"People at the Center of Research and Innovation for Health"

August 24 - 27  |  PICC, Metro Manila, Philippines

Børge Diderichsen
Professor, PhD
Vice President, Novo Nordisk, Denmark

Børge Diderichsen was born in 1952. He has a master’s degree in biochemistry (1976) and a PhD in microbiology (1980) from the University of Copenhagen.

In 1981, he joined Novo Industry as one of a small team of researchers who were to develop the use of genetically modified organisms for the production of insulin and industrial enzymes.
Børge Diderichsen was appointed director of “Gene-Technology” in 1991 and Vice President of “Strategic Research Management” in 1993, a new unit coordinating research and patent strategies, the first of its kind in Europe. In 1996, he was appointed Vice President of another new unit, “Corporate Research Affairs”, the primary tasks of which were to formulate Novo Nordisk’s views on research policy, to interact with ministries, the European Commission, Chinese Academy of Sciences and other organisations in China, to build and maintain strategic partnerships with universities, ministries, organisations etc., to act as contact point for the media concerning general research issues and to manage Novo Nordisk R&D Science, Talent, Attraction and Recruitment (STAR) Program for PhD students and PostDocs. In 2012, he was appointed Vice President of “R&D Outreach”, a new unit that focus on building research based relations with universities, research institutes and other public institutions in emerging markets.

Since the early 1980s, Børge Diderichsen has contributed to the public debate on biotechnology and dilemmas that might be related to its applications. He has also been engaged in discussions on research, education and innovation in Denmark and abroad.

Børge Diderichsen has published in peer reviewed scientific journals and given a large number of lectures to scientific and lay audiences.

Selected Danish activities
Børge Diderichsen has been a member of the Danish Natural Sciences Research Council. He is adjunct professor at the University of Aarhus, former external member of the Senate of University of Aalborg, former member of the Senate of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Copenhagen University, and former chairman of the Board of Directors at the Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology at the Technical University of Denmark. As chairman of the Research Policy Steering Committee of the Danish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industries, he was one of the promoters of Denmark’s first industrially oriented graduate school of research, Drug Research Academy, at the Danish Pharmaceutical University. Since 2008, he is member of the PhD user panel of the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Medicine, University of Aalborg. He is member of the Advisory Board of Asia Research Centre at Copenhagen Business School since 2009.

Børge Diderichsen is a strong advocate of cooperation between universities and industry, and has promoted various public-private partnerships on education, research and innovation. He has participated in committees under several ministries and has obtained audience for committees of the Parliament. He is member of the Academy for technical Sciences and of its Finance Council.

Selected foreign activities
Børge Diderichsen has an extensive international network and has in professional contexts visited 27 countries in Europe as well as USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, and Ukraine. He was one of the founders of Medicon Valley Alliance (www.mva.org) of which he was a board member until 2007. He was also one of the founders of ScanBalt BioRegion (www.scanbalt.org). Børge Diderichsen took the lead to reform the European Federation of Biotechnology (www.efbweb.org) of which he was president 2002-2005. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Service Award of EFB. He is or has been member of various committees and expert groups at the European Commission as well as advising UNIDO on the Global Biotech Forum in Chile. He has been member of the board of European Industrial Research Managers Association (www.eirma.org) and member of the OECD Working Party on Biotechnology. Børge Diderichsen was one of the promoters of the establishment of the international Global Biodiversity Information Facility (www.gbif.org) and helped to ensure the location of its secretariat in Copenhagen. In 2008 he was appointed Review Panel Member of the European Research Council. Børge Diderichsen is chairman of the International Advisory Board of VIB, Flemish Institute of Biotechnology (www.vib.be) since 2011 and has been member of its board since 2002.

He has advised the Irish, Slovenian, Norwegian and Flemish governments on research related matters. He participated in the planning of Danish-Belgian Biotech Forum in Brussels in 2002 and was part of the official entourage of Her Majesty the Queen’s state visit in Belgium at that occasion.

Since 2003, Børge Diderichsen has regular contacts with Japan notably as Novo Nordisk’s representative at the STS Forum (www.stsforum.org), an international meeting on Science and Technology in Society founded and chaired by former Minister of Finance, Mr. Koji Omi.

Over the past 20 years, he has been engaged in contacts to important Chinese scientists and senior officials at for instance the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. He dedicates much of his time and energy to help Novo Nordisk expand its R&D activities in China and to build partnerships with leading Chinese research institutions.

Børge Diderichsen is Vice-Chair of the board of Novo Nordisk – Chinese Academy of Sciences Research Foundation, Vice-Chair of Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences – Novo Nordisk Translational Centre for PreDiabetes, Co-Chair of the Novo Nordisk Union Diabetes Research Talent Fund and Vice-Chair of the board of Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Research Foundation in China.

He has travelled extensively to China, in 2007 and 2010 with delegations headed by the Danish Minister of Science. He encouraged the Danish government to prepare a dedicated “China Strategy” and to expand co-operations in science, education and health care. One of the concrete outcomes of this “China strategy” has been the establishment of a Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research in Beijing in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Børge Diderichsen has encouraged Chinese scientists, universities and research institutions to cooperate with Danish universities and companies. He strongly supported the successful application from a consortium of 4 Danish Universities and some companies to the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation to establish a genome sequencing and analysis facility in Denmark in cooperation with BGI in Shenzhen thereby ensuring that BGI and its European Headquarter in Copenhagen will undertake a pioneering analyses of the genetics of the Danish population.

Børge Diderichsen was also engaged in the first dedicated effort by the European Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Science to fund Chinese-European research projects in biotechnology by the EBNIC program initiated in 1998 and later succeeded by the EFBIC program in 2002.

Current role
In his most recent role, Børge Diderichsen is heading a new department “R&D Outreach”, the objectives of which are to support capacity building in selected emerging markets using Novo Nordisk’s competencies and reputation within R&D as platform. The principal instrument is to establish and support collaborations with and between academic partners in research, education, and innovation including PhD, PostDoc and other training programmes. Most recently, this lead to the launch of a novel public private partnership with the Argentinian government on “Changing Health through Science”, a program intended to help Argentina build capacity in diabetes and health biotechnology related disciplines. In his role as head of “R&D Outreach”, Børge Diderichsen also represents Novo Nordisk as Special Envoy of the Chief Science Officer.

Contact details
Børge Diderichsen
Professor, PhD
Vice President, R&D Outreach

Novo Nordisk A/S
Novo Nordisk Park
DK-2760 Måløv
+45 4442 3401 (direct)
+45 3079 3401 (mobile)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.