What Nokia learned from Novo Nordisk

From the overdose to the smart phone

Few Dane know that the glass we touch several times a day actually have relationships to Novo Nordisk. How comes? We’re talking about smart phones and our contact with the outside world through our fingertips on a touch screen.

In the end 80s Novo Nordisk decided to do something about their most important container, glass cartridges and glass vials for insulin and other medicines. We all know that glass can break to 1,000 pieces and what is much worse for medicines they can crack. Cracks gives risk for up concentration of the drug and thus the risk of patients get overdose.

Novo had predicted that a many fold increase of their production was not possible without getting completely control over the key element in their product port folio. Therefore implemented Novo a total review of glass design and related components from the very beginning with the manufacture of raw materials and on to component suppliers to finally go through the whole process of their own production to the finished product at the user. The result was that Novo Nordisk made new standards for pharmaceutical glass container with a huge reduction of human resources for maintain a stable production and a good reduction in prices for supplies.

Nokia was in full swing with making new cell phones after their world success Nokia 3310 sold in large numbers although it had plastic screen. However, Nokia saw the potential in offering a mobile phone with glass screen, but they lacked expert knowledge of glass. Nokia had already managed to recruit a quality expert from Novo Nordisk with success, so it was obvious to hire a development engineer with glass expertise from Novo Nordisk to oversee the introduction of glass for mobile phones.

Thus without knowing it Novo Nordisk helped so we all today can benefit from smart phones with assorted fancy glass display designs. Later, it was the very same Novo Nordisk development engineer who helped Apple from California with the introduction of iPhone 1.