The School of Management hosted the Annual Meeting of the German Academic Association for Business Research – VHB – at University of St. Gallen.

TIE researchers Carolin Häussler and Anne Assmus won the “VHB Pracitcal Impact Award” with the paper “Bridging the Gap between Inventions and Innovations – Increasing Success Rates in Clinical Trials”


Turning basic research discoveries into marketable products or technologies is a major challenge requiring individuals to possess a specific skill set. Among these skills, the ability to “translate”, especially between basic and applied research and to bridge these areas is likely to be key. We term skills in basic and applied research as “horizontal” while skills in diverse fields are termed “vertical”. We develop a framework to define and differentiate between horizontal and vertical skills and discuss how they separately and jointly impact the ability to turn discoveries into products. Drawing on data from 3,927 clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry, we found that the likelihood of success increases when the investigators who lead these trials have horizontal skills balanced between basic and applied science. Investigators who exhibit vertical skills were found to reduce the success probability of clinical trials, alleviated only if combined with basic research skills. We also found that trials run by teams with at least one investigator with horizontal or vertical skills are more likely to succeed than if all team members have a narrower set of skills each.