Joint ventures between companies are becoming a regular occurrence—from raw material suppliers pairing up with processing technology companies, to exclusive distributor/supplier relationships. Whereas some larger companies have taken the route of acquiring new expertise, many are successfully crossing into new areas by joining forces with experts in those areas, or by aligning with academia to position themselves at the forefront of innovation. These partnerships often prove beneficial to both parties and pay off in the end.
In a recent example featured on The Nation Web site, pharmaceutical lecturer and researcher Panvipa Krisdaphong at Mahidol University gave up her 15-year academic career and established a company called Specialty Biotech to conduct research and development on specialized biotechnology products. "Our objective is to work with local researchers in universities and apply their research,” said Krisdaphong in the report.
Established three years ago, the company reportedly has cooperated in research and development on yeast-based extracts with staff from several universities, including: Chulalongkorn, Chiang Mai, Kasetsart, Khon Khan, Mahidol and Mae Fah Luang.
After passing through biotechnological processes, such as fermentation, modification and filtration or purification, yeast was found to yield a unique multipurpose yeast extract—a key ingredient for many industries, said the report. After three years of research, the company succeeded in extracting yeast to produce eight products for the animal feed, food, cosmetics and health care industries; in the cosmetics industry, it can be used as an antioxidant.
"These partnerships have proved that we can really turn our research into a valuable business, and we can say the key to our success was in collaborating with both the academic and the business worlds," Krisdaphong said in the report. The company plans to work with new partners to expand its market and to include more areas in the cosmetics and health care industries.