Imperial Consultants at Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation seminar
The seminar was hosted by Imperial College and sponsored by BBSRC, and was organised to explore the landscape for collaboration between the College and industry in the areas of Life Sciences and Medicine, and featured first-hand accounts from Imperial researchers and industry representatives that highlighted the many ways that collaboration with industry can enable researchers to create economic and social impact with their research. The event also emphasised the range of services available in College to support Imperial’s researchers in achieving this.
Speakers from Imperial Consultants (ICON, facilitation of consultancy work), Imperial Innovations (technology transfer and spin-out formation), and Corporate Partnerships (strategic research alliances with industry) discussed their respective roles in supporting Imperial’s researchers through industry collaboration.
ICON’s Dr Paul Cray, Business Development Manager, talked about how ICON can assist researchers in applying their expertise to industry’s challenges through consultancy, often generating mutual impact quickly and responsively.
Dr Cray said:
“Imperial has long recognised the benefits of industry-academia collaboration, demonstrated by its commitment to building world class infrastructure to support this. In addition to solving immediate problems for clients, we often see consulting engagements laying the foundations for successful relationships that can lead to research projects or technology transfer”
Collaboration is central to AstraZeneca’s R&D strategy
Dr Peter Simpson, Director Screening Services at AstraZeneca, highlighted the mutual benefits of their collaborations with academic groups. For academics, these include access to high quality characterised compounds and high-throughput screening facilities for drug candidates. For AstraZeneca, among other advantages, collaboration provides new clinically validated projects and access to novel therapeutic molecules. To encourage and foster such important collaborations with academics AstraZeneca announced its novel dedicated web platform OpenInnovation.
Dr Simpson commented:
“Collaboration with academia is extremely important to AstraZeneca’s R&D strategy, allowing us to push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines.”
The event took place on 14th November 2014 at Imperial College London and was co-organised by Dr Christoph Engl, Dr Marko Storch and Dr Chitvan Amin from Imperial’s Department of Life Sciences with support from BBSRC.
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