on Society

This initiative aims at the continuation of the joint contribution of OFET and the scientific community to the scientific and business development and excellence. This continuous and unvarying investment in innovation has resulted in more than 55 national (12 pending) and 25 international (16 granted, 8 pending) applications for patents in more than 60 countries worldwide. 14 national and international applications for patents have been filed in 2020 alone.

Having these principles as its cornerstone, OFET constantly develops strategic partnerships with University and Research organizations in Greece and abroad, implementing numerous scientific research projects, in the capacity of coordinator or stakeholder, whose total budget is more than 6 million euro. More specifically, OFET currently participates in an extensive international project on the bioactive substances of olive, in a European infrastructure program, and in 6 funded proposals from the 1st Cycle of the “Research-Create-Innovate” Action, while it has already submitted another 8 proposals in the framework of the 2nd Cycle of the same action.

Additionally, OFET has been an active participant in the design, supervision and sponsorship of more than 30 clinical researches on various fields and in collaboration with eminent university and clinical physicians and hospital foundations in Greece and abroad.

The OFET Group has already granted 5 scholarships through the Kleon Tsetis Nonprofit Organization that was founded with the objective of boosting scientific research and innovation through the award of scholarships to postgraduate students with outstanding performance and the support of research groups.



Initiative Location

OFET is active in the area of Kifisia, through the new plants of UNI-PHARMA and INTERMED, ans also at Oinofyta, Boeotia, through UNIHERBO, a new model production unit of plant extracts. Collaborations are developed with local University and Research Foundations.


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Working with Organization

OFET has already developed collaborations with all University and Research Foundations in Greece (Departments of Medicine, Pharmacy and Chemistry at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Democritus University of Thrace, University of Ioannina, University of Crete, National Hellenic Research Foundation, National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” (EKEFE Demokritos), Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Foundation of Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH) of Crete), and also participates in an international infrastructure network (Instruct-EL) and has collaborated with University Foundations of France, Spain and Morocco in the framework of an extensive international research program. Moreover, it has already entered into collaborations with new and emerging companies, such as Pharmagnose, registered in Chalkida, which specializes in the isolation of active substances from plant extracts, and FoodOxys, registered in Larisa, which specializes in the development and assessment of innovative functional foods.


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Workers Participation

OFET employs more than 500 employees as permanent staff (according to 2019 figures). 30% of its staff comprises tertiary education scientists, 30% of whom hold Master’s Degrees.

The Innovation Team of OFET consists of two members from the Department of Business Development, two members from the Department of Research and Development, one member from the Department of Quality, one member from the Department of Regulatory Affairs, and one member from the Group’s Sales Department. The team also includes an external advisor, who is a former director of the European Patent Office and expert on matters of intellectual property. All members of the Innovation Team are scientifically-trained and highly-specialized experts, who hold Master’s Degrees or PhD qualifications.


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Benefits for Οrganization

The benefits for OFET are multiple and related to participation in the development of innovative state-of-the-art technologies, whose aim is to produce high-quality value-added products, which, at the same time, will also be accessible for the average consumers.

 




Connection with Global Goals







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