Connecting business and science needs a true multi-disciplinary approach

March 16, 2021

Often, science and business don’t connect enough. It’s a challenge in industry events to present that right mix and hit that spot where cutting edges intersect and true synergy can occur.

A true multi-disciplinary approach is vital to driving continued growth and success in the business and science of the microbiome. I’m excited we are part of the process that helps it happen at the upcoming Future of the Microbiome virtual conference.

Connected science. Siloed business

For years, the best microbiome science has taken a true multi-disciplinary approach, combining expertise from diverse areas, using massive data sets, bringing expertise from multiple fields that at first may seem totally unrelated … and coming up with ridiculously cool findings by doing so.

What happens next is a travesty, in my humble opinion: when it comes to actual commercialization, most people trying to ‘bring the product to market simply ignore this imperative. I see companies focused on bringing Live Biotherapeutic Products to the market who seem offended to be associated with the term ‘probiotic’, or the food and nutrition universe. This isn’t just a ‘pharma’ problem., though; I see it happen the other way too, especially with ‘purist’ companies working with more ‘natural’ and ‘whole foods’ like a kombucha or kefir. Somehow their products are unique, and they feel the ‘connecting’ rules don’t apply to them.

Let us be clear. If you’re ingesting a live bacteria, your gut doesn’t know or care whether it came from a natural kefir, a nutritional supplement, or a high-end drug. Regulators might, but our body doesn’t, so stop acting like the science doesn’t stack up the same, and stop dismissing inputs from people in fields that have clear overlap but don’t quite match your ‘USP’ or values.

Same map, different routes

I’m not advocating that everything ends up in one homogonous pot, by the way.

Clearly, people need to forge their own paths and to pick the commercial and regulatory routes that work best. However, you may in fact do better in plotting your own route to market by admitting you’re using the same sort of map as others – and that you can learn from experiences and communities outside of your own.

This extends far beyond the ‘live bacteria’ example above too. So many dietary and lifestyle factors have been shown to impact the make-up and functioning of our gut microbiota. And beyond the gut, there is a whole world of food, nutrition and popular culture that can inspire and educate your position in the market.

Think big and connect the dots

Next week our first ever Future of the Microbiome Summit will pull together top speakers from the world of microbiome science and business for a three-day festival of cutting-edge research, applied science, and commercial strategy.

In a world full of events and companies that are comfortable in their silos, our mission is to bring a forward-thinking, multi-disciplinary agenda that sets the stage for future collaboration and development in everything from fermented foods to drug development.

We’ve deliberately broken down barriers that we think challenge current thinking.

Reserve your space now. It’s totally free. And it’s going to kick ass.




Anthony Reyes
Author: Anthony Reyes

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