In the second instalment of our case study series we are looking at Queen Mary University of London, an institution with a strong tradition of life science research and its own successful technology translation programme. The addition of MTSC to its innovation ecosystem has resulted in several successful ventures. Read more about participation in MTSC:
Throughout the four cohorts so far, six QMUL researchers have been supported by the programme. Out of those, five projects have applications in mental health or dermatology and cosmetology.
Four of the participants were awarded spots on MTSC’s Challenge Accelerators – programmes in which participants are asked to repurpose a technology to solve a specific challenge that fits into a broader theme. This approach is often compatible with a technology platform – a technology that is used as a base upon which other applications, processes or technologies are developed. This means that with some commercial validation and tweaking, they can be adapted for use to a particular need or industry and the participants leave the programme with more experience and understanding of how to do this.
For QMUL the value and benefit is the ability of the programme to support promising ideas that have not reached the proof of concept stage and are therefore riskier.
“If the project is just an idea or there are preliminary results that don’t actually show effectiveness of a novel method, validation or accuracy for a diagnostic test, efficacy of a therapy in a specific model or they are just not novel… QMI is not able to support those projects as it would need significant development to be considered for commercialisation’’.
“However, in those really early-stage concepts, we can guide the academics on what could potentially be inventive in their research and how to achieve it, make them aware of funding streams, as well as bring them in contact with QMUL’s Business Development team that builds industry partnerships’’ Ms Ledaki explains.
“MTSC comes to cover a really important gap in research commercialisation- the projects that have huge potential, but they need a boost to reach the stage where they can realise it. It provides part of that gap funding. In technology transfer we call it the Valley of Death.”
By Eleni Assargiotis
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