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Boehringer Ingelheim offers tailored funding packages via its open innovation portal,

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By Frank Roschangar, Highly Distinguished Research Fellow, IU Sustainability, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Boehringer Ingelheim invites proposals in the challenging field of more sustainable, next-generation drug delivery device technologies. Scientists from academia, start-ups, biotech, or larger enterprises are invited to apply by March 6, 2024.


Leveraging crowdsourcing via for ‘Greener drug delivery device technologies”

By Frank Roschangar, Highly Distinguished Research Fellow, IU Sustainability, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The challenge

Emerging treatment approaches such as peptides demonstrate marked improvements for patients. However, their poor oral bioavailability requires subcutaneous injections, leading to a high ecological burden due to single-use devices and frequent injections. This has prompted a focus on optimizing drug delivery devices for these medicines. Emerging approaches leverage bio-based materials or reusable devices, but the resulting net sustainability effect is often only incremental. Other emerging technologies, such as jet injectors or oral delivery devices still face usability and safety concerns.

Boehringer Ingelheim is dedicated to environmental preservation and seeks collaborations for innovative drug delivery concepts that go far beyond current solutions. As part of our latest crowdsourcing call via its open innovation portal,, we invite proposals that have a potential for a breakthrough in the challenging field of more sustainable drug delivery with a time horizon to reach the market within the next five to ten years. Contributions may come from scientists from academia, start-ups, biotech, or even larger enterprises such as device or pharmaceutical companies.

Eligible are prototypic, conceptual technology advances with convincing concepts, based on a clear rationale and hypothesis addressing one or several well-defined conceptual hurdles, but not necessarily having achieved a proof of concept. We prefer proposals focusing on reaching the next decision point or milestone towards clinical readiness.

What technology would you propose towards a sustainable future of drug delivery devices?

If you have an innovative idea on how to address this challenge and are interested in collaborating with our team of experts at the Device Development Department in Germany, submit your proposal by March 6, 2024.

Winning proposals should expect appropriate funding that will help them to bring their conceptual idea to the next level whereby it is assumed that increasing complexity and maturity of the proposed solution may require different budget terms. Depending on the status of the project and applicability, we also offer a range of possibilities to support the winner besides funding.

Learn more and apply through our Open Innovation Portal,

What are key success criteria?

  • The proposed solution must clearly go beyond currently ongoing approaches for sustainable drug delivery, should aim to reach market maturity with a timeframe of five to ten years, and address the in-scope and out-of-scope criteria of this call.
  • In particular, the successful solutions will focus on a clear hypothesis and how anticipated hurdles in conjunction of the proposed novel approach will be overcome.
  • A successful proposal will have a clear outline of the required funding budget and a time plan where it should be assumed that Boehringer Ingelheim would fund the next step towards proof-of-concept of the proposed novel technological solution for drug delivery.


About Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term, sustainable perspective. More than 53,000 employees serve over 130 markets in the two business units Human Pharma and Animal Health. Learn more at

About opnMe

The opnMe initiative originated from Boehringer Ingelheim’s Discovery Research with the aim to interact with researchers for the advancement of preclinical projects in healthcare. opnMe has over 5,000 registered users and received 2,000 collaboration proposals since its inception in 2017. We have successfully interacted with scientists from over 70 countries, who either accessed our well-characterized molecules for preclinical research or collaborated with us on research projects with an impact for patients in need. 

About the Innovation Unit (IU) Sustainability at Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment towards a healthier and more sustainable future is firmly anchored in our corporate philosophy since its founding and translated through our Sustainable Development - For Generations (SD4G) framework. One component of our sustainability strategy is to minimize the environmental footprint of our medicines by reducing energy, water consumption, carbon footprint and waste. For this reason, we established the IU Sustainability initiative with the goal of integrating environmental sustainability criteria into the design of our products, early in their R&D lifecycle.