Students team up with GlaxoSmithKline to innovate

1711Students from London Business School took part in a competition this week designed to uncover new ideas for healthcare while educating students about designing breakthrough innovation.

As part of their strategic analysis course, a group of over 160 Masters in Management students have been involved in the competition, created in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to propose ideas for innovation in the respiratory or oncology diseases areas targeted at the emerging markets, exploring new business models to complement GSK’s existing and future marketed portfolio of products.

The winning team received a financial reward of £2,500 prize money and the top three teams received a trip to GSK’s Global headquarters in London where they will spend the day with senior executives, learning more about the company and how it operates.

Students, in teams of six, had to write a report on their innovation and deliver a five minute film before being shortlisted for a ‘Dragons-den’ style panel, including: Phil Golz, Head of Commercial Innovation; Augusto Villanueva, Oncology Market Leader; Luke Robinson, Oncology Marketing Director, all from GSK, as well as healthcare entrepreneur Matt Jameson-Evans, CMO of Health Unlocked. Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, was also part of the judging panel of the top six teams.

Lourdes Sosa, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and the academic director of the course, said: "This collaboration emphasises our objective of delivering education that is managerially relevant, it broadens students' interests towards industries beyond their traditional starting point, which is often financial services, and it reinforces one of London Business School's aims of 'London experience, with world impact’."

Kamila Sharifullina, a current MiM student, said: "The project was especially challenging as no one in our team had extensive previous experience in the medical arena. As a result, after spending long hours working on the case, discussing different perspectives and merging our ideas, we have not only plunged into a completely new area and learnt to effectively work in an unknown environment, but also improved the group dynamics, overcome the initial rigidities and attained a smooth communication process within the group".

Phil Golz, Head of Commercial Innovation, GlaxoSmithKline, said: "It’s been a fantastic and rewarding experience working with London Business School and the MiM students.  It was inspiring to see the variety of high quality ideas that were generated and it feels great to contribute to student learning in strategy and healthcare."

Fiona Lennoxsmith, Masters in Management Programme Director, London Business School, said: "This is the first time we’ve rolled out a project like this with a major multinational company.  Not only have students been given the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge to real, complex data and to engage with the needs of patients and medical staff, they have also been able to practise real world skills: team-working under pressure, commercial research and data analysis, and presenting complex information in a variety of spoken and written formats".