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In our Sunday newsletter, we, as editors, reflect on the past seven days. We do this on the initiative of our cartoonist Albert Jan Rasker. He chooses a subject, draws a picture, and we take it from there.

Albert Jan chose this week’s cartoon to accompany Merien ten Houten’s opinion piece on Philips. He argues that Philips’ most successful products are spin-offs – such as ASML and NXP – and that the company should focus entirely on this strategy by selling its last division. We wrote about how Philips’ spin-offs outperform its parent company before in this piece.

Merien wrote his opinion piece in response to the annual figures presented by the Eindhoven-based medtech giant last week. The main news of this presentation was not so much the yearly figures (at the bottom, Philips wrote red numbers, a loss of 463 million euros) but the announcement that the company will stop selling sleep apnea machines in the United States.

If Philips were to divest its medical division, Merien argues, it might match the success of its former divisions. How? By entirely using its wealth of intellectual property (IP) research and development heritage.

That the Eindhoven-based company is good at developing promising IP, was evident this week. The Netherlands belongs to the world’s top innovation in cancer treatment, and we largely owe that to Philips. The European Cancer Information System study shows that the company is one of the most essential patent applicants worldwide for innovations in the fight against cancer.

Here’s what else struck us this week:

Have a great, innovative week!

Aafke Eppinga
editor-in-chief Innovation Origins

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