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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Industrial Collaboration Workshop

Published: 18 May 2017

Biological Sciences and the Institute for Life Sciences held its first themed workshop on industrial collaborations on Thursday 18th May. These workshops aim to inform academic staff about the advantages of working with industry and to provide an opportunity to network with industrial partners.

The programme, led by Dr Claire Clarkin, Associate Professor in Developmental Biology and Enterprise Fellow, focused on Oncology, Immunotherapy and Angiogenesis.  Invited speakers included Dr Christian Klein,  Head of Oncology Programs at Roche in Zurich, Switzerland, Dr Ann White, Senior Principle Scientist at UCB, Slough, and Prof Mark Cragg, Professor in Experimental Cancer Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton. 

Christian Klein, gave an overview of the departments at Roche (oncology, neuroscience, ophthalmology, infectious diseases, immunology/inflammation and rare diseases) and emphasized that working with Universities is highly valued by the company.  He referred to his collaboration with Prof Mark Cragg in the Faculty of Medicine as a good example of a successful partnership with joint publications, an iCASE award, joint meetings and knowledge transfer.

Ann White, from UCB,  provided an overview of UCB’s structure, a global pharmaceutical company based in Belgium and the UK. Academic collaborations are an important part of UCB’s strategy with  a number of ways to interact, including CASE studentships and research collaborations, but also an antibody screening service that can be accessed.

The meeting was attended by 15 academics and PhD students who pitched their research interest in the ‘who am I and why am I here’ session. This fast-paced session provided a perfect way to make the first step in building networks, which could be further developed over a poster session.

Finally Prof Brian Hayden, Associate Dean of Enterprise in FNES, and Chief Scientific Officer at Ilika, shared some useful tips on how to initiate a collaboration with industry and Prof Jessica Teeling, Director of Enterprise in Biological Sciences, presented routes to funding for Biomedical research.

Biological Sciences and the Institute for Life Science aim to hold two  industry workshop per year.  Please get in touch (  or )  if you want to propose a theme.

Our industrial collaboration really started around 5 years ago, and most interactions have lead to further developments. The advantages of working with industrial partners includes access to advanced technologies and large scale production, access to novel targets and drugs, and securing funding for projects that are more translational and/or commercial than charity and research council funded projects.

Prof Mark Cragg - Professor of Experimental Cancer Research
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