A Charnwood Campus Cluster NHS and Academia Collaboration Platform event, part of a series of events to support the growth and success of the life science organisations clustered around Charnwood Campus Science, Innovation and Technology Park.

World leading clinicians, academics, business leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and stakeholders gathered at Charnwood Campus to hear about a fantastic new programme to encourage innovation and accelerate new product development in collaboration with the University of Leicester’s Institute for Precision Health.  This programme is funded as part of the recently announced Leicester Life Sciences Translation Research Partnership (LTRP) £1.2m MRC funded Impact Accelerator Award, which will greatly enhance opportunities for our cluster companies to develop collaborative projects, through funded pilot or early-stage studies. The event focused on developing solutions for chronic disease, such as Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Cancer and covered novel approaches in both the drug and diagnostic development pathway and medical device development, essential for the improvement of midlands healthcare.  In addition, delegates were also able to book 1-2-1 meetings with clinicians and academics to discuss new projects, something that proved extremely popular with the attendees.

Gosia Khrais, Commercial Director at Charnwood Campus said: “The turn out for this event has been phenomenal, with over 100 delegates on the day. We know that recent analysis by the Scale Up Institute has highlighted that access to R&D collaboration and funding as a gap that companies within the Charnwood Campus Cluster are facing and this event highlights the value of bringing together our world-leading clinical and academic expertise with our thriving SME cluster. Being able to offer funded collaborative projects to our cluster de-risks the innovation pathway accelerating the commercialisation of life-saving therapeutics leading to better health outcomes locally and nationally, something that we feel passionately about.”

Professor Chris Brightling Co-Director Leicester Precision Medicine Institute said: “Really excited to hear about the Midlands Mindforge and the Leicester Translational Research Partnership, which will help accelerate industrial collaboration for patient benefit. This event in collaboration with Charnwood Campus is testament to the energy in the region to drive innovation into healthcare.

Professor Jacqui Shaw, Co-Director of the Institute for Precision Health and Professor of Translational Cancer Genetics said: “A fantastic event for initiating new collaboration, working smarter through developing relationships with complementary strengths, and above all forming relations based on personal relationships – which are the most successful way to deliver truly innovative projects.

Professor Don Jones, Co-Director Leicester Precision Medicine Institute and Leicester van Geest Multi-OMICs Facility said: “This event highlights some of the terrific and innovative research that will have direct benefit to patients. This world leading research will help support the life sciences sector being promoted by Charnwood Campus to ultimately make the East Midlands a region of excellence for Healthtech research.”

Stephen Tindal, Director of Science and Technology, Catalent “These workshops provide innovators the opportunity to benefit from industry insights and experiences, which can help them accelerate their own molecules to the clinic and beyond. For development partners like Catalent, it’s an opportunity to share knowledge and expertise gained from working on hundreds of programs with partners of all sizes, and to contribute to the advancement of pharmaceutical science.”

Dr James Hodgkinson, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology said: “It’s great to be able to engage with scientists working at the cutting-edge of industry directly, share common ideas and gain new perspectives”.  

Dr Tim Hammonds, Royal Society Entrepreneur in residence, Honorary Visiting Fellow Institute of Precision Health said: “This event provides an excellent opportunity to learn from experts in the field, network with like-minded individuals, and gain valuable insights and strategies for improving collaborative efforts.”

This collaboration is part of the wider NHS and Academia Collaboration Platform that includes East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EM AHSN) and Medilink Midlands. Over the next 12 months the partners will be focusing on furthering the NHS, academia and industry engagement prioritising digitalisation, pandemic ‘lessons learnt’ (improved clinical trials pathways), encouraging innovative regulatory regimes, acceleration of new product development, harnessing the power of diagnostics amongst other areas. For innovators looking for in-depth project evaluation the immensely popular Charnwood Innovation Surgeries currently have a few spaces left, please contact Dr Lucy Alexander on lucy.alexander@charnwood.campus.com for more information.