Starting in 2005, this partnership is based on the complementary expertise of both parties. BIOTEC’s expertise lies in the knowledge of certain microorganisms, ranging from collection, identification, preservation to culturing conditions, and in the isolation and preliminary characterization of pure natural compounds from such microorganisms, whilst Novartis has expertise in the discovery, characterization, development and worldwide commercialization of compounds derived from both synthetic and natural-product sources. The partnership aims to find potential use of microorganisms, and natural compounds derived from microorganisms, as sources for innovative medicines.

In addition to research collaboration, capacity building is an element of focus in this partnership through the internships of BIOTEC scientists in the research laboratories at Novartis Switzerland and through lab courses and seminars of Novartis experts at BIOTEC.

Cooperation is managed by a Joint Steering Committee (JSC), co-chaired by one representative each from BIOTEC and Novartis. Through the JSC regular meetings, scientists shared research results, discussed research plans and could better arrive at informed decisions, making this cooperation an equal partnership with close involvement and interaction of researchers from Novartis and BIOTEC.