Novartis unveils Lab of Future concept to top European students at Biotechnology Leadership Camp (BioCamp)

NovartisToday, Novartis highlighted its ongoing commitment to fostering research and innovation at the 2009 Novartis European Biotechnology Leadership Camp (BioCamp), with the unveiling of its Lab of The Future (LOTF) concept. LOTF is a global Novartis initiative to create state-of-the-art laboratories comprising flexible work spaces, modular furniture to meet changing team needs, and cutting edge technology to support communication, interdisciplinary collaboration, and enhanced innovation in Novartis research.

"Drug discovery evolves rapidly as new technologies and insights into biology modify the scientific approaches," explained Dr. Daniel Vasella, Chairman and CEO of Novartis. "The Lab of the Future, with its modular design and flexibility, equally allows us to rapidly adopt new research tools and foster interdisciplinary work to solve research challenges."

During the three-day BioCamp program, 45 students selected from leading European universities will get hands-on exposure to the entrepreneurial world of biotechnology. Participants will interact with and learn from biotechnology industry experts, exchanging ideas on advancing innovation in research and discovery. They will also have opportunities to participate in high-level workshops; receive first-hand experience on developing a biotech product with a visit to the Novartis Center of Biotechnology which produces innovative biologic medicines; visit laboratories, including Lab of the Future, to see how research is evolving; and explore career opportunities.

The visionary LOTF lab environment supports the unique Novartis R&D model by further dissolving the typical divide among the scientific disciplines involved in drug discovery. For example, biologists, clinicians, toxicologists and chemists, are historically separated by organizational structure and often in separate areas. Now the core team members will work side-by-side in the LOTF. Furthermore, integrated technology and innovative communications tools will allow scientists to work together both in real and virtual space.

"Traditionally, scientists have been separated by their respective areas of expertise," said Mark Fishman, President of Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. "However, the research approach at Novartis, driven by patient needs and understanding the basis of disease, requires that these boundaries disappear to create small, tightly-knit multi-disciplinary teams. These teams promote idea exchange and drive innovation."

Workshops and presentations will be led by industry experts including Dr. Daniel Vasella; Dr. Mark Fishman, President Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR); Mark Heffernan, Ph.D, CEO of OSPONA Theraputics Ltd. and Prof. Paul Herrling, head of Novartis Corporate Research.

About Novartis
Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2008, the Group's continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 41.5 billion and net income of USD 8.2 billion. Approximately USD 7.2 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 99,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit