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Transcript - Introducing 'Open Innovation in Life Sciences'

A conversation with Joyce Kao, Devmini Moonamale, and Harini Lakshminarayanan about building an ecosystem for open life science with early career researchers

Published onMar 27, 2023
Transcript - Introducing 'Open Innovation in Life Sciences'
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Jo: Welcome to another episode of Access 2 Perspective conversations. Today, we will talk about open innovation and life sciences and we have, as guests, Devmini, Harini, and Joyce. Welcome to all three of you. 

Thanks for joining us.

Guests: Hello. Thank you. Happy to be here.

Jo: Alright. So you are basically some of the people behind the open innovation and life sciences community and organizing a conference since, was it twenty seventeen or twenty nineteen? Okay. 

Joyce: Twenty eighteen. 

Jo: Twenty eighteen. In between. Wow. Almost. Okay. 

So why is that? And let's maybe hear from each of you, one after the other. What brought you to the project with your research background? Why do you feel you want to engage in motivating other researchers in the life sciences to adopt and implement open science practices and open innovation. What is open innovation in a life science context? 

So many questions. Okay. Who wants to start? Harini. Yeah. 

Harini: Let Joyce start

Jo: Oh, yeah. 

Harini: She is the leading lady.

Jo: The leading lady, the brain of the organization. 

Harini: We can go in chronological order. 

Joyce: The accidental cofounder. Oh, okay. Well, not that accidental. 

Right. So open innovation in life sciences, the association, the nonprofit association, and it actually wasn't always like that. It was never intended to be like that necessarily. In twenty seventeen, I think, a group of us, us as postdocs and PhD students at ETH Zurich. Wanted to organize a conference essentially. 

Basically, we really wanted to organize a conference. And there was a particular postdoc, his name is Christian Fowler, that wanted to bring together industry, society and government. And so we created this kind of open innovation in life sciences conference in twenty eighteen and invited, like, everyone. To have a conversation about, like, how we can, you know, network together and work together and do open innovation, you know, between academia and industry and involve government officials as well in policy and such. So that's kind of how it kinda started. This event, the inaugural event, was such a success. 

That we're like, let's do it again.

Jo: Okay. So it's every year.

Joyce: Exactly. So then we gathered all of the knowledge that we got for organizing this inaugural conference, and then I tried to pass this on to another committee, and my cofounder was actually in that committee, and her name is Tina Ambrosi. And So she ran the second conference. 

Right? And, you know, we planned all of that with a new committee. And then I think in the third year was when Tina and I kinda chatted about, like, after the conference was over, like, you know, This is what? Twenty nineteen now? 

Yeah. Right before Corona. We essentially, like, came together. We're like, yeah. How was that experience for you and we're like, yeah, this needs to be developed further before it can be passed down more and more. 

And so this is how OILS turned into a nonprofit association. So my cofounder, Tina and I essentially put our heads together and then started building the organization from there. And then that's where Harini and Devmini kinda come in.

Jo: So it's now a registered NGO in Switzerland. Is that so? Or Is it part of Zurich ETH?

Joyce: So in Switzerland, there is a construct called the Ferráin Market Association, and that is what OILS is registered under or is identified under and Swiss laws make it actually quite easy to establish a Ferrain.

Jo: Okay. And you also need a board and, like, regular meetings and all other. So it has a little bit of administrative overhead. 

Joyce: Yes. So there is an advisory board. Maybe Harini, Devmini. I mean, you guys are preparing for the next advisory board meeting. 


Harini: Maybe Devmini you could start off with how you entered OILS.

Devmini: Okay. Yeah. I can start off with how I got involved. So, yes, I think I got involved with the conference organization first. I think it was in two thousand nineteen that I joined the end of two thousand nineteen to organize a twenty twenty conference with Joyce and Tina as the people leading this whole event. 

And, yeah, I was there. For the organization, I was part of organizing this workshop. Call life of balance. And then I remember Joyce and Tina asking everybody, we're trying to establish OILS as an official for Ireland. And so does anyone wanna get involved with this? 

So I think that I wrote to Joyce, I was like, yeah, yeah, I will be interested in you know, being a part of this, seeing what you have to do and so on. Me and another girl there joined in on this, and then Yeah. It was basically paperwork that you had to do to actually establish the statutes and so on, and well, I basically didn't have any idea how this was going to go. So I was kind of trying to help out some kind of spectator as I was there as a spectator as well. And yeah. So that's how I got involved. And so Joyce and Tina were the program and operations directors. 

And then me and Terris, so we were the associate directors at first, and then we tried to get more people to join the association. And, yeah, and organize other things apart from the conference to run the whole year. 

Joyce: Yeah. In twenty twenty, we started expanding beyond just the conference. 

Jo: Was that a bit difficult or basically impossible due to COVID to organize an on site conference or did you divert to another format?

Devmini: Exactly. Yeah

Joyce: Well, no. No. No. Wait hold on. The conference still went forward, but

Harini: Oh, yeah. 

Joyce: It was online. I think because we learned Yeah. But I think it was always intended that OILS would be growing beyond just an annual conference. 

So to offer more, I guess, offering services beyond just the one to one opportunities. Beyond just once a year, I think the idea was, like, you know, open science in the topics of open innovation, open science should not be talked about just one time a year. Yeah. But we should actually be doing this more often. Therefore, we should be doing public discussions more often. 

We should be doing, like, organizing workshops and courses more often. So it's not just that once a year, we all come together. And talk about open science, it should be year round.

Harini: I actually came in in twenty twenty. So I started my PhD in a rather special situation. Let's say, I started at the onset of COVID.  So I was new to Zurich. 

I was working from home a lot. I didn't have a connection to the Zurich Scientific network. And I happened to chance upon this email that was circulated from the PhD program that said, hey, you know, we're looking for organizers. And I signed up. 

And actually, as they were describing the process of how OILS were set up. I must say when I joined the first meeting from OILS to introduce the organizing committee to what the responsibilities would be. If you asked me then, I would have not known that OILS was just a year old or badly. To me, OILS seemed like a very well run oiled machinery that had, you know, its roots in the ground for a while, honestly. And so yeah. 

So then that's how I came on board. I came on board as a part of the twenty twenty one organizing committee.

Well then that year we organized it as a hybrid event. I think it was the second year that all of the talks and all of the workshops, panel discussions, and keynotes were all online over Zoom. And then we had a reception in Aperol, as they call it, in Switzerland, on-site. So that people who were in the network could still meet because by then the restrictions on meeting were removed so we could meet in person in small numbers. So we were able to have something on-site. And this year, we also, like Joyce mentioned, started having more events. We also, in addition to the annual conference, which was kind of our key event. We also had, like, smaller panel discussions that were taking place that year and with COVID being the topic. 

I think one of the panel discussions that year was also focused on COVID and how we can contribute to science then. Right?

Yeah.So that's kind of how I came on board. So I started out as an organizing committee that I also decided to stay on in the association. Which I thought at that point was already, like, several years in the run making. So I stayed on us marketing in the marketing, and then I now function as the operations director with Devmini who didn’t mention it, but she's the program

director. Just so, you know, so this is kind of yeah. Like, Joyce says, meeting the old and new guide when we talk about OILS in this podcast.

Jo: Oh, okay. Sounds very impressive. So while I was digging and asking, why did you register this? Because most commonly initiated initiatives that are born out of curiosity and need and get filled by young researchers or recruit researchers, tend to remain independent or unregistered initiatives for some time. What made you think? 

And then I go back to Joyce, what made you and Tina think that it's better to register it as an association in Switzerland too?

Joyce: So, first of all, registering in Switzerland as a Forrain in Switzerland there's no, like, really registration registration. You are Forrain when you write your statutes and you hold your first general assembly. 

And with those documents, you can essentially be a legal entity. And one of one of the main drivers. This is gonna sound a little bit yeah. Maybe not as inspiring, but One of the main drivers of why we had to do this and why we really needed to move forward with this is actually because of finances.

So originally, we were nested under this great community network called life science Zurich. So we were running underneath this kind of bigger network that was a joint venture between the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich to kind of network their life science communities together. 

Right? But OILS is an association. We were doing a lot of our own independent fundraising and also from writing grants to also asking for corporate sponsors. And at some point, it became really difficult to continue managing our money through Life Science and Zurich. So we ended up establishing a Forrain so we could have our own bank account and to be independent, which makes things run somewhat smoother at least in the background administratively.

Jo: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.

Joyce: We still today, I think, collaborate quite a lot with life science, Zurich, and they're still kind of like our umbrella. But administratively, yeah, we're independent. 

Jo: Okay. Well,

Harini: Being an old  member from Life Sciences as well. So I think we are quite close with them. They're very, very helpful.

Jo:  Yeah. But then to have a registered organization. Also, well, that's always useful. So you have dedicated and committed people who commit for a certain time or or for a term until the next election. And then you can be sure that the work is gonna be done within that time. So and running events beyond the annual conference, how do you keep those manageable? Because each of you is still doing your own research, right and engaging in all kinds of other activities outside OILS. 

How's it going?

Devmini: That's a great question.

Jo: Yes. I'm asking out of my own experience. Yeah. And happy to also share mine. Like, how do you manage multiple tasks? Yeah.

Devmini: I think that the biggest thing at least for me was that when I joined OILS, it was purely out of curiosity to see what's going on. I never organized a conference before. So this is kind of my main drive for joining. And then I stayed on because I really like these things. I like the people and I like the whole experience of what, you know, this conference data. 

I said, okay. What's it like to actually establish an association? And what does it take to run something? And then you kinda start to learn about open science. Like, oh, actually, I like this idea a little. 

I can get behind this. And this is why I stayed and it's out of my own interest. So I think if I had to do this if somebody told me to do this, that I had to do something, yeah, not out of my interest, it would be very difficult in managing. So because I really want to be a part of this. I manage my time accordingly. 

Yeah. I think you kinda get better at managing everything as well with your PHD plus everything else because you have to. So I think I've done alright so far. I don't know. 

Harini: I mean you graduated and defended really well.

Devmini: I graduated really well. So I think things are alright. 

Jo:  Yeah. It's not a trick question. 

Harini: I could also add to what Devmini said. Right? I mean, of course, we're here because we like to do things outside the PhD that bring us something we're interested in. But in addition to it, Oils also is a lot more than just the three of us on this call. Right? 

We have other members in the committee. We have a dedicated conference committee, so they kind of run the show. And then other association members take care of their other events. So we have associate directors kind of lead other projects. So if we say we wanna organize a panel discussion, which, in fact, we have one coming up soon, then we kind of delegate tasks among ourselves. So there's plenty of us with plenty of hands on board per se and it's safe so that it's not too much on one person's part alone.

Devmini: And, also, there are times where some people get a bit too busy and they cannot contribute as much. So I think we try to communicate this as early as we can. So then we say, oh, we're not we're not gonna be around so much. Because I'm writing my thesis. I don't have that much time. 

So I won't be around, but I will come back after this. So the work is then kinda distributed to other people, maybe stuff that you kinda took on, but I'll realize I can't do all of this at the moment, then you try to kind of delegate those. Or ask, hey, who can take over this? Because I really can't seem to manage all of this at the moment. So, depending on everybody's time, you are happy to take on some tasks or you try to do some stuff yourself as well. 

Jo: And Joyce for you, so you've been funding this. You've been running ads since the start. Do you feel you want to stick around a little longer. 

So obviously, you are very committed to the associations. It's, like, fixed. 

Joyce: Actually, surprise surprise. I no longer really work in the association. I actually, what are the things that let's say, I moved to Germany in twenty twenty one, Right? Yeah. From Zurich. Yeah. End of twenty twenty one. 

Yeah. And that's when I passed on my position to Devmini.

And it was kind of interesting to see if everything that Tina and I and Devmini and Harini have built would go on without the co-founders. And I would say that it has. 

Jo: And so how does that make you feel?

Joyce: It's kind of surreal to me that, like, you know, it's working without me. And but this is always intended. Right? Like, to think about how to build things sustainably Right? I think this is a point that a lot of academic initiatives struggle with, but it's still running. 

And it's still running well. Even better than before. And so, really, my role in all of this is currently I kind of lurk on the Slack.

Jo: Waiting for opportunities to lend your support.

Devmini: She's always looking over you, like, a fairy godmother. 

Joyce: Thanks. No. No. I mean, it's just sometimes, people have questions, and I guess, I'm in kind of a more mentorship role where if they're really, really stuck with something, I mean, at least the directors and oils, like, no like, okay. We can ask Joyce or the previous people who've been not just me. 

Right? I mean, there's also Tina There's also other people who have been through the association and I guess we've built a community that extends beyond just the Slack community where people feel comfortable to just ask. Right? Like, hey, you know, you ran this or where is the documentation for that or something, and people are happy to help out.

Jo: Mentioning documentation, and that's already a trigger. Devmini and Harini, you were there as the groundwork was laid out. But what made it easy to continue without Joyce and Tina? So what do you think was essential in allowing you to just, you know, take over and continue? 

Devmini: Everything that's done in the previous years is all on. We have our Google Drive, so everything everything So the tiniest detail is there. So we can always go back and look at what's been done before. And Joyce and Tina also wrote a wiki to basically how do you run the organization, the conference, and all of these things. 

So there's, like, an entire guideline of things that you can follow. So there's no thankfully, everything's been documented, all the past events, everything, and we try to keep this up. So every time we organize something new, we make sure to put all the details of every email we write or everything, all drafts and everything like that on Google Drive.

Harini: One of the reasons why I said that when I joined, it sounded like an organized association that's been around for a while was precisely this reason. Right? This was a year after it was just as an association, let's say, per se. And even then, they already had all of the material from the previous conferences, like Tiffany mentioned, and a very detailed wiki for the conference and for the workshops and final discussions. 

And the idea with the Vicky, I think, when Joyce and Tina set it up, was also that with any upcoming or a new event that we wanna host we are still able to or we know we should be adding this to the wiki and keeping it ready for the next set of people to to contribute. So they don't, they're not, like, starting from scratch because that makes no sense considering how much work has been done towards setting up these infrastructure.

Jo: And Joyce, so I mean, I personally am also running organizations and for some well, For one, it was obvious that we need this documentation. But, like, honestly, for me, I'm not the most organized character. I have to admit maybe also because I have an entrepreneur and researcher mindset, which I like to explore, but documentation is not my strong suit. But really. 

But I'm very well aware that it helps to go for the exact reasons that you just mentioned. To avoid repetition, to avoid having to reinvent the wheel that's already there at ten times. And yeah. And especially, to allow others to smoothly take over and and seamlessly join and and join the team and find that position within. So why did you set this up so early? 

Of course, I'm asking with a little bit of an envious or respectful, no what’s the word, like, admiration. I could've done it sooner. If I and also, I feel like I'd like, who has the time for documentation? I think this is also a dilemma in research to take the time to properly document and to make your own life easier, but also that of your team colleagues. So I think there's also some parallels here to the research process. 

But, yeah, back to oils. So when was that you had to document this properly to make it survive?

Joyce: I think it was, like, an evolution of things. Right? So It actually came from doing research. Right? So I have a PhD in computational biology and bioinformatics. 

I've done a postdoc at New York University. And during that post doc, I had to do, like, a massive experiment where we had to do, like, four hundred gene knockouts within one year. 

Jo: It's like more than one per day.

Joyce: Yeah. So well, it was we're working with four hundred fly lines, and then they're essentially knocking out two no two hundred fly lines knocking out two genes.

Jo: Yeah. You know, it starts on day one and then one knockout after the other. I just saw that's what you're talking about. It has quite a high throughput. 

Joyce: Yeah. When I first presented what we were doing at conferences. There was, like, an audible gasp in the audience.

 But the thing is, well, before I go on to too much of a tangent, but yeah. In order to do something like that, you have to be extremely organized. And I was lucky enough to be in a lab where, I mean, I was in the lab of Mark Siebel at New York University. And so I learned a lot from him and a lot just working within the group there on how to just really organize people and things and documentation so that, you know, things you minimize, like, what can go wrong. 

And then when things do go wrong, you have, like, a backup plan in place. Right? Because we were on a really tight deadline. Like, funding is only good for so long. Right? 

And so you had to finish the knockouts by this deadline and then move forward with the project. Right? So that's kind of, I guess, the origins of where I became like, maybe organized to a, yeah, a bigger degree than most people, I guess.

Jo: Yeah.

Joyce:  Yeah. So that's kinda where it started. And then and then when I moved to Switzerland, I did a lot of startup training there. I got into the startup community and the on prem shaver stuff and had a few failed startups and partially, the failure was, like, maybe a lack of organization. So it's kind of, like, oils would be my third or fourth try at establishing something before I really got it right, I hope.

Jo: We yeah. We settled on that. It's quite a success.

Joyce: Yeah. We see how long it's been running.

Jo: Hopefully, forever.

Devmini: Yeah. We're all about sustainability here.

Joyce:  So that's kind of how it started and where it came. And also, I want to, you know, also give props to my cofounder, Tina, who is also a very, very organized person. 

Jo: So well, the whole documentation in the standard world or in the corporate world, I think people call it a process manual. I don't think that's the type of building a product.

So we are talking about documenting the process manual. So in the industry, they call it process manuals or company manuals or something like that, where It helps the organization keep going and to onboard new team members quickly and to also as reference documents for the present team members.
Or whenever it got going in unexpected ways. I just so reassure ourselves that this is how this is the process, basically, for us. And sometimes, maybe, also, documenting why that's a good process because other things have been tried and don't seem to work for a particular community, something specific, or other things that are applicable more broadly. Okay. So let's That's great.
And that's very yeah. As we said before, it's also important in research, per se. We're also running an organization and you might think that a research project is an organization in itself with people, researchers coming together from different angles, or a specific time several months or years working on the same project. So now I like to, for us, if you agree, can we move towards the open innovation aspect? Because I feel like or maybe also, like, the connection between Open Science and Open Innovation.
Because for me, there's so much research output being produced as research articles from across disciplines and especially much in life sciences. So how can we make sure that the research outcomes find implementation and application in the real world outside the ivory tower or outside academia. And so to what degree do you think is it a researcher's responsibility to ensure that that can actually happen? Or what's the environment that you think is needed to make that happen? There's enough trigger questions?
Joyce: So big ones. 

Devmini: Well, can I start with this? Because I have a lot of opinions. This is no. Sorry. Because this is because it comes up for at least with me with the setup.
A colleague of mine, we're talking about how research academia works in general. Right? I mean, academia in industry, I feel sides of the same point. Right? And like you said, a lot of the academic research is focused on publishing. There's a lot of light, great information and everything, but you publish and then you just leave it. But how do you implement that to be actually useful to society and say, okay, this is interesting information.
It could be used in some way so I don't know how to form a product or from service or anything in particular. That would help a patient or something like this. Mhmm. But it doesn't go there. So and then comes the entrepreneurs that aren't, you know, kind of reading everything and trying to put something together.
But often, this doesn't happen so much in life sciences, I feel, because if somebody who's thinking, oh, I have a nice project that works. I'm gonna try to build this out upon this. At least this is what I see happening. And don't say, but how do you make sure that everything or not everything at least the useful things that come out of research that could be developed where they actually end up in a, I don't know, in a place where people can actually use it.
Yeah. I'm not quite sure. I think there's a lot of, like, startup courses and stuff going on, introduced to students, PhD students. I think people's culture change needs to happen at least in academia. In my opinion, I think a lot of the pieces don't need that it's so focused on their career as a PhD student going to postdoc becoming a professor that they don't think oh, actually, I can do something else with this as well. At least I don't see it so much in my surroundings.

Jo: Oh, thank you. And Harini, what’s your  perception?

Harini: I mean, maybe I come in from a different perspective, right, in the sense for instance, now a lot of projects generate a lot of data. I mean, people now are working at the big data level, let's say. Right? I mean, they are not no longer only generating QPCR data?
Now we're generating BigOMIC data. And when it comes to this, data. I think open innovation can play a part in the sense if these data are submitted to public repositories and they're accessible. Right? Projects can be built off of it.
And a good example, although maybe an overkill, but nonetheless a good example of this, I would say is the cancer genome at the TCJA. So for people who work in the cancer field, maybe they know all about this already. A lot of projects are based on this data. And I think this is a small but a good example of what I could still fit into the concept of open innovation maybe but not perceived like so is the availability of such large data sets that I love for different types of answers and questions to be asked and answers to be explored. Because I think a good part of open innovation is accessibility to existing information so that there is not a reproduction of the same kind of data and resources invested into reproducing the same data.
Right? Because after crossing the peer review stage, at this point, you trust the data. You should be able to, you shouldn't need to go back and reproduce the same data. That's the point of care if you were to get it as far. 

So I think open innovation in that context, I think a lot of us are already doing a lot in this space. Without realizing that we are working in what we in what let's say, in a big jargon can be called open innovation. So any project, I would say that even small ones that stem from the TCJA data set could still fit very well into the scope of what open innovation can be. And if I come back to your second question or, like, one of the triggers that you had was, how can we as scientists and researchers kind of see our data and our research actually goes into the translation phase of the market.
And I guess this really depends on what kind of research you do. Right? A lot of times, the basic research maybe does not have so much of a value in translation especially in the life sciences, but it goes into building what would then reach the clinical stage and what would then be a part of clinical research and translational research. So I think as long as people are open to building up from data that is available and not are not keen on always generating new data if there is data. Of course, new data is important.
But if you can work with public data and that's the point of it, I suppose, especially in labs that are low on resources. I think it's already a step towards open innovation, let's say. 

Jo: Joyce so you're like in both worlds so to say. Right? You've done research, and you're also an entrepreneur. And on the industry side of things, so what what like, from seeing both angles, what would you say on these questions? Like, what?
What's needed to enable the knowledge transfer or the translation of knowledge from academic output to implementation in the corporate. 

Joyce:  The entrepreneurship side and the industry side, I've always been looking at it from actually an academic perspective.

Jo: What do you see there? 

Joyce: Well, What do I see there? And I well, in my current role right now as a senior project manager at a University Hospital and I kind of sit between them well, I interact with a lot of different stakeholders from industry and also from academia. And, yeah, what do I see there? I see that it's really interesting to see how they try to reconcile different objectives. Right? In academia, there are certain objectives that they want to achieve. Mostly, it's like a publisher perish kind of attitude.
Right? They don't necessarily have to think too much. Yeah. About, like, you're getting funded next or anything like that. Right?
But revenues and then the bottom line and things like that, which is what a lot of, like, corporate or industry partners are more concerned with. So this is why I feel like a lot of people butt heads in these kinds of projects where there are multiple partners involved. Yeah.

Is that resolved? I don't really know. 

Jo: Also, like, the monotherapy test. Aside from an academic researcher, the primary goes to acquire knowledge to then present in writing. And then other researchers build on that as well as potentially industry people can take their knowledge and build products from it. Right? So I did like, theoretically, it looks like a straightforward process.
But I think what's what's off missing and what's also becoming increasingly sensitized on the researcher side as to, like, on the scientific writing part to describe the research outputs in a way that non academics can understand to start with and to provide late summaries and to write the whole research article with not too many acronyms. And if we use them, the acronyms should be explained, like, less technical technically more They're descriptive. I mean, the whole thing is a description, but they had to do as I put it there, it's more widely applicable, like, to a wider audience, except your own niche researcher community.

Joyce:  So I think where things actually get kind of head- buddy is actually when it comes to intellectual property. I think it's less about the documentation because, like, companies also hire scientists. I mean, they were all previous academics. Like the DST level, right, which a lot of times are yeah.
So they can understand the science. They can understand the jargon. That's not necessarily the issue, I think because depending on who you deal with in industry, I think the issue comes from where people start talking about intellectual property, Right? Because there are laws and regulations around this that directly go against the kind of thing you know, the academics are like, oh, you know, let's publish this. We need to publish this ASAP, but this is actually not great, or we need to present this at a conference ASAP. But if you look at, like, patent law, for example, that's not great. You shouldn't do that. You actually can't

Devmini: Exactly. Yeah.

You can't get a patent if you publish whatever it is in methodology or whatever product. That you want to feel or whatever, you can't get a patent on it. And so you can't.

Jo: Okay.  But it isn't all about the license because the patents themselves are publicly, like, readable. But they're protected.

Joyce:  Oh, sure. That's right. 

Jo: So you can read it.

Joyce: So I'm not an expert on this, but I mean, the basics are that if it becomes public knowledge you cannot patent it. Yeah. So companies really want you to slow down. Okay.
Well, I'm just applying to companies generally. But essentially, there are things that need to be done and you cannot publish as fast as you need to in academia. So there's kind of this budding of heads of, like, different goals and objectives here. Right? Because in academia, you need to publish, like, fast Right?
You need to publish ASAP because where your revenue comes in is essentially grants. Right? And you don't get grants without publications. And so their interest there is to publish really, really fast, whereas for private companies like they're going after the patents. But in order to do the patents, you can't really make this known out in public or you won't be able to get the patent to generate the revenue you need for the companies.
Right? So

Jo: Yeah. But it isn't necessary. It contradicts open science because if you look at the details and, again, how we started, like, if or do we have this on record? Maybe not. But like, the time open science may be or I think in my observation is quite misleading.
When we define open sciences, opening up to society, including the corporate lab. But that doesn't necessarily mean that everything has be open and publicly accessible and needs to be documented well and structured and with metadata, meaning descriptions and contextualization, and then you can publish it, closed access, also in repositories where you'll either put an embargo period of up to several years. However long you need, but it's documented. And there's also accountability because the researchers put their name to the product, the article or the dataset. And then, yeah, it can be inquired and also the patents, authorities can see, okay, here's a timestamp, the attribution.
And from that, I don't know. I'm not sure if that's complies with the patents on legal requirements, but it gets it can then serve both the open science idea and principles as well

as allowing for patents to be written and enacted. And what I've also learned recently is that patients actually are but they have a very good intention And I think it's like, it seems well, it is restrictive and as in who can use the product or sell the product on the market. But especially when we think about sensitive products where we're not sure on the research level, can this be misappropriated or misused in any way, and turned against society or community, then the originators the developers of the product have twenty years time to test the product to an extent to troubleshoot and to first I look at this. So that's one aspect where they actually make a lot of sense. I mean, you can argue if it really has to be twenty years.
Can it just not be sooner? Like, now that we are running full speed into climate change and all of these things, but also on this one.

Devmini: That's where the problem lies, right?

Jo: Sorry?

Devmini: I was saying that this is where the problem lies. Right? Because it's that long, I guess, you

Jo: Yea, It’s long. We need a patent report

Joyce: I think we’ve turned this into a patent discussion.

Jo: I think in the innovation aspect, it's like it's a closed one. And also, I don't know, I'm a big fan of as an indexing or a literature search tool, and they have a database for patents and scholarly literature. And both sides and I think we can do more of that on either end, like entrepreneurs and innovators to cite research literature or find literature that's relevant to their product development. And researchers might want to look and oh, what can this?
What I'm studying today, where is this applicable in the future and, like, using keywords to search for patents where you know, your investigations might lead into a product development. This can also be a career opportunity for some ECRs early career researchers who might not want to stay in academia. Not to mention that there's not enough positions for everyone anyways.

Harini: And if I can just add here. So if I mean, it helps me to think of it this way. Right? If we had to look at patent clauses and patent regulations in comparison to open innovation and open science. To me, it seems like this, if they were intersecting diagrams, then they do intersect, but the large part of the patenting regulations that are not a part of the intersection, I think, is where we lose a lot of what can be still openly innovated.
Because like you said, having the documentation allows us to know what is. But that knowledge doesn't really translate too much if you cannot, I don't know, develop a new product based on this knowledge because it's under IP. Right? And it still fits in the open science framework fairly well because it is documented.
But I think, like I said, if that intersection doesn't keep growing, I think it would just be not as accelerated and a bit more wasteful.

Devmini: Can I add to this as well? So, I mean, I agree with what you're saying. But, again, the whole point is that whoever, come up with it, will develop it further. And so other people don't need to come into this. I mean, if that's I I assume that's why people have such long patterns as they you can like, because if you take a drug, for example, you have a patent for twenty years, but people keep at if you add another piece to this drug, like another you attach another molecule, chemical is speaking, that becomes a new patent.
And so and so and so, so, you will not know what the base product is until the patent expires, but they will keep developing this. If they need to, but then if I run the pattern expired, anyone can then use it and keep divesting that or whatever else.

Joyce:So maybe we can go back to, like, this is like, you know, let me see later. Yeah. Go back to that. 

Jo: Sure. Maybe we can close off this branch of the conversation with the idea of patents. I think it also helped startups and young companies to establish themselves in the market. But twenty years is way too long. And then some industries like medical research and pharmaceutical industry. It's just not healthy because we don't need more monopolies or somewhere from many monopolies or a few. I invite more participation from around the world.
Does it comment on something like a pandemic effectively? Like, just didn't work so well for this one? And we could have done better if the patents were lifted earlier or at all. Anyways okay. So coming back So what yeah.
So where do you wanna go, Joyce, again, to the intersection between Open innovation and open science or was it?

Joyce: I actually wanted to start from square one. Right? Because, actually, a question I get asked a lot is And and I got asked a lot, like, while establishing oils is what is open innovation? Like, what are we actually talking about here? And oh, and also why it's called oils.
Right? Why is it open innovation life sciences? I think for us in oils, at least, I think, Harini found a really nice definition before about what we think open science is and what or not open innovation is. And so it's really has not been not stopped patents. It's not like all that stuff.
It's actually even a higher definition than that. Right? So it's really looking beyond your own self and your own organization for solutions to problems. Right? Open innovation means you go beyond your comfort zones and interact with other companies, other organizations to essentially source solutions.
Right? So it goes against kind of like the silo mentality. Where like, okay, we have to solve everything in house. Right? And so that I think that's kind of at least for me, and I think also for oils, what we are thinking of when we think of, like, open innovation. And so I think the activities that we kind of build in oils is kind of towards that of how we bring people together from different backgrounds to openly innovate.
Right? How do, what are the forms of this and what works well and what processes work best for this.

Jo: And that like, that reminds me of two…

Harini: I think at the genesis…

Jo: Sorry. Go ahead. 

Harini: I was just gonna say if you think about it, the basics of research itself is to build on existing knowledge. And it's actually not very counterintuitive to what you do in research. You want to build on existing knowledge. It's just that then that knowledge is not only within your realm, but from everywhere else.

Jo: Right.

Devmini: Yeah. I think that why is it that based on trying I mean, the way I feed oils the purpose of oils, let's say, is to just spread this information to everybody else who might make use of it. I see that open innovation is not something you see. At the moment, it's not the the it's not the norm. So a small organization like us, at least, we can start the conversation.
And then hope that it goes beyond the conversation to actual practice one day.

Joyce: Right. I mean, it's all about breaking down barriers. Right? In terms of, like, there is this kind of misconception in academia like industry as evil. All they care about is money and things like that.

You know, and that is that's not right. Right? Like, that's not what they're necessarily doing there. And so We're trying to change people's perceptions of each other to just be like, hey, you know, we should actually be working together and not against each other. There's not this us and them kind of thing, and we're just kind of all in this together.

Jo: Sure. 

Harini: And as someone who has not been previously introduced into the open aspect of science, open innovation in itself can seem like a lot. Right? These it's big words. It can mean nothing to people and everything to somebody. And I think at oils we also tried to help people early career researchers specifically to kind of find inroads into practicing open science. How can you practice it?
What are easy implementable solutions and systems in your day to day research that you can do that helps you practice open science within your limited capacity. Before in the academic system. Right? Because we are, at the end of the day, an association that's affiliated with universities.

So a large part of our target audience are early career researchers, meaning PhD students and post doctoral researchers within the university framework. It's not something that's practiced every day. I mean, open innovation. Now open science is a large discussion. But I think open science earlier would mean open access.
That's not all that is. That is a large part, a huge part of what open science could be, but that's not all that is. And I think Oils is trying to kind of bring in different perspectives on what other pillars are there to open science and open innovation that they can practice. 

Joyce: Yeah. Oh, sorry. Just to add to Harini's thing and also like I think one of the things that at least people in oils keep repeating to others, and when they when they talk about open science, it is exactly what we talk about before about, like, open does not mean everything is open, everything is free. We really stand behind this kind of thing: open as possible, closed as necessary.Right?

Jo:  So Yeah. That's also the mantra that we have coming from in the community.

Devmini: No. I mean, you mentioned this earlier, Jo, that Open is not so big it's not something different. It's basically best practices. How can you do your work more efficiently? I I think it's more efficient, at least in a research setting.
Document to make things a little bit more often, share your protocol, share your data. I mean, you collaborate as well, right, in academia. So it's about how to do this in a way that's actually you know, you can do it and then somebody else can look at it and then do the same thing and without having any problems or having to call them up and we ask, hey, how did you do this experiment? How did you analyze this data? The open we are basically pre of open science is basically how to do these things in a bit of an efficient reality.
You can not waste time doing these things. You can efficiently then continue your work or somebody else can continue it. 

Jo: Yeah. And two pillars of open science are also open source software ware and open source hardware. Yeah. And it's also very relevant in the life sciences sector. But what are each of your personal opinions? Because or just if I start giving mind, like, there's Usually, they have two leaks.
Those who have full proponents of open source only are the only way to go, and it's as it goes, and I can totally subscribe to that. But I think there's also a legitimate shift to closed source and this is usually coming from companies who developed hardware products or software. And needed to protect it against competition or bigger bigger companies who otherwise would, you know, just be quicker and more efficient in putting this to market so they had to make it closer as I know a few examples of that. But then, of course, it's better practice to open it up, like, to open the code and the algorithms. And still being able to make money from it.
But, like, when it comes down to using it for a researcher, choosing a software package which is open source versus one that is closed source. Sometimes in your discipline or what you need to apply to your research, there is no open source alternative or the ones that are there, you would have to build knowledge first to deploy it. Whereas when you buy it from, like, as close source from a company, that usually comes with services and maintenance and all of that. So there it's a give and take. So there's also no easy answer there from my experience.
How do you see that in your real life experiences? And from what you've learned through oils.

Devmini: Is it yeah. Oh, I'm trying to think of an example, basically, where a closed source, let's say, hardware. I mean, would you take I don't know, some kind of lab equipment as opposed to storage hardware that, you know, you you is that what you mean?

Jo: Yeah. Like, in my own PhD, like so we had all microscopies done at institutes, and they're also other researchers who still had the old school equipment. And you could basically fix it when some part is broken or loose. You could just bring a screwdriver and fix it yourself. Whereas now with the modern microscopes, once one one button doesn't work, you basically have a device that's worth maybe ten thousand euros, and you can't use the whole thing just because of one button misbehaving. You have to wait for two weeks.
To have it serviced by the company, and that may or may not be successful. So it builds a whole lot of dependents, not long after that we don't know anymore what happens inside the product. So how much of a rigorous research process can it be if the researcher doesn't know what the product does to the data, what you give in and get out. Like, it's basically a black box, and you have to trust the manufacturer that they have known. Would you want them to know to put everything in order for you to get the data that you need? An assignment software.
Like, if the code and the algorithm is not known to the research or the research team at life, you know that every researcher Ovasologist doesn't necessarily have to be a data scientist. Like, I wasn't. But at least with some research, I would be able to interpret the algorithm and make sure that it actually calculates or processes the data to produce data output the way you want, and it doesn't make sense in a, you know, life science world. But we have to trust the manufacturers and the product developers.

And if it's open source in theory, you can see because it's published. You can see the code. You can see the algorithm. And sometimes the algorithm on the code is messy, so that also requires a whole lot of cleaning as well as good documentation and other. So it's not necessarily better, but it's more transparent for sure.
And So when the trade off comes in, do you trust? Would you rather trust the well documented but not open to you as a thing researcher, product, or algorithm, which works. And maybe you can build a relationship with the manufacturers on the product a little bit. So to align to such a degree that they understand what you're trying to achieve and they can assure that that's what the algorithm does. And then you still have to address them?
Or would you rather have a messy quote and spend a year of your lifetime and research time budget on Yeah. Cleaning the code and making sure it works for you. I think, like, both in other words, both have pros and cons.

Joyce:  So I I will chime in here because in the context of, like, building the infrastructure for oils because it is, you know, there is an environment set up, digital environment set up for people to work in. And I've also done some consulting work in helping organizations build these kinds of ecosystems of working in. Where we have to choose what kind of software we wanna

use and what plus what technology we wanna use. Right? Okay? So personally, I'd really love to use open source all the time, you know, support the community, and that's all that. However, we, as an association and and we, as people aren't silos.
We have to yeah. As an entity like a company or an association, you do have to interact with other people. Right? So if you have to interact with other people who are, like, from places that normally don't use these tools and only use tools that are, like, the closed software. It makes life a lot easier if you also use the same kind of platforms.

But how you use these tools can make a difference in I guess yeah. I think how you use these tools is important to the discussion too. Right? So you can use closed tools in an open way. Right?
So, like, Google Drive, for example. Right? Like, how do you share that within your organization and with external collaborators. Right? I mean, you know, you can, you can, you can use Google, which is Google Drive, which is a tool developed by, like, a private company, and it's not open source.
But you can use it in an open way.

Jo: Yeah. That's right. That's the time everybody like, most people know it. They're not trying not to handle it. There's also just to mention an open source alternative with NextCloud or OnCloud.
So there are alternatives, but then it's like, I've tried so hard to bring several teams into open source solutions, but they might be working well just that people don't know them. As well the it's it's another new digital product you have to wrap your head around. And it's just oftentimes too much to ask people to do.

Joyce: Exactly.

Devmini: Personally speaking, I agree with that. I think there are so many different tools that you can use. That people kinda get lost in most of them. All people try to have too many of them, which sometimes they do the same thing.
So I think it takes a little bit of time to also kind of, let's say, for oils to have one channel for communication, one channel for organizing things, one place to organize the one yeah, please organize the conference. Because there's so many things and you have to kind of choose the same thing and try then and then there are new things coming up as well and better things coming up. So where do you draw the line? Okay. Maybe there's another better open source tool, but, hey, we're using this at the moment and everything built around this. Do you wanna spend more time trying to learn something else to shift that because it's it's more open or

 It's a little bit better so that I think personally, for me, this is a big thing. So if I know how to use something, I tend to stick to that because I think that's the best way to go or easier way for me to go. Unless I see, like, a big benefit of me switching to another system altogether and making my life a lot easier. So personally, for me, yes, and one other thing that you mentioned is you wanna use something and use it or use a messy code and do this yourself. If you don't have the knowledge to do it, something like that, then it's difficult.
Then it's like, oh, you have to learn something else in order to do this in a more open way. I think having other things to do is a bit difficult as well. So if there's somebody else who can help you.
Like, even if it's a little bit close, then not the most open way to do things. I think I think that's okay. Yeah. 

Yeah. I think it's on trello…

Harini: I mean, if I can bring the focus

Jo: Go ahead. Sorry. Sorry.

Harini: Yeah. No. No. So you mentioned opening those softwares or codes, let's say, in the context of oils. So I think they really highlighted our approach to it with the operations part of it.
Right? But we also work in the intersection of researchers interested in open science. And if I can speak from my experience as a very very very limited interaction with computational biology and code and any sort of informatics. A lot of the research groups now have started making their source their research open.
And a lot of groups work on developing packages and codes to analyze a lot of scientific data, and all of this is on GitHub. A lot of this is open already. Now apart from these open packages, there are companies that provide services in the research fit in the research sphere. Right? And the choice between going with the service or using a service typically, that means it's closed.

Or an open source code like what Devmini said would be how much of an expertise or competence do you already have on your side? How much can you grapple with an open source code to change it? Or to understand it and mold it to your requirements to process your data, to answer your research questions versus if you do not have somebody who can wrangle with this and you yourself do not have the competence, then it does make sense for resource rich groups, research groups, and researchers to use closed source code softwares or or services where they can bring that that expertise.

Maybe it doesn't matter so much if you're using open source code or close source code. If at the end, you're okay with opening up your research data. Maybe then you kind of compensate for using what goes against what you may be perceived as against your open principles. So let's say, if you are able to put your data processed on a public repository, then let's say, cancel each other. 

Jo: Yeah. Thanks for that.

Joyce:  Oh, I was gonna say that being said, like, we said, like, if we'd like using tools at work, but at least we also don't mind using tools that other people prefer to. Right? Because we also learn to. We engage with other open science organizations that use other technologies that are open source. And we also learn from a tool.
Right? Like, this tool exists, you know. And then we know that this tool exists and we can kinda keep it in our database of our heads, our program, and essentially pull it out whenever we find a situation where it's appropriate to apply.

Jo: Yeah. I was also going towards so first of all, thanks for sharing your experiences and in choosing tools open versus closed source for running the organization or the association as OIS, but also, like, what what is it I think there's also something we can basically transfer and agree again that it's it's healthy mix of both makes for the best way forward, I guess, because comes down to usability, affordability, like the price, price tag. And the fact that open source is often free, it's not free because then you need somebody to service and that at minimum cost you time and time again is money at the end of the day. Because that it's also on the research budget if you have PhD students spends a year in running a software to or run to yeah.
Before even starting the experiments and that actually happens. So it comes again down to monetary questions and capacities and as long as we document well, also for closed systems, which ones and which version have reused in my experiments, we're good. And then other people can make their own sense of it. And that's when research experiments get replicable. And, yeah, when when we have the transparency that we want to achieve in an open science and open innovation sphere,

Joyce: Absolutely. I think.

Jo: So many aspects to consider, but it's very exciting to get to talk with you guys about all of this. Are there some other angles you would like to dive in after we've already touched on so many? Or is there something that you would like maybe for the conclusion of this conversation. Yeah. Something else we should address before we sideways for today.

Harini: And maybe I can just say something that a lot of researchers, maybe even your listeners. Right? People who haven't had the chance to attend Oils We're just gonna plug it in. If you can't

It's virtual.

But for people who haven't had the chance to explore open science or who are interested now. I think it's important, and this is something I've learned a little over time. It's not coming to me right at the beginning if it's not an all or a nothing approach. It's not you, it's like what Joyce said.
I really like what she said is that we are as open as we can be and as closed as needed or I'm paraphrasing what you said, but essentially that. Because I think a lot of people on the start of they're like, oh, you know what? We should make everything open. We should be publishing open access. All our data should be in some repository.
We should have all protocols always on demand accessible to anybody who wants it. We should be communicating our science by our science communication at the same time. Sure. These are ways if you have the capacity to practice all of it all at the same time, that's fantastic. But a lot of times, you don't.
And it's okay to start with a focus that is within your capacity time funding availability. And I think this is really something that I also learned over time, and this applies to not just open science. I think even, like, do a lot of day to day. Right? It's not an all or nothing.
You can still make substantial contributions towards open science and practice open and science, but doing small things. 

I don't know. Maybe somebody out there listening thinks it's an all or nothing and then can let you know it's not.

Jo: Yeah. So I don't know. So many so many aspects, like, in open science that we've already mentioned here, and like, it just goes on, like, how open can you be and, like, very, and still recognizing and and making sure sensitive data is protected. So it's not about disclosing each and every part of your research and every step of the game, but to yeah.
Like you said, to open up and manageable amounts. And what fields are right for you and especially, like, when within a team, you don't agree how often you should be about the research, then the important thing is to come to agreement first and then to start with a minimum agreeable approach and first step to take. And that's already a great win. Like I said, I agree. Yeah.

Devmini: Yeah. I  also. I thought you were gonna say something.

Jo: No. No. 

Devmini: I was gonna just say that, like, to add to what Harini is saying, like, yeah, it's not all all nothing. Also, you don't have to think about open science. Oh, I'm just I. It's another concept that I need to think about and adapt to my daily life. It's at the end of the day, it's a bit of a mindset change and a culture change.
It's a little habit that you kind of develop along the way that ends up being the norm of how you should be doing things. Or how you can be doing things a little bit better. And I I think, yeah, the smallest thing matters if you don't even need to stop practicing or at least start to think about it. Talk with talk amongst each other, oh, what can I do? What's the tiniest thing I can do to stop it?

And then it kinda snows into a bigger bigger thing and before you even know it, you don't really need to even give it terms anymore. It's just how you do things. I think open science is mainly just a change of habit and change of culture. I think if we can start a conversation, it'll get there.

Jo: Alright. Joyce?

Joyce: I really liked Devmini's comment about it's a mindset because I mean, to be honest, that's actually what's followed me through this in my entire, like, kinda career thus far. It's the mindset, and that's what's really developed in terms of, like, how I work and how I interact with other people. And I hope that, you know, other people can also kind of have this open science mindset of, you know, collaboration and sharing and transparency. And this is also yeah. So, anyways, this has followed me all the way through.
And I think this is, like, kind of, what I take away from open science for my journey at least.

Jo: Yeah. I just want to hook up on that because we wonder or I just wondered because this is what often the conversation comes down to And why is it so difficult? Is it because openness is also a vulnerability as we have like, when we're open about our research. We also disclose flaws of what, you know, are commonly referred to as flaws, but I just process. And data is messy.
It's not perfect. It's not meant to be perfect. But as in case, again, in our mindsets, we want to work towards perfection. Which will never reach because we're always at the brink of knowledge. So it's a little bit of a dilemma in a way, but also Yeah.
That's that, yeah. Maybe this is also the fear. It comes with a lot of fears. Not to be not open or not to practice open science. In our research environment because in the past or still today it is not common to be so transparent as that's now being called upon for by an open science community or different open science practices and principles.
Yeah. So I don't know if you want to add to that.

Harini: If I may

Jo: Yeah. Please.

Harini: I think your observation of it being a fear to open up is very valid, but it's valid in well resourced settings. Sometimes the barrier to open is not the mindset, but also the resources because it's inarguably expensive sometimes to be opened. Right? Open access publishing is very expensive. So I think the fear of being open is very justified in resource high resource settings. But in other settings, I think it's enabling providing the resources for research groups and for institutes and organizations to have an open framework and have an open system that's not just limited by the fear of opening up.

Jo: Yeah. I just want to add, like, the other perception that Open access is meant to be expensive or turned out to be more expensive than others. Only a plus. So, yes, many do not, but only have very few publishers. There's plenty of dramas out there which are free to publish or affordable to publish because they charge the actual costs that are being posted.
That's in the published, so that's also passed by. But it's not what most people, most researchers see. Like, so what the point of making is still valid. And that's I think it comes down to my job and then on my colleagues to inform about walkable paths and alternatives that we can embrace as researchers to to practice open science in a meaningful and an affordable way to be globally inclusive, not to be limited by our capacity of research equipment or funding available. And working towards equalizing that across the globe. That's yeah. That's a process also. That's impressive.

Harini: Maybe I can add just a little bit one more thing. I think it's for people. No. Because there's also this need to create incentive, right, to you.

Because somebody who is not a fan of open science. They have one thing in mind. I need to publish it. I need to get the best post. I need to be the best person.
They will not care so much about how, you know, their mindset is in a different place. They don't care about open policy, open science. So how do you create incentive for people like that or people to want to practice openly? Yeah. I think this is something I don't have the answer to, but this is something I think a lot of people can also think about to make sure that this mindset is shared. 

Jo: Luckily, we already have an episode on that topic. So I think that is probably our good closing statement, if I may just quickly refer to us, so we had an episode about CoARA, the condition of research assessment reform research form anyway. So it is a continuation from DORA, the declaration on research assessment, San Francisco initiatives. So there was a conference that sent participants at a time where the participants of that conference or some of them came together to postulate a declaration of its reform research assessment and not by matrices where we just count the journal articles, but applying qualitative measures, and that's where things get complicated. So the answer is still not easy and simple, and no one says it fits all.
But a lot of people are working really hard to find better assessments and incentives for researchers to do better research and to continue great research as we are always wanting to do, but not being pressured by having to publish as quickly as possible and as often as possible. Yeah. And I think, like, all of us are in charge now. Like the listeners here, using your product with OILS. Thanks for that.
So to enable such discussions that have in real life on-site as well as in the institutional spaces. And we need more of that. And there will be well, there's a growing number of that's maybe one last question I have. So how far has oils spread as in have you triggered other regional organizations to initiate similar initiatives? Or funding organizations like oils or have you widened the scope beyond Zürich now or across Switzerland or beyond?
So I think we like yeah. What's the closing statement from which of where do you see oils in the next five years and where are you at? As in terms of growth outside the index.

Joyce: I may field this one to Harini and Devmini because they're essentially the future of oils. I'm like old oils. So they're the next generation.

Devmini: Right. So on that, yes, I think since I've joined, from knowing just oils, I've kind of started to see a lot more open science and opportunities and courses and organizations pop up. Even within Switzerland. I'll just talk about Switzerland for now because we didn't know so much about it at least I didn't know so much if there are any other initiatives in and around Zurich, at least, even at the university level.
The same thing as I was doing similar things. And, yes, there there is. And even this year, I think there's quite a few things coming up, people organizing courses. Last year, I think you were there as well at the Open science summer school. 

Jo: Yeah.
Devmini: As soon as we got there I was like, oh, wow. And they've talked about us as well. Oils in an organization doing similar things, like, oh, wow. They're using our network.
And you've tried to reach out to the French bar in the past. Didn't quite work out at that time, but now I've actually heard from one of the members of the association that she knows somebody from EPFL who's organizing a summer school there. 

So, there are quite a few things popping up in Switzerland, at least in the French part and in the German part as far as I know.

Jo: Nice. Alright.

Harini: And I think in keeping with the spirit of open science and collaboration for oils in itself, maybe the idea is not to say we want oils in every city. Mhmm. But it is to say we want to be able to work with communities across Switzerland. But also across the world. And I think we're able to do this already to a fair degree with our confidence because of its virtual nature. We have a lot of participants from across the globe. So in terms of how we want to grow, in number or in reach. I think it's with involving more people from across the globe in this conversation at the moment, we do have a lot of participation from what we could say of our resource rich privileged communities. It would be nice to also have patients outside these regions. We also are trying to come up with more events and focus on actually enabling actual open innovation participation instead of just a conference where you learn about it. So we have a hackathon coming up where people can participate and actually innovate themselves.
So we really try to push the open innovation aspect through this. But I think the conference would definitely be something that happens every year, and we hope that more people can, from across the blue participant.

Jo: Sorry. Go ahead.

Devmini: Sorry. As for oils in the future, we just hope that, you know, after we leave the desk people will keep continuing what we are doing into the next five years, hopefully, or even more. So the idea I think as I don't it will be nice if you grew bigger, but I think it will also be fine if this kept going as it is as a constant thing instead of if, you know, that is yeah. It's already stopping at some point.

Joyce: But the thing is, like, you know, we've already made an impact because we have alumni. Right? And people who pass through oils, and maybe they don't stay with the organization forever, but we go off and go work at companies. We go off work in the government. We go off and work in research fields and academia.
And we have all been affected and learned something about open science going through oils. Right? So maybe we didn't know about open science when we started oils. But we  all just really wanted to learn how to organize an event. But in the end, the impact is though, you know, in organizing this event, we all learned something about open working documentation, reproducibility, and things like that, and we bring this into our future lives.

Jo: Yeah. And for sure, anyone who attends in the future or has attended in the past as an attendee, participant has taken something with it for their own career and being inspired. And Yeah. Just being exposed to the magnitude and the benefits that open science brings tool society and the research community. And yeah.
So it's a constant learning in a very supportive ecosystem and a community or several communities coming together. Nothing else like you said, like that you keep focus on Switzerland or Zurich is like the the home base for oils makes a lot of sense because you can still go global while keeping the conversations also at the local level and both egg without having to build this huge overarching organization, which is also an option, and some communities have taken that root. And anything is viable. Yeah. And I think the model that you are now building with oils in Zurich, is also beautiful and relatable and and has its, like, you know, measurable impact as an or sometimes hard to measure it to all the details.
But as you can as we said, like, you can see the impact that has on people and the community in the region as well as engagement with the global community as well. So it has its benefits and its networking effects.

Devmini: Yeah.  I think what Joyce mentioned is that people who go through this, take something with them, and maybe the impact we see it in, I don't know, ten ten years.

These people are at the top trying to do something, trying to change something, trying to do something better. 

Jo: So Yeah. And I think at some point, it's I think it's also only after, like, now where I was I was, like, five years in, the like, the alumni might also come back at speakers and my chair to the now present community, what their root was, how they started once as a as an organizational team member in Oils and what where that has taken them with their careers, and that can then feed also back into the organization. 

Harini: Yes. 

Jo: Cool. Okay. Thank you so much for your time.
Like, I feel like I've already learned so much again, and there's so many question marks in the process, and that's part of the process as we are researchers. We know that not everything is like, should be known to each of us, but we are here to always explore or push the boundaries of knowledge. And we've done quite a fair bit of that today. Thank you so much. 

Devmini: Thank you for having us. 

Harini: Yeah. Thank you very much for having us.

Joyce: It was a great experience.

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