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Meissner 2012 Abstract Bioblast

From Bioblast
Meissner B, Gnaiger E (2012) Open Innovation. Mitochondr Physiol Network 17.12.

Link: MiPNet17.12 Bioblast 2012 - Open Access

Meissner B, Gnaiger E (2012)

Event: Bioblast 2012

Barbara Meissner

Innovation is the industrial realization of a new idea – be it a new product, production process or service. Any innovation is only useful if there is a market, i.e. consumers that are interested in the application of the new goods. Many innovations in science are marketed within a highly specialized user group. A successful strategy to gaining strength in such a market is open innovation: complementing feedforward to the customers by explicitly opening the system for feedback from the users. The company Oroboros Instruments Corp. implements this notion with its company logo: the Ouroboros. The feedback process of the dragon feeding from its tail symbolizes immortality and can be translated into a successful scientific and economic strategy. A study by van de Vrande in 2009 [1] shows that SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) which are willing to share internal knowledge manage to find alternative pathways to markets – making them in the long run healthier.

Tools engaged by Oroboros Instruments for giving and receiving feedback are (i) the highly valued O2k-Workshops; attaining a cooperation of the O2k-Team with invited guest tutors – international experts in the field of mitochondrial physiology - and the participants - ranging from full professors to undergraduate students. (ii) Organization of and participation in international conferences and summer schools with high-level person-to-person scientific interactions. (iii) The Wiki-based webpage Bioblast is intended to assist not only the users of the Oxygraph-2k, but is open to the community interested in learning about the complexity of the powerhouses of our cells. Discussions are openly shared world-wide. Questions of our customers relate to scientific topics and to instrumental troubleshooting. By active co-operation our scientific and technical team gains knowledge on how to improve present standards achieved in the applications of high-resolution respirometry, how the available technologies can be optimized and which innovations may meet upcoming demands.

In November 2012 the Bioblast Wiki had been accessed more than 100.000 times and more than 870 peer-reviewed publications are listed on our website as O2k-Publications. Currently, 233 leading research teams from 36 countries have joined as MiPNet Reference laboratories for HRR. The Bioblast wiki is not (yet) used actively for various reasons that provide divergent scenarios for the future. Either the users regard the wiki as a top-down service to be maintained by the company and made available to passive users, or a bottom-up approach will gradually develop by active participation of a MitoPedia community.

β€’ Keywords: Open Innovation, Feedback, Respiratory flux

β€’ O2k-Network Lab: AT Innsbruck Oroboros


HRR: Theory 

Affiliations and author contributions

Barbara Meissner (1), Erich Gnaiger (1, 2)

(1) Oroboros Instruments, Innsbruck, Austria; Email:

(2) D. Swarovski Research Laboratory, Department of Visceral, Transplant and Thoracic Surgery, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria


  1. van de Vrande V , de Jong JPJ , Vanhaverbeke W , de Rochemont M (2009) Open innovation in SMEs: Trends, motives and management challenges. Technovation 29: 423-437.

Work in progress

In a current project that is co-financed by the Standortagentur Tirol [1], we aim at answering the question on How to express in order to quantitatively compare respirometric data?. Even among experts, the field of mitochondrial physiology is regarded as complex. Not only is there a divergence with regard to defining terms, but also when it comes to presentation of respirometric results. Respiratory flux is frequently related to tissue wet weight or million cells, or respiratory flux is quantified based on mitochondrial markers [2]. To allow comparison of different experiments in different cells – as well as different tissues and organisms, methods are needed for quantitative determination of oxygen consumption, standardized conditions are important (such as incubation media, experimental temperature, titration regimes), and practical standards should be improved on quantification and normalization of respirometric data.

  1. Standortagentur Tirol - InnovationsassistentIn - Open Innovation
  2. Gnaiger E (2009) Capacity of oxidative phosphorylation in human skeletal muscle. New perspectives of mitochondrial physiology. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 41: 1837-1845.