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The Living Heart Project: Insights from a Global Collaboration

Posted By John M DeWitt, Wednesday, March 13, 2019

“If We Work Together, Can We Build a Human Heart?” This was the tagline for Steve Levine’s March 12 Leadership Spotlight session at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. His captivating presentation detailed, in TED Talk style, his multi-year journey as a collaboration leader to find the answer to this question. (Spoiler alert: The answer is yes.)

Levine is the senior director of life sciences at Dassault Systèmes, as well as the founder and executive director of the Living Heart Project. He holds a PhD in materials engineering from Rutgers University, and in 2015 was elected as a Fellow in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Levine opened his presentation by describing his current company, the 40-year-old Dassault Systèmes, a computer-aided design company that evolved to offer a “3D experience” software platform used by many industries and the public sector. Most cars on the road today, Levine said, are designed by Dassault software, which renders three-dimensional experience with visually as well as technically exact realism. Car manufacturers use Dassault simulation technology to not only design cars, but to crash test them as well. For example, BMW, a Dassault customer, stopped physically crash-testing cars in 2013.

Also in 2013, Levine began to explore the idea of building a virtual human heart, one that could be used to diagnose ailments and educate people about the organ. Even in the big data era, this was a truly enormous task, given the amount of detail that he and his team needed to fit in. They needed new models for tissue, fiber orientations, coupled multiphysics (the electrical impulses that control the heart muscle), valves, and hemodynamics (flow of blood through the heart), among other things.

The medical community already has the understanding of the heart necessary to build a digital one, but that knowledge is “deconstructed,” as Levine says, distributed around the globe in many minds and texts and databases. The single greatest challenge, then, was getting all of that knowledge into one spot, then applying it. Or, as Levine asked the audience, once the pieces are gathered, “Can we put it back together?”

In order to put the heart back together, Levine needed to bring together many of the best medical and engineering minds from around the world (his team had members from 24 different countries) in order to pool their knowledge and capabilities. To accomplish this, while protecting what most partners would consider their proprietary intellectual property, he designed a hub-and-spoke collaboration, with Dassault Systèmes at the center. By centralizing trust, he maximized the amount of information exchanged. Not surprisingly, as trust in the Dassault hub grew, the spokes became increasingly comfortable and increasingly open with sharing their knowledge to support the common mission.

In the end, this Herculean feat of collaboration allowed Levine and his team to launch a completed and realistically rendered digital heart into the cloud in 2015. This digital model is expected to pave the way for personalized heart models, used to determine more exact treatments, safer and faster tests for drugs, image diagnostics, and, one day, for this technology to be applied to a patient’s entire body. Doctors and pharmacists would then be able to better design a specific treatment for the patient in question, with no guesswork involved—because the treatment can be tested on the virtual model before given to the real human.

To learn more about Steve Levine and the Living Heart Project, visit www.3ds.com/heart. Stay tuned to the ASAP blog and Strategic Alliance publications for the ASAP Media team’s comprehensive coverage of the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit.  

Tags:  3D experience  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  collaboration  Dassault Systèmes  life sciences  partners  partnership  Steve Levine  The Living Heart Project 

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From Amsterdam to Fort Lauderdale: A Tale of Two Summits (Part 1)

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Wednesday, March 6, 2019

It’s interesting how “business ecosystems”—a biology metaphor—first became widely used terminology in the digital arena of software and technology—not in the life sciences. Same with “agile”—a development approach popularized by software startups morphed into a general teamwork and business management approach, now being adapted to collaboration within and among organizations of all types. Both of these terms took center stage in a number of presentations last November at the ASAP European Alliance Summit in Amsterdam—and will be spotlighted again next week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, organized around the theme of “Agile Partnering in Today’s Collaborative Ecosystems.”

You’re not alone if you think that “agility” and “ecosystems” are relevant topics—but you aren’t quite sure what “agile partnering” and “ecosystem management” actually mean. These emerging concepts are being defined, researched, and tested in the real world by practitioners across the ASAP community. Their learnings became the agendas of these two conferences—creating definition and clarity, building new capabilities, sharing case examples and new practices, and exploring new models for partnering. 

Ard-Pieter de Man, CSAP, PhD—an alliance management consultant and professor of management studies at the School of Business and Economics of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam—has been on a tear about the topic of ecosystem management:

  • Managing ecosystems—which de Man freely acknowledges is a contradictory notion—is the theme of a panel discussion next week at 2019 Summit, where de Man will be joined by senior partnering leaders from three very different fields: Harm-Jan Borgeld, PhD, CSAP, PhD, head alliance management, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; Ken Carpenter, senior director, global partner qlliances, JDA Software; and Sally Wang, vice president alliances and partnerships, International SOS.
  • De Man discussed his hot topic in-depth in an article he authored for the Q4 2018 issue of Strategic Alliance Quarterly that includes findings from interviews with 12 executives involved in ecosystem management.
  • In January, he elaborated on the potential alliance management implications of ecosystems and emerging ecosystem management practices in several posts he contributed to the ASAP Blog.
  •  November 8 at the ASAP European Alliance Summit, he discussed “Ecosystem Management vs. Alliance Management: What’s the Difference?”

Back in December, I caught up with de Man on Skype to ask about how he might describe ecosystem management—and how different audiences, in industries and sectors other than technology, might apply the concept to their collaborations. (For more of my conversations with De Man, see articles in December 2018 Strategic Alliance Monthly and Q1 2019 Strategic Alliance Quarterly).

“It’s much like orchestration,” he said, borrowing yet another metaphor popularized by tech. He continued (including a term from astronomy that also pops up in ecosystem conversations): “A lot of public-private initiatives involve more complex constellations with numerous partners. I did presentation last Friday for the city of Amsterdam. They have a lot of challenges. I introduced the ecosystem concept to them and they found it really useful because they’re always working with a lot of different partners. And it looks like many of these public [sector] challenges are going to be addressed by multi-partner alliances. You can’t necessarily call them ecosystems, but they have characteristics of ecosystems. Speed is getting important. You might think, with the public sector involved, that things may slow down—but that’s no longer acceptable.” He went on to say, “Alliance capability is very valuable to have, and probably a qualifier if you want the ecosystem play. But you also have to develop new capabilities—the bar has been raised over the last couple of years.”

Next week in Fort Lauderdale, De Man and his Summit panelists plan on “bringing in the experience that people have now working in such an ecosystem environment,” he explained. “Each will discuss their issues: How is ecosystem different than alliance management? What are the different approaches, different competency profiles, do you hire different people? What is the same or similar? How do you think it will develop over the coming years?”

Learn about De Man’s panel discussion and other seminal sessions at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, and register for the event, at http://asapsummit.org. See the ASAP Media team’s comprehensive before, during, and after coverage of the 2019 Summit in Strategic Alliance publications and on the ASAP blog. 

Tags:  agile partnering  agility  alliance capability  Ard-Pieter de Man  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  collaboration  ecosystem management  ecosystems  multi-partner alliances  public-private initiatives 

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Pervasiveness of the ‘Alliance Journey’: ASAP president’s opener reflects on Summit challenges with humor on how our alliance journey can involve surprisingly high waters, police escorts, and fire

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, March 30, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

“Come hell or high water” is an apt description of this year’s pre-Summit preparations in “sunny” San Diego for the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Partnering Enterprise.” A unique “alliance journey” is how Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president and CEO of ASAP, summed it up in his clever opener in the Marriot Mission Valley hotel ballroom. Record-setting torrential rain and the swollen San Diego River set the stage for a unique gathering fraught with “headaches”—but fortunately laced with humor. Sound familiar?  

“It was raining, and we were ready to go, getting ready for board meetings, et cetera, and then the hotel had a fire with actual smoke, people leaving the building, people refusing to leave. That’s when it started to remind me of an alliance journey,” Leonetti quipped. “The next day in ‘sunny San Diego,’ there was the rain again. We were setting up an executive committee meeting … and things started to come unglued,” he said while flashing a slide behind him of soggy hotel ceiling opening to the elements.

But in spite of it all, “We had a great day, a great discussion on how to make ASAP great,” Leonetti said.  “It just never stops with you alliance managers,” he joked to the roaring audience.

Leonetti praised the audience for their perseverance with flight delays and taxi mishaps. Disruption is a component of any alliance journey, he pointed out, and that’s especially true when your hotel is surrounded by a “moat.”

“I’ve heard some amazing stories,” he quipped. “Some of you arrived in canoes, fire engines, and police cars” because of the rising waters of the San Diego River. “Some got to Qualcomm Way, and the cab driver said ‘get out.’ A couple grabbed their bags, started walking to the hotel, and walked through water up to their knees. Then the police escorted them.”

 “Next morning, I wake up and the San Diego River is behind the hotel, and the hotel is surrounded by water. Which is when some of you did some amazing things to get here. We’re going to have a great meeting because you’re here,” he said to rousing applause. “And we’ve worked hard, so get ready for a great ride!”

And it was. The weather turned a sunny 70 degrees, and participants enjoyed outdoor networking sessions and abundant quality content. Summit highlights included the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards (http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/269640/Exemplary-Alliance-Management-Practices-Receive-Accolades-and-Honors-at-ASAP-s-2017-Alliance-Excellence-Awards-Ceremony), followed by a well-attended session “Meet the 2017 ASAP Alliance Excellence Award Winners,” monitored by Anthony DeSpirito, CSAP, Schneider Electric. Also of note: an engaging leadership forum, ASAP Aquarium, four outstanding plenary talks, and an engrossing keynote by Alex Dickinson, PhD, founder and executive chairman for ChromaCode and recent senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the San Diego-based DNA sequencing leader Illumina. Dickinson’s address, The New Convergence: Life Science + Tech + Government,” discussed the complexity of partnering as DNA sequencing and genomics technology companies, research institutions, healthcare providers, and many others (such as life insurers) have converged around an explosion of applications that leverage cloud computing for large-scale DNA sequencing, storage, and usage of genomics data.  

Scroll through this blog site for additional coverage of the dynamic plenary presentations (similar in format and content to TED Talks), captivating workshops, and a wide selection of engaging sessions, which will continue to be posted through April. 

Tags:  Alex Dickinson  Alliance Excellence Awards  Alliance Managers  Anthony DeSpirito  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  ChromaCode  Government  healthcare providers  Life Science  Michael Leonetti  Schneider Electric  Tech 

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Sharing Insights and Successes at the 2017 Global Alliance Summit ASAP Issues Call for Topics and Presentations and Opens Nominations for 2017 Alliance Excellence Awards

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, August 29, 2016
Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2016

The ASAP Global Alliance Summit is a great place to learn, grow,  and network. It’s also a tremendous opportunity for your company and its workers to shine. Please pull up a chair at the programming table, brainstorm with us, and help ASAP create the world’s largest and most prestigious gathering of alliance executives. We’re asking you and your company to be part of our team and submit ideas to the Call for Topics & Presentations by September 15, 2016, the deadline for the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in San Diego, California, Feb. 28-March 2. If you have questions or comments about ASAP’s Call for Topics & Presentations, please visit our website at www.asapweb.org/cft 

While you’re at it, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2017 Global Alliance Summit to gain exclusive access to the most current models, methods, research, and practices, as well as metrics and tools in the part­nering and alliance management profession. Imbibe the latest developments and practices in the industry through powerful keynotes, presentations, and executive panels, as well as extensive networking opportunities.   


As the insider, you know what your company is up to behind the scenes. Maybe it needs to be made public and shared for others to emulate. It may be time for your company and colleagues to be recognized for exceptional alli­ance practices. Please consider submitting a nomination for the 2017 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards, to be an­nounced at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in San Diego. We want to hear about your successes
and so do others! Use the Quick Form for pre-screening, followed by completion of the standard, long form in a specific award category for review. Is your company having a significant so­cial impact through partnering? If so, consider submitting for the Corporate Social Responsibility Award. Let your colleagues know, too, about this exceptional award oppor­tunity. You can learn more about the submission process by going www.asapweb.org/awards.

Tags:  alliance  ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Call for Topics and Presentations  metrics  networking  partnering  practices  programming  research 

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Spring 2016 Issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine: Comprehensive of the 2016 Summit, Certification’s Impact on Your Career, and an In-Depth Look at Bridging Cultural Differences

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Friday, May 6, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Spring 2016 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine, formerly called the Q1 issue, introduces readers to some new and exciting features that were added to programming at the March 1-4 2016 Global Alliance Summit, “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland. This issue’s cover story highlights one of these innovative new offerings: An intensive two-hour session of Cultural Roundtables, where participants explored cultural aspects of a region in relation to business acumen, with the focus this year on China, Latin America, and India. The roundtables are certain to become a regular feature at future ASAP conferences and summits.

 

The issue also includes nine pages of photographs and news from the Summit, including coverage of an outstanding conference keynote address by Intel’s Jonathan Ballon “Partnering: The Connective Tissue of the Internet of Things.” The keynote was followed by the 2016 Alliance Excellence Awards Ceremony, which included several new awards given to outstanding companies and individuals for their contributions to ASAP.  Among the recipients was Jan Twombly, CSAP, of The Rhythm of Business, who was presented with the Guiding Light Award for many years of exceptional volunteer contributions to ASAP programming.

 

Four captivating “ASAP Quick Takes” talks are also covered: Anne Nelson of IBM Watson on What is Watson Teaching Us About Building a Partner Ecosystem;” John Bell of Johnson & Johnson Consumer on “Creating Partnering Opportunities thought Open Innovation;” Marcus Wilson of HeathCore, Inc. on “The Alliance Professional as Intrapreneur; Lawrence Walsh of the 2112 Group on “Seeing Around Corners is a Masterful Move on the Partnering Chessboard.” The talks were accompanied by a new, lively session “Quick Take Roundtables,” which allowed participants to zero in on a topic of choice from 26 offerings led by industry leaders and ASAP members.

 

In the Up Front column “Every Day We Write the Book,” ASAP President and CEO Mike Leonetti describes ASAP’s new chapter in the evolution of alliance management.In chapter one, ASAP’s early days, we defined the need for professional alliance management,” he writes. “The second chapter was figuring out this function with repeatable process—and thereby dramatically improving alliance success rates. Now we have to improve the speed and reach of partnering to make it an organizational capability. That’s chapter three.”

 

In this issue’s Your Career feature, I interview several alliance managers on their “Aha” moments when obtaining CSAP and CA-AM certification: How it has boosted their confidence, contacts, and abilities. There’s also another thoughtful and practical Eli Lilly & Co. Editorial Supplement that offers advice on how to build an effective ethics and compliance program with an alliance. Finally, in The Close, we hear from the late, great Peter Drucker in “What Would Drucker Say?”a stark reminder for us all of the relevance today of the crystal ball predictions and sage advice of one of America’s most renowned business gurus. Which is why we think this issue of SAM belongs not only in company coffee klatches, but also in corporate boardrooms.

Tags:  alliance management  Anne Nelson  ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Eli Lilly & Co.  HealthCore Inc.  IBM Watson  Intel  Internet of Things Group  Jan Twombly  John Bell  Johson & Johnson Consumer  Jonathan Ballon  Larry Walsh  Marcus Wilson  Mike Leonetti  Peter Drucker  The 2112 Group  The Rhythm of Business 

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