Open innovation partner for German pharmaceutical manufacturer

3 weeks
Project lifespan.
Man hours.
CROs and Biotech startups screened.


A specialized German pharmaceutical manufacturer with distribution markets in Europe and North America.


The client was facing pressure due to a slowly depleting product pipeline and impending patent expiries. Therefore, the client was looking for a cost-efficient way to increase its R&D productivity by expanding its open innovation engagements. SG Analytics was consulted to find and assess multifunctional service providers that could operate as a partner and carry the operational risk of non-core research and development functions.


The client was unable to enter new partnerships with Universities due to strategic and contractual reasons. Thus, SG Analytics focused its effort on contract research organizations (CROs) and biotechnology startups with related technologies in their R&D portfolios.

Pre-selection: Startups
  • SG Analytics screened relevant technologies and patents to identify start-ups by leveraging technology blogs, scientific literature, technology magazines, and patent registrations.

Pre-selection: CROs
  • SG Analytics’ secondary research analysts conducted a desk research and created a preliminary list of potential partners with R&D experience in related technologies.

List consolidation and final selection:
  • A team of primary research experts conducted marketplace discussions with 25 key experts and consultants to identify factors that drive exceptionally successful open innovation partnerships and define key predictive indicators.
  • Based on the primary research results and a set of parameters provided by the client, SG Analytics created a ranking model to eliminate start-ups and CROs that would be less likely to be a good fit and serve well as a potential R&D partner.
  • A more granular version of the model was deployed to rank the remaining prospects and recommend potential partners with the best possible fit.


SG Analytics delivered a complete report on relevant key factors and the overall fit of potential R&D partners.
The client implemented the results to identify a suitable partner and enhanced its R&D productivity.