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Innovation: A view from the top

Peter Crane Written by Peter Crane
Published on 15 September 2016
3 min. read

In the past, it was often the case that a scientific career in start-ups or business was viewed as secondary to one in academia. In the past few years this mentality has thankfully begun to change. With great science being done by truly innovative founders & companies across the UK, an increased focus from central university divisions on research translation and new university specific funds such as OSI – the mood has changed for the better!

Organisations such as the Innovation Forum, Stevenage Bioscience catalyst and others strive to break-down barriers between academia, industry and the investment community; helping to accelerate the development of great science back start-ups. Dr. Nuno Alves, an Innovation Forum and now SBC Business Developer comments on this “The rise of Open Innovation has brought us more of the familiar forms of collaboration, such as industry-funded PhDs, and a whole raft of new methods of collaboration that would never have been considered just a few years ago. These include open innovation challenges, multi-pharma consortia that share pre-competitive information, open data initiatives – and of course SBC, the UK’s first biomedical open innovation campus. The UK is known for producing excellent academic research but still struggles to translate that research into a commercial product. A change of mentalities, infrastructures and direction of investment are key factors that contribute for the success of new exciting companies in the Life Science sector“.

At the Innovation Forum, we are always keen to engage with all members of the scientific ecosystem who share our vision: “To make the translation of science such a normal and accepted thing; that your peers would be asking why as a young researcher you aren’t doing it!”

In this exclusive interview for Innovation Forum, Neil Woodford, the Chief Investment Officer and Founder of Woodford Equity Income Fund and the Woodford Patient Capital trust, offers some hope to early stage scientists that things have and are still getting better for UK scientists interested in science commercialisation. He also outlines some of the trends that he sees breaking through in the next few years.

The Innovation Forum is a global, not-for-profit, interdisciplinary network of over 10,000 researchers, industry leaders and entrepreneurs. It aims to connect academia, industry and policy makers to accelerate technology development. It holds an annual deep science  accelerator; a global conference in Cambridge (UK) and events across its global network of 16 branches.

To find out more and to attend the conference on the 21st – 22nd of September please visit here: inno-forum.org/conference/

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